Congratulations on your new tattoo! The process is now in your hands. Proper aftercare is essential to insuring a proper healing process, resulting in optimum tattoo results.
Your tattoo will be bandaged by your artist, immediately after the tattooing procedure is completed.
Leave the bandage on for 1-3 hours. The tattoo will bleed, and this is a completely normal part of the process.
Remove the bandage and begin your aftercare routine. Do not reapply any bandage.
Your tattoo is an open wound and should be treated as such in order to prevent infection.
The first step after removing the bandage is to gently wash the tattooed area with a gentle, fragrance-free liquid anti-bactrial soap. Using only clean hands, gently lather up the tattoo with as warm water as you can stand. Afterwards rinse your tattoo.
For the next two weeks, or until the tattoo is completely healed you will be washing the tattoo 2-3 times a day.
After washing the tattoo, gently pat dry the tattoo with a clean towel or paper towel.
Allow the tattoo to air dry for 10-15 minutes. This will keep the moisture level down, discouraging bacterial growth, and mushy scabs. Both of which are undesirable.
After your tattoo is completely dry begin the proper regiment as dictated by the day of healing:
Day 1 and Day 2, after the air dry time, First wash your hands then apply a VERY thin layer of moisturizer to the tattoo. Your skin needs to breathe to heal, too much moisturizer can clog pores and be a nuisance. This should only be applied twice a day, thin coat, after washing and air dry.
Aquaphor and Pride Aftercare are the only recommended aftercare products. A&D contains no helpful agents for tattoos and can only encourage bacterial infection when combined with the heat of the skin. It is great for other purposes, but not tattoo aftercare. Neosporin contains an agent that is actually meant to extract foreign particles, aka tattoo pigment, from the skin, resulting in faded looking tattoos. Most other “tattoo specific” healing products usually are combinations of beeswax, fragrance, snake oil elixir, and random vitamins that truly do nothing but take your money and possibly cause problems for your tattoo.
After 3-5 days, or once the tattoo begins to scab, discontinue the use of Aquaphor or ointment if used. It is no longer necessary and the moisture from the ointment can then at that point become detrimental.
You can now switch to a fragrance free lotion. (Curel, Lubraderm, etc.) . Again wash your hands and put a small amount of lotion on your fingertips and rub it gently into the tattoo. Remember that your tattoo must be able to breath to heal so only a small amount is necessary. In about a week your tattoo may have started to scab and began to lose those scabs. DO NOT PICK THE SCABS. Don’t be clever and apply any aftercare product vigorously to relieve itch, as this could cause scabs to be picked off and pigment to be removed… ultimately your loss.
During the two week healing period:
No direct sunlight.
Not hot tubs, bath tubs, swimming pools, oceans, or ponds. Bodies of water can harbor bacteria and cause skin infections in open wounds such as a tattoo.
If you have pets, be careful of pet dander.
NO PICKING THE SCABS
There are tale tell signs of improper aftercare that a properly trained artist will recognize immediately. If the improper care requires correction through touch ups, it will be at the expense of the collector, not the artist.
After your tattoo is completely healed, use a sunblock of an SPF 40 or higher to insure the brightness of the tattoo. Like any pigment, tattoo or otherwise, sun can drastically damage and change the appearance of your tattoo.