TAKING CARE OF YOUR NEW TATTOO
-Your artist will put a bandage on your new tattoo. You need to leave this bandage on for two hours. After you remove the bandage, you will NEVER re-bandage it. It is important for your tattoo to breathe.
-Once you have removed your bandage, you will wash your tattoo gently with soap and water. Make sure your hands are clean before you touch your new tattoo. You may use any soap you want as long as it is liquid soap, do not use a bar of soap as they sit around wet all the time, and they tend to harbor bacteria that may be harmful to your new tattoo. Although we prefer an antibacterial hand soap like Dial, any kind of a liquid soap is fine, even dish soap will work in a pinch.
-Wash your tattoo GENTLY. The idea is not to wash or scrub the tattoo, the idea is to get all the Vaseline off. Very gently wash your tattoo with your clean hands until you’ve got all the Vaseline off.
-Pat your tattoo dry with something clean. Paper towels work excellent for this. You can use a regular towel if you like, just make sure it is a freshly washed towel that you don’t mind potentially ruining. Do not rub it dry, if you rub your tattoo dry, the pores will reopen and the healing process starts over.
-Once you’ve got your tattoo dry, you will apply a small amount of an unscented hand lotion. Any brand of lotion is fine, but make sure you get an UNSCENTED or FRAGRANCE FREE version. The scent in hand lotion is alcohol based and putting a scented lotion on your new tattoo will burn. It will NOT HURT YOUR TATTOO, IT JUST HURTS. So don’t panic if you’ve put a lotion on that is burning, your tattoo will be fine. If you want to save yourself some pain in the future, get an unscented lotion.
-Apply a small amount of lotion to your new tattoo 5-8 times a day. A very small amount of lotion is all that’s necessary. You never want your tattoo WET with lotion, and you never want your tattoo BONE DRY. You want it just SLIGHTLY moist and you want to keep it that way, so apply a small amount of lotion often.
-You will keep this lotion regimen up for at least three weeks. Your tattoo should be all healed up in 10-14 days but you want to keep lotioning regularly for at least three weeks. The better you take care of it now, the better it will look later.
-No matter how well you take care of it, your new tattoo will begin to peel, scale and scab after a few days. This is completely normal. Do not pick or scratch at the peeling or scabby bits. Let them fall off naturally. If they come off in bed or in the shower, that is fine, just don’t accelerate the peeling process by picking at it.
A FEW GENERAL GUIDELINES-
-Getting your tattoo wet is not a problem. Showering is fine even on the first day, but you want to avoid soaking for about three weeks. That means no bath, hot tub or swimming pool, or any other activity that would require your tattoo to be completely submerged for any length of time.
-Direct sunlight on your new tattoo is also fine, but you want to avoid any long term sun exposure for the first three weeks. Don’t go to the tanning salon or beach with a fresh tattoo.
-Depending on the location of your tattoo, it is not uncommon to have some bruising, swelling and or minor discomfort. If you are concerned about the healing of your tattoo, do not hesitate to call your artist.
-Wear loose clothing around your tattoo for the first few days. This will help ensure a smooth healing process.