Tattoo Aftercare Instructions
Now, you have your new tattoo, and you want to take good care of it! From this point on, your artist is not responsible for any infection or problems you may have with your tattoo if you don’t take proper care of it. It is very important that you follow these guidelines. A really beautiful tattoo can turn into a disaster if the proper aftercare is not taken.
Leave That Bandage Alone!
Your artist took the care to cover up your new tattoo for a very good reason – to keep air-born bacteria from invading your wound. Yes, as pretty as your new tattoo is, it is still a wound. Open flesh is a breeding ground for bacteria and infection. Leave the bandage on for a minimum of one hour. The excitement of having a new tattoo will make you want to remove the bandage so you can show your friends, but your friends will just have to wait until later.
Washing and Treating Your Tattoo
After you remove the bandage, you will want to wash your tattoo. Use lukewarm water, and our shop recommended Glycerin soap (sold here) to gently wash away any ointment, blood, and/or plasma and to completely clean the area. (Dial tends to be too harsh) Do not use a washcloth or anything abrasive. Your hand is your best tool in this case. (If your tattoo feels slimy and slippery, you have probably been oozing plasma. Try to gently remove as much of this as possible – (when the plasma dries on the skin surface, it creates scabs.)
Then pat (do not rub) the area firmly with a CLEAN towel or paper towel to get it completely dry. Follow with a very light application of H2 Ocean or TATTOO GOO sold here at our locations. Use these products for a minimum of two weeks. You can also follow up after your tattoo is completely healed using these products for maximum radiance.
**Do not use Neosporin. This is a wonderful product for cuts and scrapes, but not for tattoos. Some can have an allergic reaction to the Neosporin, which causes little red bumps. When the bumps go away, so does the ink, and you end up with a polka-dotted tattoo.**
Bathing, Showering, Hot Tubs, and Swimming with your Tattoo
Yes, you can (and should!) shower with a new tattoo. It’s OK to get your tattoo wet – just don’t soak it. Submerging your tattoo in a bath or hot tub can cause serious damage, so you’ll want to avoid those for 2-3 weeks, but showering is perfectly fine as long as you don’t saturate your tattoo. If you get soap or shampoo on your tattoo, just remove it quickly with water. Swimming – whether it be a pool, freshwater, or saltwater – should be avoided for at least 2 weeks.
Scabbing and Peeling of a Tattoo
After a few days, you will notice some peeling and possibly a little scabbing. Excessive scabbing could indicate a poorly-done tattoo, but a little is sometimes normal and there is no need to panic. Apply warm moist compresses to the scabs for about 5 minutes 2-3 times a day to soften them and they will eventually come off on their own. (Do not apply ointment or lotion to a softened scab – wait for it to dry) You will also start to itch, just like a sunburn when it begins to heal. The advice here is, don’t pick, and don’t scratch! If the skin itches, slap it. If it is peeling, put lotion on it. And if it is scabbing, just leave it alone. Your tattoo is almost healed, and now is not the time to ruin it!
Sun Protection for your Tattoo
After your tattoo is healed, from now on, you will always want to protect it from the sun’s ultraviolet rays. These can fade and damage a brilliant tattoo very fast. Before spending a lot of time in excessive heat, protect your tattoo with a minimum 30SPF sunblock. This will keep your tattoo vibrant for many years, and it will continue to be a source of great pride. You can also find useful information on WebMD
Follow These 7 Steps
- Remove the bandage after 2 to 3 hours.
- Wash the tattoo area with lukewarm water and Glycerin soap.
- Pat it dry with a clean paper towel.
- Apply a thin layer of H2 Ocean or Tattoo Goo.
- Don’t scratch or pick at scabs or peel at the tattoo
- Avoid hot tubs, swimming pools, and the beach during the healing process (approximately 10 days)
- Always apply a high SPF sunscreen on the tattoo before exposure to the sun
More information related to the caring of your new art piece will be found on our ultimate guide.