TATTOO HEALING / AFTERCARE
This is the “standard” method and most common. We suggest this method for those with smaller tattoos, and those that have had good results with it in the past. Your new tattoo has been bandaged, and it should be removed after two to four hours. Wash hands first! Do not reapply bandage. It is very important that your new tattoo be protected from the sun and dirty environments. If bandage is stuck to the tattoo, gently remove it while under running water, therefore reducing the risk of damaging the tattoo. You should wait to remove the bandage until you can properly clean it with mild, unscented soap and warm water. Do not use a wash cloth, wash your tattoo with your clean hands, Rinse it well, and pat it dry, then allow it to air dry for a few minutes in a clean environment before applying ointment.
You should apply ointment, either A&D, Bacitracin or Ink Fix, regularly (3 to 5 times) throughout the day after washing your tattoo, keeping the tattoo slightly moist, but NOT smothered, Use just enough ointment to make the tattoo slightly shiny, and blot off any excess. There should not be a layer of ointment on your tattoo. For the first day or two, your tattoo will require more cleaning, as it will lose fluid at first–this is normal. You want to make sure that moisture doesn’t get trapped under the ointment (hence the air-drying), and that the tattoo doesn’t stay submerged in water either (shower is fine). Stay out of the sun, pools, hot tubs, lakes, streams and rivers during the healing process. We recommend washing your tattoo a few times throughout the day (3 to 5 times), using only mild soap, and rinsing and drying well before reapplying ointment. Frequency of cleaning depends on your lifestyle–use your best judgment, but don’t overdo it. If any of these ointments have given you problems in the past please discuss this with your artist before applying any ointments.
You should only apply ointment for as many days as it takes for your tattoo to peel, this process will take anywhere from three days to 1 week, depending on your body and the area of skin. It will begin to flake like sunburn–just let this happen on its own, and don’t pick, scratch or bump it. It may appear color is coming off. This is normal. When the tattoo has fully entered the peeling phase, you need not, and should not, apply any more ointment. The area will become dry and itchy, and a good hand lotion with out fragrance should help with this. Apply lotion for another three to seven days until the tattoo no longer flakes. If Ink Fix is used continue use instead of using a hand cream.
Here’s what you should look out for. Any “bubbling” of your tattoo. This bubbling is caused from moisture (usually too much ointment!) getting trapped in your tattoo, and could lead to scabbing. If scabs develop, they can remove the color beneath them. It is very important that they are allowed to dry out completely, and not at any time get water-logged. The scab will eventually fall off on its own, and your tattoo should be fine if you keep the scabs dry. Also, some people develop a small allergic reaction to some ointments, which shows up as a red rash around the tattoo, and disappear once the ointment is no longer used. A small percentage of people may develop a more serious reaction, and may require medical attention, so we suggest you contact your artist and physician if this should occur.
If the tattoo is in a clean area where it can be exposed to the air, allow it to breathe. Allowing the tattoo to breathe will help the healing. Your body and oxygen are going to heal the tattoo. If possible, wear loose fitting clothing over tattoo and be careful not to suffocate tattoo with socks or pantyhose. To reduce risks of infection avoid exposure to pets and dusty or dirty areas. Do not let other people poke, bump or touch your tattoo also do not follow the care instructions of friends if there is any questions call the artist who did your tattoo they are the professionals and can guide you through the healing process.
Once you leave the shop, proper care of your tattoo is your responsibility. With these instructions and your own common sense your tattoo will heal within the next few weeks. If you have any questions please feel free to call your artist at any time. Enjoy your tattoo and take care of it, its there forever.