You have your fresh tattoo.. now what?
1. Leave the bandage that you received on for 4 to 10 hours, or as advised by your Tattoo Artist.
*Tattoos will ooze, this is a normal part of the healing process. The bandage is there to keep airborne bacteria and any other contaminants in the environment from invading your wound.*
2. Make sure your hands have been washed thoroughly before you remove the bandage.
3. After removing the bandage, cleanse the tattooed area with unscented soap and water.
*The idea behind washing your tattoo is to eliminate any dead cells that have been allowed to accumulate on the surface, as well as to wash away the aforementioned "ooze"*
4. Dry the tattooed area by gently patting the area with a clean, sterile towel.
5. Let the tattoo dry completely (approx. 10 minutes).
6. Lightly rub on a mild, unscented lotion with clean hands. Such as Lubriderm or Aveno.
7. You do not need to re-bandage unless there will be friction from clothing. In that case a small piece of Saran Wrap will alleviate that issue
8. Repeat steps 3-6 for a week, moisturizing approximately 3 times a day.
*The main point of moisturizing so often is to avoid the tattoo from drying out, resulting in scabs falling off prematurely leaving an unevenly healed tattoo*
After a few days you will likely notice some peeling, and possibly some scabbing (depending on the tattoo this may be quite heavy). It is this point in the healing process that your tattoo will begin to itch. RESIST THE URGE TO SATISFY YOUR DESIRE TO PICK, SCRATCH, OR RUB your healing tattoo. Remember -- the first few days and weeks (for a new tattoo) are arguably the most important for the longterm health of your tattoo. Make sure you care for it properly!
Some final DON'Ts:
1. DO NOT submerge your tattoo under water. ie. No swimming, hot tubs.
2. DO NOT pick or scratch your new tattoo.
3. DO NOT expose your new tattoo to direct sunlight. No tanning or sunbathing/UV light.
4. DO NOT use medicated ointments such as Neosporin, Polysporin or Vaseline.
5. DO NOT let anyone touch your tattoo. Yes it happens, but don't let it.
If you have any questions, at any point the healing process that is not answered here, your Tattoo Artist will be more than happy to help or answer any additional questions you may have. In this case, please reach out to them directly.