The aftercare of your tattoo will greatly determine the way your tattoo will look once healed.
Wear your bandage for a minimum of 20 minutes, and no more than 2 hours. Unless instructed otherwise, because the bandage is Saniderm, which you will know, because your artist will tell you.
Wash your hands thoroughly before you remove the bandage.
Once you remove the bandage. Wash the tattoo using a mild antibacterial soap (such as Dial or Provon) and warm water. Take care to remove all traces of blood and plasma as this will cause scabbing. Do not scrub the tattoo with a washcloth during the two week healing period. Pat it dry with a clean, soft cloth or paper towel and leave it alone for about 20 minutes, basically until it starts to feel like the skin is a little tight and dry. This allows for excess moisture from the swelling under the skin as well as moisture introduced by washing the tattoo to evaporate out. It’s very important to let your tattoo “breathe” like this any time you get it wet before it gets into the peeling stage.
Once dry, apply a very thin coat of ointment to the tattoo. I recommend using Virgin Coconut Oil, Hustle Butter or Aquaphor as ointment. Only use enough to make it shine, a little goes a long way. Too much ointment traps germs into your new tattoo which can potentially lead to infection. Just a dab will do. Work it in well. Dab off all the excess with a paper towel. There should be just enough to keep the tattoo moist and to keep it from scabbing. Do not re-bandage the tattoo.
Repeat the cycle of washing, drying, and applying ointment to the tattoo about 3-4 times per day. Until all scabbing and flaking is done. Ointment can be applied whenever the tattoo is feeling stiff or dry but beware of over-moisturizing. Your body will absorb what it needs where it needs it.
Please refrain from scratching or picking at the tattoo. Scrubbing with a washcloth can be very harsh on a tattoo and will cause your colors to fade. Disrupting the tattoo while it’s healing can also cause scar tissue. It is normal for the tattoo to become very itchy during the healing time. Just remember not to pick or scratch no matter what!
You must keep your tattoo clean! However, long showers or baths must be avoided for 2 weeks. Prolonged soaking can and will loosen scabs if any have formed, or will soak through the soft tissue turning it into a soggy mess and cause your ink to flow down the drain. This includes swimming in the Ocean or a Pool, Hot Tubs, and Saunas. Short showers are best, under ten minutes if possible.
Remember, the sun is BAD for your tattoo! Whether the tattoo is new or old, if you want it to look nice and heal properly, keep it out of the sun. A sunburn on a new tattoo can cause a lot of problems. It will dry out your tattoo and could cause it to form a horrendous scab resulting in fading before it is even healed. It will also take much longer to heal completely and promotes scarring in a new tattoo. Wait until it is fully healed to go back in the sun or a tanning bed and make sure you put on a high quality sunblock. Never put sunblock on a tattoo that is still healing. Wait until it is fully healed before going into the sun.
Wear loose clothing over your tattoo while it heals to avoid any rubbing that may pull off scabs.
Following all of these simple steps will ensure that you end up with the best result with minimal complications and your tattoo.
If you have any questions about aftercare please contact your artist.