- Remove the bandage after two hours. All wounds need to breathe if they are to heal properly.
- Wash the tattoo using a mild antibacterial soap 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 let it air-dry. It’s very important to let your tattoo “breathe”.
- Once dry, apply a very thin coat of ointment to the tattoo. We recommend using Vitamin A&D or other such tattoo aftercare products. 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 for the first 3 days (while the tattoo feels tender).
- 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. After three days switch to a regular *Unscented* moisturizer. Apply moisturizer twice a day for the remainder of two weeks. Do not use lotions that contain color or fragrance, until the healing is complete. (Usually anywhere from ten days to two weeks; possibly longer for slower healers.)
- You must keep your tattoo clean! Do not touch the tattoo except to wash it and apply ointment, nor let anyone else touch it. 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.
- Please do not scratch or pick 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!
- 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. Never put sunblock on a tattoo that is still healing. Wait until it is fully healed before going into the sun.
- Do not work out if your tattoo covers a large area or is near joints. Exercising could tear or irritate the skin.
- If you have any questions about your tattoo, contact your artist. Do not take advice from your friends.
Following all of these simple steps will ensure that you end up with the best result with minimal complications and your tattoo will stay looking bright and beautiful for many years to come.
SAVE IT √ DO IT √ ENJOY IT √