TATTOO AFTERCARE INSTRUCTIONS
REMOVE THE BANDAGE AFTER ONE TO TWO HOURS. All wounds need to breathe if they are to heal properly.
- WASH THE TATTOO. Using a mild anti-bacterial soap (such as Dial or Provon) and warm water. Reduce scabbing by carefully removing all traces of blood and plasma while washing. Do not scrub the tattoo with a washcloth or other abrasive material during the healing period. Pat it with a clean soft cloth or paper towel and let it air dry for 10-20 minutes or until the skin begins to feel tight. This allows for excess moisture to evaporate out. It is very important to let the tattoo "breathe".
Once dry, APPLY A VERY THIN COAT OF OINTMENT to the tattoo. We usually recommend using Vitamin A&D or Aquaphor as ointment, or other such tattoo aftercare products as recommended by your artist. Apply only enough ointment to give your tattoo a matte photo finish, not a glossy shine. A little goes a long way and gently dab off excess with a clean paper towel. There should be just enough ointment to keep it moist to prevent scabbing, but too much ointment traps in germs, which can cause breakouts, rashes, or lead to infection.
DO NOT RE-BANDAGE THE TATTOO.
REPEAT the cycle of washing, drying, and applying ointment to the tattoo about 2-4 times per day for the first 2-3 days. During those first few days, it is normal for your tattoo to feel sore and tender. You may also see redness, swelling, and some mild bleeding.
KEEP YOUR TATTOO CLEAN and only touch your tattoo with clean hands. Only touch your tattoo if you are cleaning it or applying ointment/lotion. DO NOT LET ANYONE ELSE TOUCH YOUR TATTOO, this includes children and pets. And do not let your tattoo come into contact with any public surface (like gym equipment, keyboards, countertops, etc.)
After the first 2-3 days, your tattoo should begin to feel dry and tight. At this point DISCONTINUE APPLYING OINTMENT AND SWITCH TO REGULAR FRAGRANCE-FREE HAND LOTION such as Eucerin, Lubriderm, Curel, or any other over the counter mild "Fragrance Free" moisterizer. Do not use lotions that contain color or fragrance at all until healing is complete. APPLY LOTION TWICE A DAY for the remainder of two weeks or until the tattoo is fully healed.
KEEP YOUR TATTOO MOISTURIZED Lotion can be applied whenever the tattoo is feeling stiff or dry but do not over-moisturize. When the tattoo is kept moist, it does not have a chance to form a scab but does form a thin membrane to protect the skin while it heals. This layer will then peel off similar to a sunburn. DO NOT PEEL YOUR TATTOO. It is normal to see small flakes of colored skin falling off during this stage of the healing process.
If scabs form, do not worry, but NEVER PICK AT SCABS, this will pull the ink out and can cause scarring.
KEEP YOUR TATTOO CLEAN! However, long showers, baths, and swimming must be avoided for at least 2 weeks or until the tattoo is healed. Swimming will expose your open skin to bacteria and prolonged soaking will loosen scabs if any have formed. So NO SWIMMING POOLS, NO OCEAN, NO HOT TUBS, NO BATH TUBS, AND NO SAUNAS until your tattoo is fully healed. Short showers are best and should be your only water activity during the healing process.
Please REFRAIN FROM SCRATCHING OR PICKING at the tattoo. It is normal for your tattoo to become very itchy during the healing process, but you must avoid scratching or picking at it. Scratching, scrubbing, or picking will irritate the tattoo and can prolong the healing process or cause scarring and loss of ink. It is also important to WEAR SOFT AND LOOSE FITTING CLOTHING that will not rub against your tattoo. Plan your wardrobe accordingly!
THE SUN IS BAD FOR YOUR TATTOO! Excess sun exposure on a healing tattoo can cause burning, scabbing, loss of color, prolonged healing, and scarring. Once fully healed, apply a high quality sunblock to your tattoo whenever you are in the sun or tanning bed. But DO NOT APPLY SUNSCREEN TO A TATTOO BEFORE IT IS FULLY HEALED and always WAIT UNTIL THE TATTOO IS FULLY HEALED BEFORE GOING INTO THE SUN.
And lastly, ALWAYS FOLLOW YOUR ARTIST'S AFTERCARE INSTRUCTIONS. Do not listen to any other healing advice and do not consult your friends or the internet. If you have any questions, please call your artist or any artist at the shop and we will be happy to assist.
• 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.