TATTOO AFTERCARE INSTRUCTIONS
1. REMOVE THE BANDAGE AFTER ONE TO TWO HOURS. We will bandage your new tattoo before you leave the studio. Leave it on for a few hours and be sure to take it off before you go to bed!
2. 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".
3. 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.
4. DO NOT RE-BANDAGE THE TATTOO.
REPEAT the cycle of washing, drying, and applying a thin layer of ointment to the tattoo about 2-4 times per day for the first 2-3 days.
It is always important to keep your healing tattoo clean, but keep in mind that these first few days are when your tattoo is the most vulnerable.
During these first few days, it is normal for your tattoo to feel sore and tender. You may also see redness, swelling, and some mild bleeding.
DAYS 3-14 (or until healed):
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 or whenever the tattoo is feeling stiff or dry. But DO NOT OVER MOISTURIZE!
Continue applying lotion for the remainder of two weeks or until the tattoo is fully healed.
During this phase of the healing process it is normal to experience dryness, itchiness, scabbing, peeling (like a sunburn), and flaking. It is very important to NEVER SCRATCH OR PICK at a healing tattoo.
DO'S AND DON'TS DURING THE HEALING PROCESS
- 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.)
- 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 scabs if they form. 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!
- NO SWIMMING POOLS, NO OCEAN, NO HOT TUBS, NO BATH TUBS, AND NO SAUNAS until your tattoo is fully healed. Short showers and gentle washing should be your only water activity during the healing process.
- 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.