Remove bandage 2-3 hours after your tattoo is complete.
- Wash your hands with soap and warm to hot water. Now wash your new tattoo with warm to hot water and a mild, unscented soap. Wash gently using only your hands and soapy water. Make sure to wash off any residual blood or plasma, ink, and ointment from the entire area around the tattoo. Dr. Bronner’s mild soap or any unscented mild soap will work. Antibacterial soap is not necessary.
- Gently pat dry with a clean towel or a paper towel.
- Apply a very thin layer of unscented lotion, or an even thinner layer of Aquaphor to the entire tattoo. Gently rub product into skin thoroughly. Mild unscented lotions like Aveeno, Lubriderm, Eucerin, etc. are appropriate; nothing medicated. For a baseball sized tattoo, a pea sized drop of lotion should suffice.
- Repeat twice a day for about two weeks, until it looks like normal skin.
- Wear gentle or loose fitting clothing if your tattoo is in a location impacted by clothing, shoes, or bra-straps. BE GENTLE.
Brand new tattoos may be sensitive, red, and swollen. The surrounding area may even show mild bruising. This is normal. Healing tattoos feel sometimes like a healing sunburn.
For the first few days, your tattoo may “weep” clear or colored fluid. This is also normal. You may want to wash your tattoo a few additional times during the first few days. Be careful not to over-do the lotion.
As your tattoo is healing, your skin will shed or peel a layer of dead cells in the color and location of each part of the tattoo. This is normal. Let any peeling skin fall off naturally. Do not pick at any flaking skin, it may not be healed underneath.
While your tattoo is healing, avoid direct contact with sunlight. Also, do not soak your tattoo in water, i.e. baths, swimming pools, the ocean, etc. until the tattoo is fully healed. This will be generally between 10-20 days, or more for larger or extensive amounts of tattooing. Healed tattoos should be protected from excessive sunlight. Tanning or sunbathing and tattoos don’t mix.
These are general guidelines to help you heal your tattoo. Everyone’s skin is different. Some people may find they need to continue these steps for more time, some need less time. We have done our best to make you a tattoo that will look great and last for as long as you live, now it's your turn to ensure that it is well cared for after you leave the tattoo shop. Contact your tattooer if you have any questions about healing your new tattoo.