Now that you’ve been tattooed it’s up to you to take care of it. If you have been tattooed before and have your own aftercare routine, please continue to do what works best for you. Each artist will have slightly different aftercare instructions, but all aftercare will have the same core components. Diet and exercise will also play a huge role in your healing. Please stay hydrated while you're healing your tattoo and don't be afraid to take the stairs instead of the elevator. Elevating your heart rate while healing a tattoo is a good thing.
Keeping your new tattoo clean will reduce the chance for infection and decrease healing time. Letting your tattoo breathe will make it much easier for your damaged skin cells to regenerate. Finally, keeping your skin moisturized will relieve most itching and irritation and will also help with skin cell regeneration and healing. Here is a quick rundown of my aftercare instructions.
* Wash your hands before you start any aftercare
* When you get home, remove the the bandage from your tattoo and begin your aftercare process. You will notice some oozing, that is completely normal.
* After removing the bandage, cleanse the area with warm soap and water. When you are washing your tattoo please do not use anything abrasive--stay away from sponges, washcloths, or loofahs. The idea behind washing your tattoo is to remove and eliminate any and all dead skin cells, residual ointment, and blood plasma that has accumulated on the surface of your skin.
* After washing your tattoo thoroughly with soap and water, rinse your skin and pat dry with a clean paper towel. Please stay away from bath towels as they will harbor bacteria.
* Apply a very light layer of fragrance free lotion making sure to rub it in and work it down into your pores.
* Please refrain from using any products that are petroleum based or products that contain any over the counter medication. Here are some common ointments that contain petroleum or OTC medication - A&D ointment, Vaseline, Neosporin, Bacitracin, Neomycin, etc.
* When applying lotion--less is more. Keeping hydrated during the healing process will actually work just as well, if not better than lotion. Most tattoos will require a dab of lotion the size of a dime or smaller per application. You do not need a huge amount of lotion all at once. If you feel like you’re using too much lotion - you are. Putting too much lotion on a tattoo will suffocate your skin and slow down skin regeneration which will prolong the overall healing time for your tattoo. Stay hydrated and you'll notice the need for lotion will decrease.
* Please do not submerge your new tattoo in water for an extended period of time while it is healing. Stay out of pools, ponds, oceans, hot tubs and dont soak in a bathtub until your tattoo is healed.
* Normal healing time for a tattoo is roughly 10 - 20 days
* During the healing process - please do not rub, scrub, pick, or scratch your tattoo for any reason.