1. Remove bandage in a CLEAN bathroom after 2-3 hours. Bandage may be left on overnight if it feels comfortable and secure. If the bandage is removed on the first night, the tattoo may stick to or stain bed sheets. Maintain clean bedding throughout the healing process (about 2 weeks).
2. After removing bandage, wash the tattoo immediately with warm water and soap. We recommend plain Dial soap out of a pump bottle. No soap with fragrance moisture beads or scrubs.
Process For Washing a Fresh Tattoo:
Carefully remove bandage and tape
Make a lather in your hand with soap and warm water
Gently clean tattoo using a circular motion, until all ointment, blood, and lymphatic fluid are removed
Rinse the tattoo and wash once again, gently, until the skin is clean
A hair dryer on the ‘cool’ setting may be used; A clean paper towel may also be used to dab the tattoo dry
3. Only use CLEAN HANDS to wash your tattoo. NO washcloths, bath towels, bath sponges or loofahs on a fresh tattoo.
4. Once the tattoo is dry apply AQUAPHOR healing ointment. Apply a thin layer and rub it in, then dab excess off with a clean paper towel. Use the Aquaphor for the first 2-3 days then switch to a regular FRAGRANCE FREE lotion such as Lubriderm, or any other fragrance free brand.
5. Fresh tattoos sometimes “weep” during the first couple of days, meaning that plasma and ink form a thin moist coating on the skin. This can be DABBED with a clean paper towel. Press the paper towel to the skin and remove. Do not wipe the tattoo or be rough with it. Do not panic when you see the colors of the tattoo on the paper towel, or on your hands as you clean it. This is simply excess ink being sloughed from the surface or the skin.
6. Once a day, in the shower, is usually enough cleaning for any new tattoo. Consult your artist if you plan to do any strenuous activity within the first ten day of having your tattoo. Lotion may be applied to the tattoo as it dries out; however if your skin is extremely sensitive, lotion may cause acne- like break outs. This can be taken care of by reducing the number of lotion applications per day.
7. Wear loose, preferably cotton clothing over the fresh tattoo. The tattoo need not be rebandaged except in certain, rare instances. A bra strap, tight waistband, sweaty gym shoe or itchy cotton sweater can potentially create healing problems. Consult your tattoo artist for advice on what clothing to wear/avoid. If you choose to re-bandage your tattoo after washing be sure that only sterile bandages are used.
8. After a few days, the tattoo will begin to form flaky scabs that will fall off on their own. DO NOT PICK OR SCRATCH AT YOUR TATTOO. Do not be an idiot and let your dog lick it (yes, that has happened). Keep it moisturized and the scabs will slough eventually. Once again, they will be the color of the tattoo. It normally takes 2-4 weeks for a tattoo to completely heal. Less to peal and look healed, but the skin will remain shiny and sensitive. Do not consult your friends about healing issues, as everyone’s experience is unique.