You have a fresh new tattoo, and now you want to take good care of it! From this point on, your artist is not responsible for any infection or problems you may have with your tattoo if you don’t take proper care of it. It is very important that you follow these guidelines. A really nice tattoo can turn into a disaster if the proper aftercare is not taken.
Leave That Bandage Alone!
Your artist took the care to cover up your tattoo for a very good reason – to keep air-born bacteria from invading your wound (yes, it is an open wound). Open flesh is a breeding ground for bacteria and infection. Leave the bandage on for a minimum of an hour. Excitement will make you want to remove the bandage prematurely, but you need to give the tattoo time to heal.
Wash and Treat
After you remove the bandage, you will want to wash your tattoo. Use lukewarm water and mild, liquid antibacterial or antimicrobial soap (Satin and Provon are our highest recommendations. Dial tends to be harsh – generic brands are actually better) to gently wash away any ointment, blood, or plasma and to completely clean the area. Do not use a washcloth, towel, or anything abrasive. Your hand is your best tool in this case. If your tattoo feels slimy and slippery, you have probably been oozing plasma. Gently remove as much as possible. When plasma dries, it creates scabs.
Pat dry (do not rub or wipe) the area firmly with a CLEAN paper towel to get it completely dry. Follow with a very ligt application of lotion (a generic brand is best, non-scented, free of alcohol and dyes. PLAIN). Just enough to cover the area not to soak it, Aftter a day or two, if the tattoo looks like it needs more moisture than lotion – we suggest Aquaphor ointment. Again, only if the lotion fails to moisturize. Aquaphor or A&D ointment is great in small amounts but can also do more harm than good. If used in excess, you can sufficate the tattoo (it needs to breathe) or worse attract dust, dirt, and other bacteria to the area.
** DO NOT use Neosporin. This is an awesome product for cuts and scrapes, not for tattoos. Some can have allergic reactions, which causes red bumps. When the bumps go away, so does the ink, and you end up with a polka dot tattoo.
Specialty Products and Lotions
Ingredients – Lanolin is one some use, it cases allergic reactions in most people. Lanolin comes from sheep’s wool, if you are allergic to wool you will break out. Some contain (unpurified) bee’s wax which can clog pores and even contain contaminants. If the pores are clogged, it’s going to cause an infection.
Bathing, Showering, Hot Tubs, and Recreational Water Activities
Yes, you can (and should) shower with your new tattoo. It’s ok to get it wet – but DON’t Soak it. Submerging your tattoo in a bath or hot tub can cause serious damage; avoid for 2-3 weeks (or until you’re completely done “peeling”). Do not allow soap or shampoo to rest on the area, remove quickly. Water activities – whether it is the ocean, river, or a pool (fresh or salt water) – avoid for 2-3 weeks. ** You will also want to avoid gardening or contact with animals during this time of healing. If you do not adhere to these restrictions you are deliberately opening the door to infection.
Scabbing and Peeling
After a few days, you will notice some peeling and possibly scabbing. A little is normal (Especially in dark and/or highly saturated areas) and there is no need to panic. Apply warm moist compresses to the scab(s) for about 5 minutes 2-3 times day to soften them and they will eventually shed when they’re ready (usually in the shower). Do not apply ointment or lotion to soften them. You will also start to itch, just like sunburn when it begins to heal. The advice is DON’t PICK, and DON’T SCRATCH! If the skin itches, slap it. If it is peeling, put lotion on it. And if it’s scabbing, leave it alone. Your tattoo is almost healed, now is not the time to pay the consequences.
No sun (or fake sun) for 2-3 weeks! No excuses. Once you have healed, from now on, you will always want to protect it. The Sun’s rays can fade and damage your tattoo quickly. A minimum of 30 SPF is recommended.
Questions or Concerns
Please feel free to drop by the shop or call 949 945 9734, we are here to help and are happy to perform a tattoo check-up. Signs and symptoms of infection may include, but are not limited to, redness, swelling, tenderness of the procedure site, red streaks going from the site to the heart, elevated temperature, or purulent damage from the site. If any of the mentioned are noticed contact your medicl physician immediately, then your artist.