In order for tattoo to heal properly, good aftercare is essential. Each individual artist has his/her own preferences based on their particular style. Follow their instructions until the tattoo is completely healed.
Your tattoo will take approximately 3-4 weeks to heal. Immediately after getting tattooed there may be some minor tenderness, redness, bleeding or oozing, swelling and/or bruising of the area for the first few days.
Next, your tattoo will start flaking and may appear pale and uneven in color, this is totally normal and doesn’t mean that the color is coming out, it’s just your new skin cells growing over the fresh tattoo. Itching during this phase of the healing process is normal, but it’s important to fight the urge to scratch it!
You can give yourself light little taps with clean hands to give some relief but keep it light and minimal. Eventually, the waxy, pale look will slowly leave and the skin will return to its normal appearance and texture.
- Leave bandage on for the amount of time specified by your artist. This varies from one hour to overnight.
- Remove bandage carefully with CLEAN hands only.
- Wash your tattoo 2-3 times a day for the first 3 days using only your hands, warm water, and mild liquid soap like Dr. Bronner’s Baby Mild Castille Soap. Be sure to remove any blood, lymph fluid and debris. Rinse your tattoo thoroughly to remove any soap residue. Gently pat dry with a clean paper towel.
- Allow to air dry for an additional 5-10 minutes before applying lotions. For the first 3 days only you may apply a minimal amount of Aquaphor or A&D ointment according to your artist’s verbal instructions.
- After the 3rd day, switch to washing your tattoo once daily. Try not to disturb flaking skin. Switch to applying a light, fragrance-free and dye-free lotion like Aveeno or Cetaphyl.
- The NO’S: No soaking in hot tubs, bathtubs, swimming pools or mud-puddles. Do not shave over a healing tattoo. Avoid direct sunlight and tanning beds until fully healed. After your tattoo heals apply sunscreen to maintain the color and vibrancy. NO PICKING OR SCRATCHING: no matter how much it itches!
- Infections, while rare, can almost always be prevented by following your aftercare instructions and taking good general care of yourself. Signs of infection include fever, and redness and heat emanating from the tattoo. Excessive redness, bumps or rashes are some signs of allergic sensitivity. Allergic reactions are most likely due to the ointments or lotions used rather than the pigment of the tattoo. If you have any concerns contact your artist and/or physician/dermatologist.
You are welcome and encouraged to call or stop by the studio if you have ANY questions or concerns. We are always happy to help.