Congratulations on your new Tattoo!
Tattoos are an investment in yourself. Protect your investment. Drink plenty of water. Take your vitamins. Eat good food. Get plenty of sleep. Healthy bodies heal better & faster. The more you take care of yourself the better your tattoos will heal and hold up over time. After care for tattoos is mostly common sense. Usually the less you fuss with a healing tattoo the better. Usually it takes around 2 weeks for a tattoo to look healed and about a month for the skin to return to normal.
Avoid direct sunlight, soaking it in water, scratching, peeling, picking, and harsh chemicals. And as we like to say…
“Don’t scratch it. Don’t pick it. Don’t let your cat lick it!”
Leave your bandage on for at least 6 hours after the tattoo is completed. It is generally advised that you not leave a bandage on for more than 24 hours. I like to leave the bandage on overnight and remove it in the morning before showering. When you remove your bandage, wash your hands thoroughly and then gently rinse your new tattoo with cool water and mild soap then carefully pat it dry with a clean paper towel. (Don’t use a regular cloth towel on that first pass because A. you don’t want tattoo slime on your lovely towels & B. you don’t want bacteria from the towel that’s been sitting in your bathroom for God Only Knows how long on your fresh open tattoo!)
I recommend using this tattoo balm by Love Essential SkinCare. I have it available for sale at my studio. The balm is custom made in small batches which was developed and is produced by my friend Melissa who is a biochemist and self employed mama of 2 young boys. Containing lots of healing essential oils and high quality natural ingredients nearly every client raves about this and has found many ways to use this beyond healing their fresh tattoo.
Apply a small dab of this balm (the size of a split pea or lentil is plenty) or use a simple lotion or cream such as Eucerin, Aquaphor or other brand of your preference. PLEASE NOTE: unless you see evidence of an infection, do not use antibiotic ointment as it has been known to cause ink loss and/or skin reactions. Do this twice a day. In 2-3 days it will begin to peel like a sunburn; continue using lotion for two weeks.
Leave your tattoo exposed to the air. Avoid tight binding clothing, straps, waistbands & elastics or fabric with any texture that could irritate a fresh tattoo. Avoid clothing that has been dry cleaned as the chemicals can cause strong reactions.
For the first week or so, your tattoo may look somewhat faded and flaky. It may also become rather itchy as the skin undergoes its healing process. Do not scratch. Do not peel loose skin. Do not pick any scabs. Instead gently apply a small amount of balm or lotion.
Do not soak your tattoo in water for at least two weeks. Avoid hot tubs and chlorinated swimming pools for at least two weeks. Showering is fine however, your family and friends will appreciate it.
Sunlight makes tattoos fade and blur so… Keep your tattoo out of direct sunlight for at least one month after your tattoo appointment. After that please still avoid prolonged exposure to the sun. When you go outside, try to keep your tattoos covered or apply sunblock to your tattoos whenever your skin will be exposed to the sun (or Heaven Forbid Tanning Booths).
Different bodies heal differently so…
If you have any questions or concerns please don’t hesitate to check in with me (you know how to reach me if you’ve been tattooed by me)