How to Take Care of Your New Tattoo:
A tattoo normally takes 7 to 10 days to heal. There are no instructions for the care and healing of a tattoo that “guarantee perfect results”. But, if you read -- and FOLLOW -- the suggestions below, you'll have an excellent chance of making sure that your new tattoo will be the best that it can be!
- Wash your hands with antibacterial soap before you remove your bandage and every time before touching your tattoo. Remove your bandage within one hour upon leaving the studio and DO NOT re-bandage your tattoo for any reason. Doing so promotes the growth of bacteria and will increase your chances of developing an infection.
- Upon removing your bandage, wash your tattoo thoroughly using a mild antibacterial unscented liquid hand soap (such as Gold Dial), warm water, and your fingertips. Rinse with cool water. Wash your tattoo at least 3-5 times daily. Except the first night after receiving your tattoo, during which you should leave it dry and uncovered.
- After washing your tattoo, let it dry out for 15-20 minutes before applying before applying a very thin layer of non-petroleum based ointment. I prefer “Bacitracin”. Rub it into your skin like lotion. Don’t goop it on or you’re increasing your chances of infection.
- Repeat this process for the first 5 days minimum
- Your tattoo will heal similar to a sunburn and will “peel” between 3-7 days after the initial application. This is a normal part of the tattoo healing process. Some tattoos and people “peel” at different rates or intensity. Do not pick the flakes or scabs if they occur! This will lead to loss of tattoo pigmentation. At this time it is safe to switch to an unscented hand lotion (such as Curel, or Lubriderm), again using very little as to just keep your tattoo hydrated and healthy.
- Continue using lotion for the next 5-10 days as needed for dryness which can be itchy and uncomfortable.
- Submerse your tattoo in water for at least 48 hours. Avoid pools, hot tubs, and lakes/rivers for at least 14 days.
- Expose your tattoo to full sun exposure or tanning beds for at least 30 days. Doing so may cause loss of pigmentation. After 30 days, remember to apply sunscreen of the highest SPF available to prevent tattoo and skin damage. We at Ashland Tattoo Shop prefer a gentle sunscreen such as “Waterbabies”
- Pick or scratch peeling skin or scabs. This will result in loss of color!
- Use any products (lotions, ointments, soaps, etc) other than specifically advised by your tattoo artist to heal your tattoo