After Care for Tattoo usually lasts between 2 weeks and 4 weeks depending on the amount the skin was worked. Color pieces and grey work with more combination usually will take longer to heal.
Things to avoid during aftercare for tattoo:
- Fragrance additives in lotions, soaps and ointments.
- Do not submerge your tattoo in water for any period of time.
- Keep your tattoo away from direct sunlight and heat.
- Avoid any situation or material touching your new tattoo that is not clean, including people, sheets, and clothing.
- Do not scratch a fresh or healing tattoo. You risk damaging it permanently by scratching or picking at a new tattoo.
Day One: After your tattoo is completed, leave the bandage on for at least 2 hours or until you are at home. Cautiously remove the plastic wrap from your tattoo and wash it with a basic bar soap and with an antibacterial soap. Please note down that antibacterial soap can sometimes be too strong for sensitive skin. Pat the tattoo dry with a clean towel and then allow to air dry. Once the tattoo is dry, apply a very thin layer of A&D ointment (provided) or Aquaphor ointment to the tattoo. It is not necessary to rebadge the tattoo. Your tattoo will ooze a clear fluid mixed with ink pigment and some blood over night (exudates). It will be slimy as it heals. Guard your bedding from staining by wearing a loose fitting clean garment. You may want to wrap the tattoo in plastic wrap to protect it.
First Week: Wash the tattoo a few times per day as above. Pat dry, let air dry and then apply a thin coating of ointment. Do not apply skin moisturizer to the tattoo for the period of this time. The tattoo is still very sensitive and must be kept clean and protected. If you work approximately heat or possible contamination elements, keep the tattoo covered with loose clothing or protected with a bandage or plastic wrap. Wearing plastic wrap over the tattoo during the first week can actually speed healing.
Week Two to Week Four: If you get healing ointment, continue to use it during the rest of your healing phase. If you have been using A&D ointment, you can switch to using a basic fragrance-free moisturizer. The tattoo should peel like sunburn and will begin to itch as the skin repairs itself. If you experience severe itching you can use hydrocortizone 1% cream (available at any drug store or supermarket) to help control the itch.
Long Term Care: Always wear sunscreen when outdoors. UV rays will fade and blur your tattoo over time. Always wear sunscreen over your tattoo to protect it when outside or under any UV light. Finally all tattoos do need to be retouched to keep them sharp and bright.
Scabbing: If your tattoo scabs (it does happen) keep it as dry as possible, yet moisturized. Do not allow the scab to get washed away in the shower/bath or crack from becoming too dry. Do not pick at your scab. Use a thin coat of perfume free moisturizer on a scab to keep it healthy. Scabbing can occur due to a variety of reasons, including lack of aftercare, artist's application of the tattoo, or a reaction to pigments used. If you lose some of a scab you will most probable need to have the tattoo retouched.
Rashes: Rashes are most often due to a reaction the open skin has to a lotion or ointment. They usually appear red and bumpy. If you develop a rash, wash the area with warm water and mild soap only. Discontinue any products that might be causing the rash. A heated wash cloth can be applied to the area to help comfort and stimulate your body's natural healing process. Hydcortizone 1% anti-itch cream can be used in extreme cases of itchiness. If the rash continue beyond a few days consult your tattoo artist.