Congratulations! You’ve got a new tattoo! Now let’s talk about the aftercare process.
WASH AND TREAT
Wash your tattoo with lukewarm water and a mild, antibacterial soap that is free of perfumes or dyes. Make sure to gently wash away any ointment, blood and/or plasma. Do not use a washcloth or anything abrasive, just use your hand. If your tattoo feels slimy and slippery, you have probably been oozing plasma. Try to gently remove as much of this as possible – when the plasma dries on the skins surface, it creates scabs. Tattoos generally heal really nice when very little plasma dries on the skin and the skin is clean and dry during the process.
Pat, don’t rub, the tattoo with a clean towel or paper towel to get it completely dry. A few light taps will be all you need to get your mind off the itch and let the tattoo heal.
Put a very light application of A&D or Aquaphore ointment on your tattoo. Use this for the first week, then afterwards switch to a non-scented lotion. Make sure that the lotion you use is (just like the soap) free of perfumes or dyes. Perfumes and dyes contain alcohol that will increase the chance of scabbing.
DO NOT use Neosporin. Some people can have an allergic reaction to Neosporin, which can cause little red bumps. When the bumps go away, so can the ink!
It’s ok to get your tattoo wet, just be sure not to soak it. Submerging your tattoo in a bath or hot tub can cause serious damage, so please avoid this for 2-3 weeks. Taking a shower is best. Swimming in a pool, fresh water bodies or salt water, should be avoided for at least 2 weeks.
SCABBING AND PEELING
After a few days you will notice some peeling and possibly a little scabbing. This is normal, it is part of the healing process so there’s no need to panic. Your tattoo will also start to itch, just like a sunburn when it begins to heal. DON’T PICK OR SCRATCH IT! I find the easiest way to deal with this is to slap it. If it is peeling, put lotion on it. And if it’s scabbing just leave it alone. Your tattoo is almost healed!
After your tattoo is healed, you should always want to protect it from the sun’s ultraviolet rays. This can fade and damage your tattoo very fast. The best way to prevent this from happening is to protect your tattoo with a minimum of SPF 30 sunblock. This will keep your tattoo looking its best!