Proper Tattoo Healing
After getting a tattoo it's very important to do your aftercare
treatment. Your artist will give you some instructions about the
healing process and some info about the possible risks and
complications that might happen. It's very important to be patient
and well informed. None of the body mods heals properly and easy
without great care.
Every tattoo heals for about 10 or 15 days. During this period you should keep the tattooed area clean as possible to avoid infections. After the tattoo process, keep the tattoo bandaged for about one hour after the tattoo is finished.
Peel off the tape and bandage, touching the tattoo as little as possible. Leaving a bandage on the tattoo can result in too much moisture, which will not allow it to heal properly.
Wash the tattoo with mild, unscented soap and water two or three times per day for seven to 10 days. Use your hand to wash it lightly and then gently pat it dry with a clean, soft towel or paper towel.
Put a very thin layer of antibiotic ointment on the washed tattoo and try not to touch it to anything. Too much ointment can make the tattoo too moist, which may mean it will peel too quickly and not heal properly.
When the tattoo is fully healed - which is after the entire tattoo has peeled - use an unscented, dye-free, alcohol-free lotion or dry skin repair ointment a couple of times a day to soften the skin. Your skin should be nice and soft within two or three days, and your tattoo will look brilliant.
Two hours after the tattoo session is over remove the hygienic foil (gauze) from the tattoo and rinse the tattoo carefully, so that the extra color can be washed away. After you remove the bandage, you will want to wash your tattoo. Use lukewarm water and mild, liquid antibacterial or antimicrobial soap (Satin and Provon are the best recommendations. Take a nice wash away any ointment, blood and/or plasma and to completely clean the area. Do not use a washcloth or anything abrasive. 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 skin surface, it creates scabs.
Then pat (do not rub) the area firmly with a CLEAN towel or paper towel to get it completely dry. Follow with a very light application of your choice of ointment. Do not use Neosporin. This is a wonderful product for cuts and scrapes, but not for tattoos. Some can have an allergic reaction to the Neosporin, which causes little red bumps. When the bumps go away, so does the ink, and you end up with a polka-dotted tattoo. Unless you don’t use the ointment regularly and properly, a crust will appear on your tattoo, and it can also fade away faster and easier!
Specialty Products and Lotions
If you prefer, you can also use a specialty product such as Tattoo Goo or H2Ocean. It's not necessary, as many over the counter products work just fine, but it's your choice. Use the products as directed as continue for 3-5 days. After that, continue to keep it clean, but you can use lotion when needed instead of ointment, to keep the skin soft. Whatever lotion you use, it should be dye and fragrance free.
Bathing, Showering, Hot Tubs, and Swimming
Submerging your tattoo in a bath or hot tub can cause serious damage, so you'll want to avoid those for 2-3 weeks, but showering is perfectly fine and useful. If you get soap or shampoo on your tattoo, just remove it quickly with water. You should be avoiding Hot Tubs, and Swimming for at least 3 weeks.
Scabbing and Peeling
After a few days, you will notice some peeling and possibly a little scabbing. It's normal and there is no need to panic.
DO NOT itch your tattoo! That could make serious damages. The advice here is, don't pick, and don't scratch! If the skin itches, slap it. If it is peeling, put lotion on it. And if it is scabbing, just leave it alone. Your tattoo is almost healed, and now is not the time to ruin it!
Protection from the sun
After your tattoo is healed, from now on, you will always want to protect it from the sun's ultraviolet rays. These can fade and damage a brilliant tattoo very fast. Before spending a lot of time in excessive heat, protect your tattoo with a minimum 30SPF sun block.
When you wash your tattoo the first day, you probably will notice ink rubbing off. This is just excess ink and is perfectly normal. The tattoo should wash cleanly after the second or third time.
Wash your hands before doing anything that involves touching your tattoo while it is healing.
Avoid going swimming or soaking the tattoo while it is healing. The tattoo is an open wound and needs to scab over, which requires it to be fairly dry. Soaking the tattoo could cause it to peel too soon and possibly lead to an infection.
If you feel that you have an infection-excessive swelling, redness and pain are the first signs--see a doctor as soon as possible.