Leave That Bandage Alone!
Your artist took the care to cover up your new tattoo for a very good reason – to keep air-born bacteria from invading your wound. Yes, as pretty as your new tattoo is, it is still a wound. Open flesh is a breeding ground for bacteria and infection. Leave the bandage on. Unless directed otherwise by the artist. Feel free to call with any questions!
Wash and Treat
After you remove the bandage, you will want to wash your tattoo. Use lukewarm water and mild, liquid antibacterial or antimicrobial soap to gently wash, blood and/or plasma and to completely clean the area. Do not use a washcloth or anything abrasive.
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 Lubriderm.
**Do not use Neosporin or any petroleum based product! Keep it all natural and unscented. PLEASE! **
Bathing, Showering, Hot Tubs, and Swimming
Yes, you can (and should!) shower with a new tattoo. It’s OK to get your tattoo wet – just don’t soak it. 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 as long as you don’t saturate your tattoo. If you get soap or shampoo on your tattoo, just remove it quickly with water. Swimming – whether it be a pool, fresh water 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. A little is sometimes normal and there is no need to panic. You will also start to itch, just like a sunburn when it begins to heal. The advice here is, don’t pick, and don’t scratch! Apply a thin layer of unscented lotion like lubriderm. Natural products like coconut oil and shea butter are a plus. NEVER use a petroleum based product like aquaphor and A+D ointment. Your tattoo is almost healed, 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 sunblock. This will keep your tattoo vibrant for many years, and it will continue to be a source of great pride.