Always listen to your artist. Not your mailman, not your Uncle Joe, not your friend. I know what heals my tattoos, as well as what is recommended by the Oregon Health Department.
1. WASH YOUR HANDS before touching or applying lotion to a new tattoo.
2. DO leave the bandage on overnight.
3. In the morning, WASH YOUR HANDS, remove the bandage, and wash the tattoo gently with warm water and mild soap (Dove or Ivory brands) BY HAND (no washcloths) Make sure any blood or goo is gone. Pat dry with a clean paper towel. DO NOT RE-BANDAGE the tattoo.
4. DO wash your tattoo gently, everyday.
5. DO make sure your bedding and clothes are clean, while the tattoo is healing.
6. DO NOT USE Bacitracin, Neosporin, Vaseline, Aquaphor, A&D ointment or anything that is an ointment, thick, or sits on the surface of the skin.
7. DO use a LIGHT COAT of Cetaphil Brand Lotion as needed for dryness. You only need a thin film of lotion. Do not soak the tattoo in lotion. Do not rub it in. Use lotion sparingly and only as needed. Do not use lotions with added fragrance or color. Start your lotion regimen, once, the first evening. Twice the second day, morning and evening. Three times the third day, morning, noon, evening. On the fourth day, keep lotion with you and use as needed for the rest of the healing process, to not let the tattoo get too dried out or crack.
8. DO NOT expose your new tattoo to direct sunlight for 7-10 days, or until healed.
9. DO NOT soak in a tub, sauna, steam room, hot tub, or go swimming while your tattoo is healing. Showers are fine. Try not to let the shower hit your tattoo directly. Doing so can knock off flakes and scabs before they are ready.
10. DO NOT let clothing irritate your new tattoo. Cotton clothing is better than synthetics. Loose clothing better than tight clothing.
11. DO NOT RUB OR PICK at the healing tattoo, as tempting as it may be. Loss of color and/or infection can occur. It is important that the thin, tiny scab stay on as long as possible during the healing process. Your body will complete this process all by itself. For itching, use lotion, or slap the tattoo.
12. DO use 30+ SPF sunblock after the tattoo is healed, for the rest of its life and your life. Extreme sun and exposure over the years can, and will, fade your tattoo.
*please note: It is normal to lose approximately 1/3 of the color in the first few days. A percentage of the ink is in the outer layer of skin, and will slough off in about a week following treatment. Some clients do not lose 1/3 of the color, some lose more. Remember that everyone is different.