Tattoo Care Instructions
Please leave the bandage on for 4-12 hours after you leave the shop. If you remove it the same day as it was applied, wear loose clean clothing to bed or lay a towel down so that you don’t leave tattoo imprints on your sheets!
Immediately after removing the bandage, wash the tattoo with mild soap and warm water until it feels and looks completely clean, and doesn’t feel slippery. Pat dry with a clean towel. You can apply a very thin coat of A&D ointment- just enough to moisten it without getting your clothes all greasy.
For the first three days, wash the tattoo three or four times a day, reapplying ointment after. By day four, switch to an unperfumed lotion such as lubriderm or aveeno, and reduce washing to once a day. By day five or six it will start to peel like a sunburn and possibly become itchy. Don’t pick at the tattoo, and don’t worry about the pigment in the skin peeling off- it’s not your tattoo falling off!
For the first 10 days, refrain from pools, hot tubs, ocean, rivers, or lakes, and avoid sun exposure. It may take up to three or four weeks for your skin to fully normalize, but basic healing is usually complete in 7-10 days. After that you can use sunscreen to protect your tattoo, and moisturize as needed.
The two most common avenues for infection of a new tattoo are dirty hands and dirty sheets- avoid both!
If you were given a Tegaderm bandage to apply the day after your tattoo, wash the tattoo well and let it dry completely without applying any ointment, then apply the tegaderm by peeling off the opaque backing, exposing the adhesive, and apply it to the tattoo. Pat it down and then crack and peel the top layer off, leaving you with only the thin flexible film on your skin. If it feels comfortable you can leave the tegaderm in place for 4-6 days before gently peeling it off. Your tattoo will look a little blurry through the bandaging film, this is normal! Every once in a while someone is sensitive to the adhesives- you generally will know very quickly, as the skin along the margins of the bandage may get red and itchy- in this case, remove the bandage and return to the original care instructions.
We take great care to provide you with an excellent tattoo in an extremely clean environment- it is your responsibility to heal it properly!
The Cliff’s Notes for tattoo care are:
keep it clean, keep it lightly moist, and don’t let the dog lick it.