Instructions for Tattoo Aftercare
Once your tattoo is complete, the artist will apply ointment and cover it with gauze before you leave the shop. This is done because the tattoo is fresh and may bleed or leak fluid. Gauze is used because the tattoo needs to breathe, but should not be worn longer than two hours. Remember that blood and other fluids from your tattoo can cause it to stick. When removing the gauze, be sure to moisten it first and remove gently to avoid damaging color in the area. Once the gauze is removed, be sure to clean the area with warm water. Do not scrub, wipe or spray with high pressure, instead just pour the water and let it run over the area. Once it is clean, use a soft cloth to pat the area dry.
Once your tattoo is dry let it breathe for a few minutes then apply ointment. The best types of ointment to use are of the antibacterial varieties. Things like Neosporin and Bacitracin ointment work best. Make sure that the ointment you use id free from any dyes or perfumes that can cause your tattoo to become damaged of faded. Do not use too much ointment. Only a thin layer is needed to help keep it protected and disinfected. Too much ointment can prevent your tattoo from breathing and healing correctly. After about 5 days it is important to keep the tattoo moisturized with a good lotion. Lubriderm or other lotions that are free from chemicals and fragrances work best for this.
Clothing to Wear
If you want your tattoo to look great and heal right, it is important to pay attention to the types of clothes you wear. Avoid wearing tight clothes that can rub against your tattoo and damage the skin as it heals. Instead wear loose clothes that do not irritate the new tattoo. If you wear new clothes, they should be washed first because they contain chemicals and dyes that could irritate the skin. Whenever at home, consider wearing clothes that do not touch the area of the tattoo if possible. This will allow it to breathe and promotes the healing process.
Avoid Sun and Water
During the first 4 weeks after getting your tattoo it is important to keep it out of direct sunlight as much as possible. This can cause the color in your tattoo to fade and give it a washed out look. The skin is also very sensitive and can become sun burnt much easier than other areas of the body. This can be detrimental to your tattoo. Avoiding the sun also means avoiding the tanning bed. These concentrated UV rays can have just as much damaging effect as the sun. You will also want to avoid swimming. Your tattoo can also fade id it is exposed to water for a long period of time. This includes allowing the shower to spray directly on your tattoo.