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AFTERCARE SUGGESTIONS FOR YOUR NEW TATTOO
These aftercare suggestions are based on years of professional experience, common sense, worldwide research, and extensive clinical practice. This is not to be considered a substitute for medical advice from a doctor. If you are considering a tattoo and suffer from any serious medical condition, please consult your physician prior to having work done. What we suggest you do, is how we heal our tattoos...
A new tattoo is an open wound and is most vulnerable to infection the first few days. Protect it like you would a child. Keep it out of direct sunlight, don't let animals crawl all over it, don't submerge it in a pool of water, and don't allow it to go for days without being washed!
It's important that you gently wash the tattooed area several times a day with warm water and a gentle soap that doesn't have colors or fragrances. Use just your hands and fingertips only. Washcloths and body scrubbers can damage a tattoo.
After thoroughly washing the entire area, rinse it completely with much cooler water to help close the pores and seal the tattoo. Gently dab the area completely dry with a paper towel. Cloth or bath towels should not be used as they may have bacteria and leave lint or other debris.
A new tattoo will ooze and may bleed a little, this is normal...the more into the healing, the less the ooze. This is bodily fluids such as lymph and plasma working to heal and seal the area. If left to dry out on the surface of a new tattoo, a thick scab will form and this could have devastating consequences for the end result of the tattoo.
Thoroughly apply a small amount of either Aquaphor or Vitamins A+D ointment to the tattooed area. This will seal, moisten, protect and speed the healing process. DO NOT use products like Neosporin, Bacitracin, Polysporin or any other antibiotic/antibacterial product on a fresh tattoo. *Their active ingredients can weaken your immune system in addition to promoting the development of ultraresistant strains of bacteria.
In a few days the tattoo will begin to flake and peel like a sunburn. Normally it takes several washes before the flaking goes away. Be patient and be sure not to pick or pull any flakes off of your tattoo as this may rip out ink. A thin layer of new skin has grown over most of the ink in the tattoo. The remaining ink and biowaste flake away leaving shiny and scaly new skin. This can be really freaky for someone who's never healed a tattoo before!
Now your tattoo is sealed and mostly healed! The hard part is definitely over! At this point it's time to rebuild your skin to it's original strength. Wash the area several times a day to keep the area clean and fresh. Instead of using an ointment, now begin applying a lotion (fragrance and color-free is best!) to the entire area. Products like Eucerin, Aveeno, Cetaphil and other similar items are excellent. Continue to lotion your tattoo after washing for the next couple of weeks and your all finished!
How often you wash your tattoo depends on how active you are, the climate and other factors. Generally 2-5 times a day the first several days and a couple times a day for the following couple of weeks.
To keep your tattoo looking bright and vibrant for years to come, keep it out of the sun! Prolonged exposure to direct sunlight will ruin tattoos. A high SPF sunscreen may help reduce the effects.
While in the initial healing stages it's crucial that a tattoo is able to breathe. Do not re-bandage your tattoo after the initial bandage. Loose cotton clothing is typically suitable to cover an area when sleeping or working or protecting a tattoo from the sun, for example.
While washing is OK (I insist), be sure not to fully submerge your tattoo into bodies of water such as pools, hot tubs, lakes, puddles, etc.
Please call us if you have any questions. We'd rather take the time to give you the advice twice than have you consult some clueless fool on the street who once got a tattoo out of a garage!