Remove the bandage after one hour, two maximum.
All wounds need to breathe if they are to heal properly.
Wash the tattoo using your fingertips or hand only.
Use a mild antibacterial soap and warm water.
Take care to remove all traces of blood as this will cause scabbing.
Do not scrub the tattoo with a washcloth during the two week healing period.
Always gently pat the tattoo dry with a clean soft cloth or just let it air dry.
Apply a thin coat of ointment to the tattoo.
Aquaphor, A&D Ointment and Tattoo Goo and Tat2 Butter are all very good.
(Just enough to make it shine, a little goes a long way…) Work it in well.
Dab off all the excess with a paper towel. You should barely be able to tell that it’s there… This is just enough to keep the tattoo moist and to keep it from scabbing. Your body heat will liquefy the ointment and it may become glossy looking or runny. This means there’s too much on there. Dab more off. Too much ointment will only suffocate the tattoo and liquefy any scabs that may have formed causing the ink to fall out and look blotchy. There is no need to re-bandage the tattoo.
Ointment can be applied whenever the tattoo is feeling stiff or dry but beware of over-moisturizing. Your body will absorb what it needs where it needs it. Apply ointment 2-3 times for the first 4 days, then switch to a regular NON SCENTED moisturizer like Aveeno, Eucerin, Keri, Lubriderm, Curel, Jergens, or Vaseline Intensive care. Apply moisturizer twice a day for the remainder of two weeks. Do not use lotions that contain color, fragrance, or sparkles until the healing is complete. (Usually anywhere from ten days to two weeks; Possibly longer for slower healers.)
Your skin will form a protective layer no matter what you do. If you do not keep it moist or if you keep it too moist (it’s a personal balance, different for each individual), it will form a thick, hard scab that may crack when you move. When you form this kind of a scab the ink sits within it and slowly heals into the skin. When the tattoo is kept moist it doesn’t have a chance to form a scab but does form a thin membrane to protect the tattoo while it heals. This layer peels off very similar to a sunburn (do not peel your tattoo, you will pull the ink out!) and it is perfectly normal to see small flakes of colored skin falling off during this stage of healing.
You must keep your tattoo clean; however, long showers or baths must be avoided for 2 weeks. Prolonged soaking can and will loosen scabs if any have formed, or will soak through the soft tissue turning it into a soggy mess and cause your ink to flow down the drain. This includes Swimming in the Ocean or a Pool, Hot Tubs, and Saunas. At the first signs of infection contact a physician or dentist immediately.