The care of your new tattoo during the first few days will determine its appearance in the future.
If your tattoo is bandaged with Tegaderm, you should keep the bandage on for 4 days. During this time, it is normal to see some fluid build up beneath the bandage. (If the bandage begins to leak, you must remove the bandage and follow the standard aftercare instructions listed below.) After 4 days, remove the Tegaderm bandage gently under warm running water. Wash the tattoo with a mild, fragrance-free soap. At this point, your tattoo should be well into the healing process - you may use an unscented, non-greasy lotion (like Cetaphil or Lubriderm) to keep the tattoo moisturized.
Leave bandage on for 2-3 hours or as instructed by your artist.
Wash your hands well with soap before touching your new tattoo.
After the bandage is removed, wash your tattoo with warm water and a mild, fragrance-free soap. Remove all existing A&D, blood, and lymph with your fingertips gently. Excess lymph will cause scabbing, and you want to minimize this as much as possible. Do not use anything abrasive to clean your new tattoo.
Rinse and pat dry with a disposable paper towel.
Wash tattoo twice a day until the tattoo is completely healed. Do not over-wash. Regular showering is fine. Do not submerge the tattoo for an extended amount of time until it has healed - this includes baths and swimming.
Over the next few days the tattoo will become flaky, dry and tight. Use a fragrance-free, non-greasy lotion 1-2 times a day sparingly. Rub lotion in until it is fully absorbed into your skin. Do not over- moisturize. If a scab forms, it will be the color of the ink used. This does not mean the ink is going to fall out. Leave the scabs and let them fall out naturally. Do not pick or scratch the area. The tattoo may appear dull until it has completely healed - this is normal and will go away after a few weeks. Wear loose clothing over the area.
Soaps To Use:
Mild, fragrance-free soap: Dial, Dove Lever 2000, Neutrogena
Lotions To Use:
Non-greasy, fragrance-free, dye-free moisturizing lotions: Cetaphil, Lubriderm, Aveeno, Keri Optional: Aquaphor for the first few days, sparingly. Should never look shiny - rub it in very well.
use anything on the tattoo other than what is previously recommended.
pick, peel or scratch your new tattoo
under any circumstance use rubbing alcohol, peroxide, or cortisone on your tattoo.
use sponges, washcloths, or anything abrasive while cleaning your tattoo. They harbor bacteria and may irritate or harm your tattoo.
let anyone touch your tattoo.
go in a lake, tub, pool, etc. These all contain bacteria.
expose your new tattoo to direct sunlight. This includes tanning beds. A high SPF sunscreen will protect the crispness/longevity of your tattoo in the future.
Enjoy your new tattoo! If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact your artist.
The employees at Black Oak Tattoo are not physicians. If you have any concerns or signs of infections, please consult with your physician immediately.