What to Expect
- Your tattoo will take about 2 weeks to heal. It will be tender for the first few days. It can develop light scabs - that's OK. These will gradually flake off. Some discomfort and irritation is normal and shoulder subside within the first few days. A healing tattoo feels akin to a sunburn.
Leave the bandage on for at least 2 hours
Remove the bandage and do not re-bandage it. Wetting the bandage while removing it will help prevent it from sticking to your skin.
Wash your hands, then wash the tattoo firmly using mild soap and warm water. Rise the tattoo off and pat dry. You can use a wet paper towel to assist you, but don't scrub with a washcloth. Your hand is fine.
Pat the tattoo dry with a towel or paper towel. Let it air dry for a few minutes.
Apply a thin coat of Aquaphor or unscented lotion (Lubriderm, Aveeno, Jergens, etc.)
Wash your tattoo 2-3 times a daily for the first few days. Apply a thin later of unscented lotion (Lubriderm, Aveeno, Jergens, etc.) or Aquaphor 2-4 times daily with clean hands.
You may in addition to this routine fold 2-3 paper towels up and run them under warm water and squeeze out the excess water to make a compress to hold on your tattoo for a few minutes a day. It provides comfort and helps break up lingering blood plasma that forms scabs on your skin
Do's and Don'ts
You can shower as normal, but for the 2 week healing period, do not submerge or soak your tattoo in any way. No swimming, hot tubs, or saunas.
Do not expose your tattoo to direct sunlight for the 2 week period. Keep it covered with clothing. Once your tattoo is healed, you may go in the sun, but keep in mind the sun rapidly fades your tattoo. If you plan on being in the sun, use sunscreen to protect it. Don't use sunscreen for at least a month after getting a tattoo.
Do not pick at the tattoo. If you have them, let the scabs fall off naturally.