You’re tattoo has been completed and now the baton has been passed to you. The following are your tattoo aftercare instructions. The long and short of it is, is that it’s wound care. In the “avoid” sections, all these activities have been proven to disrupt healing and induce pigment loss. Acknowledging your tattoo aftercare also empowers you to schedule your body art wisely. I understand that every tattoo artist has their own sworn-by tattoo healing process. However, it is important that with my tattoos, particularly if it includes fine line that you follow my protocol.
Take off within 2 to 6 hours. Wash immediately.
Second Skin / sani-derm:
Leave on for a minimum of 3 days, upwards of 7+ days. The longer the better for as long as the bandage has not been compromised and bacteria cannot get into the tattoo. To remove your second skin, have a hot steamy shower, this well help prep the skin for removal. Take the bottom corner of the bandage, and stretch DOWN. You will see the bandage grip loosening. continue to hold the top of your bandage, while pulling and stretching the second skin in the downwards direction. Do not wax off, this can cause trauma to your skin / tattoo. If there is any adhesive residue, you can remove it with rubbing alcohol or olive oil.
Washing your tattoo (after bandage removal):
- Always use unscented hand soap with cool water.
- Always handle your tattoo with clean washed hands.
- Continue to wash 2 times per day until healed.
- Pat dry gently with paper towel and apply a thin layer of unscented moisturizer.
- Lotion may be applied a 1-2 times/ day.
- Moisturizer must be water-based unscented, alcohol-free, and light.
- Do not use anything oily, or emollient like Vaseline, or any natural oils (castor, coconut, etc). Oily or emollient moisturizers tend to loosen scabs prematurely, or be so thick it can suffocate your wound causing infection.
- Keep your applications methodical in order to hydrate but do not to keep constantly wet. Wetness breeds infection.
- Aloe Vera (sterile, unscented)
- Blood thinners or alcohol for the first 24 hours after.
- Scratching, peeling your tattoo as it heals.
- Sweating, stretching, pulling or overexerting tattooed skin.
- Tight clothing / friction over tattoo eg. bag handles sitting over tattoo.
3-4 weeks (till fully healed):
- Full water submersion + saunas hot tubs, pools, baths, wet or dry sauna).
- UV rays / Sunlight – UV dramatically fades pigment (especially fresh pigment) and healing skin is very prone to sun burn, causing – you guessed it pigment loss.
- Engaging in any activities that would expose your tattoo to any irritants, eg. dirt, dust or dander. Remember this is wound care.
Normal Healing Stages:
- It is normal for your tattoo to feel itchy, scabby, or flakey even while following the instructions.
- Do not pick, scratch or peel any scabbing. This is a quick way to pull pigment out.
- It is normal to see your tattoo grow bolder as scabs start to form, then after flaking it seem more subdued. You are growing new skin over your tattoo. Just keep hydrating and taking good care of your skin and it will become brighter when fully healed.
- If you experience continued prolonged redness, swelling, or signs of infection, this would be considered abnormal. In this case, please contact your healthcare provider.
Body art is a collaborative effort, and I thank you for trusting me on your body art journey. We work together in tandem from the implantation, to your wound care, and being intuitive with your body’s needs. If you have any other questions concerning your tattoo aftercare, please reach out. I’m hear for you every step of the way.