Your design was tattooed under strict sanitary conditions so keep it clean and follow the instructions below:
1. You must keep the bandage over the tattoo for 8 to 10 hours. That gives your body time to form a protective layer of skin over the tattoo. This is very important! If your tattoo was done in the evening, leave the bandage on overnight. Not only will this protect your tattoo, but it will keep your sheets and nightclothes free of ink stains. If you received your tattoo early in the day, you can remove the bandage before you go to bed, but no earlier. You'll have plenty of time to show it off -- it'll be there for the rest of your life.
2. Once the bandage has been removed, gently wash the tattoo in warm water with mild soap (I use Dial anti-bacterial soap). Don't let the steady stream of the shower hit it. Be sure and cleanse your tattoo after washing your hair and the rest of your body. If you use a washcloth be very gentle. Be careful that your fingernails don‘t scratch your fresh tattoo.
3. Do not re-bandage the tattoo unless it is becoming irritated by clothing. If you work in dirty conditions (e.g. around dirt or sand) you may want to bandage it if it's not already covered (loosely) with clothing. (If your tattoo is on your arm you can take a clean sock with the toe cut out and pull that over it) Otherwise, just try your best to avoid dirt and grime until it heals.
4. Apply a very thin coat of antibiotic cream 3 times daily for 3 days. (I use Neosporin-Plus) You should rub the cream in completely so that there is no apparent gloss. After three days, antibiotic cream is no longer necessary, you should switch to a moisturizing lotion at this time.
5. Do not soak tattoo in water for the first two weeks. Showers are fine, but soaking in a hot tub, pool, or bath will expose the fresh tattoo to too much moisture. This will possibly fade or cause light spots in your tattoo, and make your tattooist angry for having to retouch it.
6. Do not expose your new tattoo to the sun until it is completely healed. If you are in the sun after the tattoo heals, use sun block (40 SPF at least) and reapply it often. It's best to simply prevent direct sunlight by wearing clothing over it, staying inside or in the shade--the more direct sun exposure, the worse the tattoo will look as it ages. Always using a strong sun block is a good idea because the lighter your skin is the better your tattoo will stand out.
7. Use lotion as needed when dryness occurs. An unscented, basic lotion is recommended. (I use Eucerin ) Lotions with Vitamin E, Cocoa Butter, and Aloe Vera are not basic. Do not use A & D Ointment or Vaseline, they are greasy, make dirt stick to it, keep air from getting to it, and slow the healing process. Do not scratch the tattoo! It will lightly peel, and most probably itch, but don't pick at it … Apply lotion, rub it in and leave it alone.
8. Beware of your friends that have no tattoos and suddenly become tattoo experts…If you have any worries, questions, or concerns about your tattoo, or the products you are using on your tattoo, please call us. We are happy to help our customers with any aftercare procedures they are concerned with. Other studios may have different aftercare. Trust your aftercare with the person you trusted your tattoo with. Our aftercare procedures are what we recommend because we have seen it work for 30 years !!
Don't pick at it or you'll JACK it up!
Thank you--Wild Bill's Tattoo (916.783.9090)