Tattoos are an investment in yourself. Protect your investment. Drink plenty of water. Take your vitamins. Eat good food. Get plenty of sleep. Healthy bodies heal better and faster. The better you take care of yourself in general the better your tattoos will heal and hold up over time. After care for tattoos is mostly common sense. Usually the less you fuss with a healing tattoo the better. Avoid direct sunlight, soaking it in water, scratching, peeling, picking, and harsh chemicals.
- Get plenty of sleep the night before and avoid excessive alcohol consumption and sun exposure.
- Eat a good meal shortly before your appointment
- Wear appropriate clothing: comfortable and easy to adjust for access to the area being tattooed. For example tank tops for work on arms, halter tops for shoulders and upper backs, shorts for legs, loose skirts or pants for lower back work, etc…
- Bring bottled water or some other beverage to drink, and a snack for longer appointments.
- Leave your bandage on for at least 6 hours after the tattoo is completed. It is generally advised that you not leave a bandage on for more than 24 hours.
- When you remove your bandage, wash your hands thoroughly with antibactirial soap and then gently rinse your new tattoo with cool water and mild soap then carefully pat it dry with a clean paper towel.
- Apply a small dab of a lotion such as Eucerin, Lubriderm or Curell. (Please do not use Bacitracin ointment as it has been known to cause ink loss and/or skin reactions.) Do this twice a day. In 2-3 days it will begin to peel like a sunburn; continue using lotion for two weeks.
- Leave your tattoo exposed to the air. Avoid tight binding clothing and fuzzy sweaters or fabric with any texture that could irritate a fresh tattoo. Do not wear clothing that has been dry cleaned as the chemicals can cause strong reactions.
- For the first week or so, your tattoo may look somewhat faded and flaky. It may also become rather itchy as the skin undergoes its healing process. Do not scratch. Do not peel loose skin. Do not pick any scabs. Instead gently apply a moderate amount of lotion.
- Do not soak your tattoo in water for at least two weeks. Avoid hot tubs and chlorinated swimming pools for at least two weeks. Showering is fine however, and your family and friends will appreciate it.
- Keep your tattoo out of direct sunlight for the rest of your life. ALWAYS apply sunblock to your tattoos whenever you will be exposed to the sun. When you go outside, try to keep your tattoos covered, and please still avoid prolonged exposure to the sun.