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Please consider that everyone heals differently and each tattoo should be given the appropriate attention to aftercare every time. It should not be assumed that all heals will be the same even if you have previously been tattooed by other artists. The following aftercare is a general guide for the average heal. However, when necessary, you may be given other advice to coordinate with your specific tattoo's needs.
1. Cleaning your tattoo: Remove the bandage after four (4) hours, but no more than twelve (12). DO NOT remove the bandage until you can properly clean the tattoo with an antibacterial soap and warm water. Rinse it well with cold water, thoroughly cleaning off all of the slimy coating that may have formed over the tattooed area while underneath the plastic wrap. Gently pat it dry with a clean paper towel, then allow it to air-dry for ten (10) minutes.
2. Healing Ointment: Apply healing ointment to the tattoo. Sparingly, but thoroughly, massage a very small amount into the skin to keep the tattoo slightly moist, massage for about forty-five (45) seconds. Only use enough ointment to give the tattoo a slightly satin shine, and then blot with a clean paper towel. Your skin will take in all the ointment it needs, so do not leave excessive ointment on the skin. For the next three (3) to seven (7) days, clean and apply ointment to your tattoo every six (6) hours, (about 3-4 times daily), blotting off the small amount of excess fluid that may be secreted from the tattoo in between cleaning. Ensure that extra moisture doesn’t get trapped under the ointment by blotting and air-drying after every washing. Only apply ointment for as long as it takes for your tattoo to peel or become flakey, usually three (3) to seven (7) days. When the peeling begins, the tattooed skin will flake like a sunburn. AT ALL COSTS avoid picking at the cracked and flaking skin.
3. Final Stages: You are now in the peeling phase. DO NOT apply any more ointment. The area will become dry and itchy, sometimes very itchy. A good quality, fragrance-free lotion (Lubriderm for Sensitive Skin) can now be used three (3) to four (4) times daily instead of the ointment. Repeat each day until the skin returns to its normal texture.
If you feel a heavier lotion is required to prevent over drying in between application (physically dry to the touch and not just skin that feels tight), you may either apply additional Avocado Oil to the driest areas or switch up to a heavier lotion like Lubriderm for normal to dry, or dry Skin.
If any bumps or pimples appear in the area tattooed during this phase, you need to decrease lotion application times and switch down to a lighter or different lotion.
Scabs are the body’s natural way of protecting wounds while they are healing. However, it is very important to maintain the appropriate aftercare to prevent scabs from forming as they can prolong and complicate the healing process which can lead to uneven healing and even scarring.
The first signs that may lead to scabbing often are moisture bubbles that appear during the first few days of a new tattoo, which is usually caused by negligent cleaning or the over application of ointment. At the first sings of these, clean the tattoo thoroughly and allow to completely dry. Do not waterlog (soak) the tattoo. Only apply ointment sparingly to the areas of the tattoo that do not have bubbles, allowing the bubbles to dry on their own.
If scabs do form, once the tattoo is in the full peeling phase, sparingly apply lotion to the entire area making sure to thoroughly massage and not over apply or soak scabs with lotion. Any developed scabs should not be picked at or prematurely removed.