Recommendations for Tattoo Aftercare:

After receiving your new tattoo, it is your job to make sure it stays clean and uninfected. If you don't follow a few simple guidelines to take care of your new tattoo, including proper hygiene, self-control of your urge to pick and/or scratch at it, using the wrong lotions for it, or failing to protect it from the sun, it will negatively effect the outcome of your tattoo and by extension, your investment in it. Your artist may be able to save it if something happens, but the more effort you put into taking care of it, the better the ultimate result will be.

When you first get your tattoo the artist should bandage it, this bandage can really come off as soon as you are home and can start taking care of your new tattoo. Most artists ask that you leave that bandage on at least one hour. Different artists will use different bandaging materials some of these materials are more friendly than others. Remember removal of this bandage should only be done at your home. Never remove your bandage or take care of your tattoo in a public restroom. One of the only confirmed cases of Staph in a tattoo I have ever seen was another artist who removed and washed his fresh tattoo in a bathroom at the local VA hospital.

How you remove this bandage depends on what was used as well as how long it remained on. Everything but the cheapest gauze will mostly fall off within the first two to three hours. If your tattoo was bandaged with a paper towel this is fine and good practice. If this is the case and it has been on for an extended period of time, simply place the bandaged tattoo under a running faucet. As the bandage gets wet it will fall right off the tattoo without sticking. After you remove the bandage you'll want to wash your tattoo. This is best done with lukewarm water, bar soap and your hand only (do not use a washcloth). Antibacterial or antimicrobial soap is totally not necessary and actually works against the healing process of a fresh tattoo.

Some will tell you it is advisable to buy and use a product that has specifically been designed for the healing of a tattoo usually this will be something they sell. Here at Inksplosive we say hogwash many of these products are simply gimmicks to try to get a few more dollars out of your pocket as well as mine. Tattoos were healed for many years before, only in recent years since tattooing has become popular have such products become available.

For the first three or four days the tattoo should be washed every 4 hours or so, after cleaning, pat (don't rub) the tattoo dry with a clean paper towel and apply a LIGHT application of ointment or lotion. You CAN shower with your tattoo (avoid long showers and water directly beating on the tattoo), you'll also want to avoid bathing, swimming, and any prolonged activity that would submerge your tattoo in water for two to three weeks.

If you notice heavy scabbing simply do not pick it. Let it fall off on its own the artist should be able to fix anything damaged.

Most local artists will recommend A+D ointment to heal a tattoo some swear that Aquaphor is a better product claiming that petroleum is no good to heal a tattoo. Those that do have never read the active ingredient in Aquaphor is petrolatum as well. That or they selectively ignore the facts that do not fit their way of thinking. Honestly ask any number of artists their after care instructions and you'll get almost as many different ways to heal a tattoo. Realistically most of us recommend that which was recommended to us and that we have had the most success with.

I myself have had the most positive customer feedback come from those using A+D to heal a tattoo. Every ointment has a risk of being incompatible with someone's physiology always read the ingredients of any ointment recommended to heal a tattoo to see if you have any known allergies to any ingredients. Of course after washing and patting you tattoo dry something important that we just started telling people is let the tattoo air-dry for a minute or so. Making sure your hands are still clean you can apply a very small amount of ointment to your tattoo by massaging it in. should you run out of ointment during the application take some more from the tube using a clean finger that has not touched your fresh tattoo. You new tattoo should also be kept out of the sun and sun block used only once the tattoo has fully healed.

If you think something is wrong, contact your artist right away. While we can never take the place of a doctor, many times we can save you a trip to the doctor by finding the inconsistency in the aftercare and correcting it. Take proper care of your tattoo, follow your artist's advice, and it will survive many years and look great throughout them.