The method for care varies with each artist and tattoo, so you should ultimately follow your artist’s advice. Here's what we have found to help promote healing:
• Remove your bandage in 3-4 hours, using clean, washed hands.
• For the first 24 hours, re-bandage before sleeping or wearing clothing that will come in contact with the tattoo.
• After the first day, do not re-bandage unless absolutely necessary.
• Gently wash the area 2-4 times per day with a non-scented soap and pat dry.
• Do not apply any lotion or ointment until the tattoo has begun drying out, typically within a few days. Then apply an unscented lotion or ointment as needed to keep skin from getting overly-dry.
• Do not submerge you tattoo in water for an extended period if it is still healing!
• Do not use excessive ointment. A very thin layer will do.
• Do not scratch or pick at your tattoo, this could remove the top layer of skin before it is fully healed, taking the color with it.
• If you want the color of your tattoo to stay bright for as long as possible, make sure to always wear sunscreen to prevent fading.
What to expect
During the first 1-2 days it is normal to have some plasma seepage after removing the bandage. Gently wash it clean of any excess blood or plasma. Keeping the area bandaged while sleeping the first night will protect the tattoo and your sheets.
For the first 2-4 days, wear loose clothing and avoid letting your tattoo be in contact with fabric for an extended time.
Once the area begins feeling tight and dry, you may begin applying lotion or ointment. Avoid fragrances.
Within 1-2 weeks the top layer of skin will typically flake off. This can be a little or a lot, depending on the individual and the tattoo.
Your new tattooed skin will be slightly dry for the first few months. Moisturize often to keep it looking it’s best, and remember NO SCRATCHING!
Here is a helpful video with aftercare instructions when Saniderm or a similar product is used for healing.