If you've finally taken the plunge to get that tattoo you've been thinking about getting for some time and sat in the chair for a few hours while your tattoo artist works his magic making your tattoo idea a reality, then you're going to want to take great care of your new ink to keep it looking fresh and colorful. See below for some care tips for your new body art after returning from your favorite tattoo parlor.
Hours After Getting Your Tattoo
Your tattoo artist will place a plastic covering over your tattoo. You should leave this plastic on your tattoo for at least 4 hours. Once those hours have passed, you can remove the plastic, but be sure to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water. Never touch your healing tattoo without washing your hands beforehand. Next, wash your tattooed area with a mild soap and water. Then pat the area dry with a clean cloth or a paper towel. Next, apply a thin layer of healing ointment. Use either Aquaphor or A+D Ointment.
Day 1 - 4
In the days after getting your tattoo, you'll need to clean the area every 2 - 4 hours, being sure to wash your hands thoroughly before cleaning the area. Then pat the tattoo dry and apply ointment after each washing.
Day 5 - 7
Your tattoo will begin scab and will become itchy. Do not pick any of the scabs, and avoid itching it. You shouldn't have to wash it as needed before, but you should still apply the ointment. The ointment will help keep the tattoo from drying out and may help prevent it from being too itchy.
Day 7 - 14
Avoid running the tattoo beneath running water, and continue using the ointment on your tattoo. Do not soak in a hot tub or take baths, and you should also avoid the sun and tanning beds. If your tattoo is still itchy, avoid scratching.
After two weeks, you can begin using lotion rather than the ointment if your tattoo looks dry or is feeling itchy. Be sure to use sunscreen on your tattoo when out in the sun, as the sun can fade your tattoo over time. Shaving the area where your tattoo is located will help keep the color as well. Also use lotion on the tattooed area throughout the life of the tattoo to help keep color. If your tattoo begins to fade, you can always go back and have color added back to your tattoo to bring the life back to your old tattoo.
You've taken the time to sit through the process of getting a tattoo. Be sure to take care of it properly to ensure it looks as awesome as the day you got it.