If your tattoo has been covered with Tagaderm/Saniderm or similar.
Tagaderm/Saniderm ( scroll down for non Tagaderm instructions)
* Leave the Tegaderm on for 3-5 days. If you are someone who sweats a lot notify your artist.
If your bandage is leaking, gently wipe away any leakage with a soft cloth or paper towel, as needed. If the Tegaderm does not stay secured and begins to slip, you may use medical tape to help keep it in place. If however the Tegaderm fails to stay in place to a point that your tattoo is exposed, the bandage must be removed at once. It is advisable that while wearing the Tegaderm you avoid wearing your favorite light colored clothing or sleeping on your favorite sheets, in case of leakage.
*Fluid accumulation under the Tegaderm is NORMAL, and should be expected. There may be a little, or a lot. it can look like a bubble. There is no need for concern if you see fluid, this is your own blood plasma and perhaps a bit of tattoo pigment, but it is working hard to re-build your skin so leave it alone!
*If you experience any swelling in the new tattoo, try to treat the body part as you would a sprained ankle. ICE, ELEVATION, and ADVIL. Lower extremities are particularly vulnerable to swelling. It’s usually nothing to be concerned about, but it is uncomfortable. If you experience swelling just rest and get your feet up a while.
*Avoid activities that will stress the Tegaderm bandage. For example, if the bandage is on your arm, avoid jogging, and other repetitive motion activities as much as possible for the 72 hour bandage period. Highly repetitive movements, especially if they induce perspiration, will cause the Tegaderm to come loose prematurely.
*For the duration of the 3-5 day period, avoid excessive water exposure. No hot tubs, baths or swimming. Avoid sweating- take a few days off from the gym.
*When it is time to remove the Tegaderm, the easiest way is to do it in the shower or bath, by allowing it to soak a while in warm water before attempting to peel it off. Have a friend help you peel it off if needed. Rub the edges of the bandage until you can get ahold of it, and GENTLY pull it free from the skin. Draw the bandage along the surface of the skin with one hand while supporting the skin behind the bandage with the other hand. Removing the Tegaderm may be just a bit painful, but with patience and gentleness it shouldn’t be too bad, or take too long.DO NOT PULL THE BANDAGE DIRECTLY AWAY FROM THE SKIN AS THIS MAY CAUSE UNDUE PAIN.
*Once the Tegaderm is removed, wash the tattoo thoroughly with warm soapy water. Use any mild soap (avoid heavy fragrances and never wash your raw tattoo with an exfoliating soap!) The trick to getting your tattoo clean is to wash it VERY gently, not just once, but as many times as needed to get it clean. Avoid using a lot of pressure while washing it as this may cause discomfort. Your tattoo isn’t clean until it no longer has any areas that feel “slippery” to the touch. This is what you will do from here on out 2-3 times a day until the skin has regenerated.
*once your tattoo is clean, rinse it one last time with cold water. This will help close the pores of your skin and help the tattoo to stop oozing.
*Dry the tattoo, either by air drying, or GENTLY pat the tattoo dry using a paper towel. (Avoid using a bath towel that you’ve been using for several days, as these may contain bacteria which could irritate your new tattoo).
*After using Tegaderm, you may use a Aquaphor, AD, or Coconut oil, or tattoo healing salve from a new container ( not the same used for cooking or any other application). Avoid over-moisturizing. Your tattoo should NEVER look shiny or feel greasy.
*Avoid clothing or activities that irritate your new tattoo for several days. This may include clothing that is tight, or has a coarse texture, such as denim waistbands and lace bra-straps.
*After use of Tegaderm it is normal for the tattoo to gently flake a bit on the fourth or fifth day. Never pick at or scratch your healing tattoo. Continue to moisturize and treat your new tattoo gently until the skin is fully recovered.
If your tattoo has been wrapped in plastic or soaker pads.
Always wash your hands before touching your tattoo
Throughout your day you put your hands on all kinds of things, door knobs, phones, computer keyboards, money, etc. none of these things are clean. All of these things carry deadly bacteria that you can easily transfer to your brand new tattoo by not washing your hands properly before touching it. Your new tattoo is a minor wound, and can act as a portal for bacteria and viruses.
Leave your tattoo bandaged for 2-4 hours.
You may leave your tattoo wrapped up for as long as 4hours if necessary until you get to a clean environment. Your tattoo needs some time to start the healing process. The bandage just helps protect the tattoo as it starts the initial healing. You want to wait until you get into a clean environment to unwrap it so you do not introduce any bacteria into your fresh tattoo. The bathroom at your favorite bar does not count as a “clean environment” You do not want leave it wrapped up for longer than 4 hours because the tattoo needs to breath and get fresh air start healing
Wash gently with Dial anti bacterial hand soap 3-5 times per day as needed the first few days until the plasma stops surfacing. Then continue to wash 2-3 times a day for the remainder of the healing
Washing it gets rid of the extra plasma that has accumulated under the bandage and cleans the area. You will continue to wash your tattoo daily- the washing helps prevent any external germs from setting in. It also allows the body to focus it’s energy on healing instead of fighting germs which results in a faster healing and better looking tattoo.
Apply a light amount of VITALITREE, A&D , or AUQUAPHOR on the tattoo. Do this 3-5 five times a day AS NEEDED until the tattoo stops producing plasma.
The body sends plasma to the surface to protect the skin and make a scab. For tattoo purposes we need to interupt that process. Washing it whenever the plasma surfaces helps the healing process and speeds up the tattoo healing. The ointment keeps the tattoo moist and prevents it from drying out and scabbing. If you allow the tattoo to dry out at this point it can start to build a heavier scab which can prolong the healing process can ultimately this will effect the overall final look of the tattoo. Some skin types absorb ointment more quickly than others, and require more frequent lotion application. Some people require less applications. when ever the tattoo feels dry, itchy, or the skin feels tight its probably a good time to moisturize. Frequent light coats are better than a few heavy ones, this allows the tattoo to breath while still remaining moist. Once the tattoo has started peeling you can switch to a non scented lotion if you feel the ointment is too thick.
Do Not go swimming
Do Not go hot tubing
Do Not expose to direct sunlight
Do Not pick at or scratch tattoo
Do Not wear invasive or tight clothing
Do Not take tattoo aftercare advice from anyone other than the artist that did your tattoo.
Submerging your new tattoo in anything is a bad idea. It can absorb fluid and over saturate the wound, complicating the healing and ultimately ruining the tattoo. All bodies of water contain bacteria, especially pools and hot tubs. It is OK and recommended that you wash your tattoo in the shower.
The Sun is the natural enemy of tattoos. Over exposure WILL lighten your tattoo. It is especially vulnerable the first few months after getting it.
Do not pick at scabs. It will complicate the healing and it WILL ruin your tattoo. If it itches just pat it lightly or apply a little cool water to the surface.
Depending on the location of your tattoo, your clothing may rub against it. This may cause trauma and can ruin your tattoo. Avoid tight fitting, bras, pants, shirts, jeans, etc.