Your new tattoo will be bandaged. This should be removed after at least a hour, but no more than about three. It is very important that you protect your new tattoo from dirt, chemicals, germs, and basically anything else you would not want to get in an open wound….because your tattoo is an open wound. You should wait to remove the bandage until you are in a clean place and can properly treat it. First, and any time your going to touch your healing tattoo, wash your hands. Wet the tattoo with luke warm water, and wash it gently with your hands using a mild soap. The soap should be free, or as free as possible of alcohol, dye, and fragrance. Do not use body wash. Rinse the tattoo thoroughly, and pat it dry with a paper towel or clean lint free cloth. Then, allow the tattoo to air dry for about 15 minutes. One of the more common issues with healing a tattoo, it trapping too much moisture. If you do not allow the tattoo to dry before applying ointment, you will most likely trap residual moisture under the ointment.

Swimming, baths, and soaking your tattoo are all bad for a healing tattoo, as is exposure to the sun.

Next,(make sure your hands are still clean!!) you should apply either A&D ointment, Bacitracin, or h2Ocean. Use only enough ointment to make the tattoo slightly shiny, but not covered or smothered in it. Blot off any excess. After about 15 minutes, you may need to blot the tattoo again, as it will be leaking some fluids…and this will keep it from overly scabbing. Do not re-bandage your tattoo. I recommend washing, drying, and applying ointment three times a day, for the first few days until it starts to peel.

Depending on various factors, your tattoo will begin to peel like a bad sunburn after 3 days to a week. Once your tattoo begins to peal, you should still be washing your tattoo several times a day, but you should no longer apply ointment. To deal with the itching and to keep the tattoo from cracking, use a mild hand lotion. I like Aveeno.

Your tattoo is an open wound, and may be red, sore, and swollen during the healing process. It is also normal for it to leak some fluid(it may appear to be ink leaking). Keeping it clean is the most important part, followed by the right amount of moisture. Make sure your hands are clean whenever you touch it, and try to wear loose fitting comfortable clothes…that are not going to leave lint or fibers in your healing wound. Some people may be allergic to certain ointments, and should be aware prior to use. Some things to watch for include “bubbling”, excess “oozing” and break outs around the area of the tattoo. These can be signs of too much moisture(too much ointment or not letting the tattoo dry enough before applying). They can also be signs of reactions to the ointment, soap your using, or other irritants getting into the tattoo. If this occurs, stop applying ointment all together and simply keep the tattoo clean, letting it heal on its own. When in doubt, see your artist or your doctor.

Do not pick it. It itches, and that sucks, i know.

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