A tattoo is one of the most dynamic symbols of self-expression ever created and it’s essential to rely on the expert guidance of your artists for proper aftercare. If you follow the directions outlined below, your tattoo should heal both quickly and properly. Our front counter assistant or myself are available and always happy to assist clients with any questions that arise, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Removal of Tattoo Wrap/Bandage
After the completion of your tattoo, the area will be cleaned and wrapped/bandaged. Our shop typically use Dri-Loc pads or Saniderm tattoo bandage.
You should leave the pad on your newly tattooed skin for 1 to 2 hours. The pad will not only protect the skin but absorb any excess ink or blood. After you remove the pad it should be thrown away, and the area cleaned gently, using your clean hands, with unscented antibacterial soap and warm water. Be sure the area feels like normal to ensure any excess ointment/fluids have been removed. Then softly pat dry with a clean towel and air dry before applying your aftercare ointment as outlined in the section caring for your tattoo, located lower on this page.
Saniderm Tattoo Bandage or Wrap
You can leave the Saniderm bandage on your new tattoo for 24 hours. Everyone heals differently and sometimes more fluid is produced than expected, which may effect the adhesive. If you notice excessive fluid under the patch beginning to leak from the bandage, then you will need to remove it and follow Dri-Loc aftercare instructions. If fluid is able to escape the bandage, then bacteria could be allowed to get in.
The best way to remove the bandage is in a warm shower; the warm water will help loosen the adhesive, find an edge and gently roll off the skin in the direction of your hair growth. Then clean your new tattoo with unscented antibacterial soap and warm water. Be sure the area feels like normal to ensure any excess ointment/fluids have been removed.
After cleaning, you can apply another patch, which will be left on the tattoo for 3-5 days or allow it to air dry and follow the cleaning instructions outlined below. Some tattoos may not require a re-bandage.
Caring for Your New Tattoo
It is essential your new tattoo is kept clean, allowed to breathe, and the skin kept slightly moisturized during the healing process. We have outlined the general instructions on caring for your tattoo.
Wash the tattooed area, 2-3 times a day, using an non-scented antibacterial soap with warm water; Dab or blot dry the skin gently.
For Dri-Loc - With clean hands, apply a small amount, creating a thin layer, of anti-bacterial ointment 2-3 times a day for 3 to 4 weeks. Any of the following will work: Hustlebutter, A&D, or Aquaphor (Do NOT use neosporin)
For Saniderm - moisturize the area thoroughly with quality non-scented lotion 2-3 times a day for 3-4 weeks. Brand is unimportant, but lubriderm is preferred standard
Do not swim, soak in a hot tub, take a bath or submerge under water for two weeks after getting your tattoo. Also, avoid direct exposure to sunlight and tanning.
Do not scratch your tattoo; It will itch during the healing process. This process can last up to two weeks. Usually this is an indication your tattoo needs moistening but lightly patting the skin can also bring some relief.
What to Expect After Your Tattoo
A tattoo is a scar at its essence and causes trauma to your body. Depending on the placement, the size, the individual’s hygiene, and their daily activities, actual healing time will be different for everyone. A tattoo is an open wound and because of this, they are susceptible to infections, it is vital to follow the aftercare instructions listed above to lower your risk of problems during the healing process.
You should expect your new tattoo to be red, irritated, swollen, and possibly bruised. These are normal reactions to the tattoo area. Usually, you can anticipate 1 to 3 days for red or irritated skin to subside. If swelling or bruising occurs, this could last for up to a week, especially if tattooed in a sensitive area. If symptoms persist or worsen please contact myself or a medical professional.
Scabbing is a result of the body’s healing process. Your tattoo may have some scabbing with either healing method. If you experience any scabbing, it is imperative that you do not pick at it. Let the scab fall off naturally. You will also want to make sure that you keep the area clean and moisturized as listed in the instructions listed above.
During the final stages of the healing process, typically 7 to 10 days, you can expect the skin to start to flake and peel. It is imperative that you do not pick or scratch at the area, this could remove ink from the tattoo and damage it. A light slap, preferable over clothed skin, will give you relief when itching occurs.
If during the healing process you experience bubbles forming on the surface, (not as common but can occur) stop applying any ointments, the moisture can get trapped and lead to possible scabbing; you want your tattoo to dry out. Make sure should wash the tattoo, pat dry it, and let it dry and peel on its own. Any scabs should fall off naturally and if no trauma occurred, such as from scratching, the ink should remain intact.
Even the best taken care of tattoos can experience small imperfections sometimes after the healing process. If a touch up on your tattoo is needed, our artists will complete it as long as you return within the first 90 days and the tattoo was properly cared for. If you are not in the area during this time frame, please contact me to explain your circumstance, and we may be able to extend that time period.
In the case of any complaint, question or concern regarding safety, sanitization or sterilization procedures call Henry County Health Department at (770) 288-6190