Your new tattoo has been bandaged, and this bandage should be removed after 2 to 3 hours. It is very important that your new tattoo be protected from the sun and dirty environments, as it is a rather large open wound at this time. You should wait to remove the bandage until you can properly clean it with liquid Dial antibacterial soap and warm water. Rinse it well, and pat it dry, then allow it to air-dry for 5-10 minutes before applying ointment. You should apply either Aquaphor, bacitracin, or a tattoo specific aftercare product that you may have purchased from our shop regularly throughout the day, massaging a very small amount into the skin to keep the tattoo slightly moist, but NOT smothered. Use just enough ointment to make the tattoo slightly shiny, and blot off any excess. For the first day or two, your tattoo will require more cleaning, as it will still be losing a bit more fluid than is normal. You want to make sure that the tattoo stays clean and that extra moisture doesn't get trapped under the ointment (hence the air-drying). The healing tattoo should never stay submerged in water either. This means that short showers are fine, but any kind of baths or swimming is not. We recommend washing your tattoo a couple times throughout the day, using only mild soap, and rinsing and drying well. Frequency of cleaning depends on your lifestyle, use your best judgment, but don't overdo it.
You should only apply ointment for as many days as it takes for your tattoo to peel, which will be anywhere from three days to 1 week, depending on your body, your general health, and the area of skin that was tattooed. When the peeling begins, the tattooed skin will flake like sunburn; just let this happen on its own, and DO NOT PICK AT YOUR TATTOO. When the tattoo has fully entered the peeling phase you should NOT apply any more ointment. The area will become dry and itchy, at which point you should begin using original, FRAGRANCE-FREE LUBRIDERM hand lotion.
The following are some problems to look out for with this method. If any "bubbling" of your tattoo occurs, you should stop applying ointment and just let it start to peel on its own. This bubbling is caused from moisture (usually too much ointment!) getting trapped in your tattoo, and could lead to scabbing. If scabs develop, they can remove the color beneath them. It is very important that they are allowed to dry out completely, and not at any time get waterlogged. The scab will eventually fall off on its own, and your tattoo should be fine if there weren't any deep cracks in it. Also, some people develop a small allergic reaction to the antibiotic agent in bacitracin, which shows up as a red rash around the tattoo and disappears once the ointment is no longer used. A small percentage of people may develop a more serious reaction, and may require medical attention, so we suggest the use of A&D or a specially formulated product like Tattoo Goo or H2Ocean.
***IMPORTANT NOTE: If you have pets, take extra precaution not to let them lick or rub against your new tattoo, as it is ostensibly an open wound. Pet dander and hair harbor large quantities of bacteria that should not come in contact with your tattoo. If your pet or pets sleep in your bed, make sure you change or wash your bed sheets beforehand, and do not let your pets sleep with you while your tattoo is still in the healing process. Use common sense to keep your tattoo clean and protected from potential sources of infection.