Once you’ve gotten a permanent tattoo, the hardest part is over, but your work isn’t done. Pay careful attention to help the healing process and protect the newly acquired tattoo’s color and shape. It’s just as important to take good care of the tattooed area as it is to treat any other skin wound. Keep the bandage on the tattoo for at least 15 mins after the work is complete (possibly longer, depending on the tattoo artist’s instructions).
- Remove the bandage very carefully and leave it off. This allows your skin to breathe and begin the healing process.
- Wash tattoo with your hand (make sure hand is clean) using warm, soapy water. Rinse with cold water. Don’t over soak your tattoo. Keep out of the direct spray of the shower. Pat dry, DO NOT rub with towel.
- Use mild soap (Dettol/Savlon) to lightly rinse the tattoo. Lightly pat it dry with a washcloth, taking care not to rub it.
- Dab an over-the-counter mild antibiotic cream on the cleaned area. (not too much, just a light film).
- Continue to lightly apply antibiotic cream to your tattooed skin for about a week, then switch to plain skin lotion to keep it moist throughout the day.
- Expose your healing skin to air as much as possible without soaking in the sun.
- Tattoo will flake. DO NOT pick at the flakes or you may pull the color out. Try not to let clothing rub on your tattoo while it is healing.
- Avoid getting a lot of water on your new tattoo – showers are OK, but no swimming for a few weeks.
Tips: Resist scratching the skin or picking at scabs, no matter how much it itches. Wear clean, loose and comfortable clothing over the tattooed area. Your skin should heal in about two weeks. Apply sunblock to your tattoo after it has healed, to help prevent burns and fading.