Taking care of your tattoo after it leaves the shop is just as important as getting the tattoo itself. Most tattoos take about 4-7 days to start the flaking process and 14-21 days to fully heal. Even after your tattoo heals, it may have a waxy appearance that usually subsides within a couple months.
Leave the bandage on for 30minutes-1hour or until you can get to a sterile environment. Remove the bandage and immediately wash with a non-scented antibacterial soap using clean fingertips and lukewarm water. Massage the soap into the tattoo and rinse well, making sure that the tattoo is free of the slimy plasma coating. (the first couple days you will have excessive plasma leakage, this is normal). After you rinse thoroughly, pat dry with a paper towel or air-dry and apply a VERY THIN layer of vitamin a & d ointment or Aquaphor. You want it moisturized but not smothered. Repeat this process for 2-4x a day for the first 4 days.
After 4 days, just wash 1-2x a day and apply a thin layer of a non-scented lotion such as Lubriderm or Aveeno as needed.
When showering- make sure the tattoo is the last thing you wash before getting out and be mindful to not use your bath towel on it.
When sleeping- Wear a clean cotton garment that covers the tattoo, making sure to wash and moisturize right before bed. if you have pets that sleep with you, make sure you have clean sheets and keep the pets out of the bed while the tattoo heals
During the healing process DO NOT submerge in water (showers are fine). NO picking, scratching, or touching without clean hands. NO sun-tanning. Even after the tattoo is healed, sunblock is greatly encouraged as it’ll keep it looking nice for years to come.
If you experience any excessive redness, fevering, drainage, or anything out of the ordinary (besides your initial redness, heat, plasma drainage within the first couple days) contact a physician.