After You Get Inked
The Day After
- Remove your bandage. Make sure to wash your hands before getting rid of the covering. If the bandage is stuck to your skin, use lukewarm water to loosen the fabric and slowly remove.
- Wash the design. Use a mild soap and lukewarm water to thoroughly remove any ointment left on your new ink. In order to close the pores, do a final rinse with cold water. Give the area 10 to 15 minutes to air-dry before adding a moisturizer.
- Ice. If there is any soreness or swelling, apply ice to the area. First, let the cube melt a bit (so the edges are smooth). Then slowly rub it over the ink. You should only ice the area for a few minutes at a time to avoid frostbite.
- Moisturize. The tattoo might feel dry and tight as it heals. You want to moisturize the area with Aquaphor and Lubriderm. Make sure to wash your hands before applying any product to avoid an infection. You only want to put on a thin layer of lotion, so the area can breathe.
For Two Weeks After
- Wear loose-fitting clothes. You'll need to wear oversize clothing around the area to allow the tattoo to heal.
- Apply sunscreen. In addition to moisturizing your tat three to five times a day, you want to protect your new artwork from fading in sunlight. Apply an SPF 30+ sunscreen — or better yet, keep out of the direct sunlight. Do NOT go to the tanning bed while the ink is raw.
- Hands off. Some scabbing or peeling may occur, but never pick at the skin or scratch itchiness. Just like any open wound, a tattoo will evolve before it heals completely (which should take about 14 days).
Up to Six Months After
- Schedule an appointment for touch-ups. Once your ink has fully healed, your artist can go back in and fine-tune small details. This service should be free within a six-month period.