*REMOVE BANDAGE AFTER 1-2 HOURS.DON'T REBANDAGE.
*WASH TATTOO GENTLY WITH SOAP AND WARM WATER TO REMOVE ALL.
*DRY TATTOO BY BLOTTING WITH SOFT, DRY AND CLEAN TOWEL.
*A SLIGHT PROTECTIVE SCAB WILL FROM IN ABOUT 2-3 DAYS.(DON'T SCRATCH OR PICK AT TATTOO).
*HEALING WILL BE COMPLETE IN APPROXIMATELY 1-2 WEEKS.
*PROPER CARE DURING HEALING WILL INSURE DETAIL AND COLOR.
*USE ONLY RECOMMENDED OINTMENT,IT'S IMPORTANT TO USE ONLY A SMALL AMOUNT.(DON'T USE VASELINE).
*IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS CALL YOUR ARTIST.(DON'T RELY ON INFORMATION FROM ANYONE BUT A PROFESSIONAL ARTIST).
HERE IS THE MORE DETAILS
The healing of your tattoo is the final aspect of your art piece. The opinions and advice given are endless, and there are more experts out there than tattoos. Since we guarantee our work we ask you to follow our advice and not your buddy’s that has three tattoos. Just as with a psychiatrist, you’ll probably never get the same advice or instructions from different artists. But after many years of combined experience, you will find this information very beneficial in healing your Unique Ink tattoo.
A tattoo normally takes anywhere from 7 to 14 days to look fully healed, depending on the type, style, size and placement. The truth is that it can really take up to a month for a tattoo to be fully healed below the surface of the skin and for your body’s natural healing abilities to lock the ink in completely. Yes, all of these things can and will make a difference. There is no “idiot proof” method, but if you take the time to read the following, you will stand a much better chance of healing your tattoo without any problems to ensure that it looks as good as possible.
When your tattoo artist finishes your tattoo they will clean off your tattoo with some green soap, water, and maybe even a little witch hazel prior to taking a picture for you. Then they should apply a very thin coat of A+D® Ointment or some type of clear anti-bacteria ointment. Then they will bandage you, hopefully with a sterile absorbing pad.
A word of caution: If you see the shop using paper towels, Scotch tape, or masking tape in the bandaging process, RUN!!!!
Sometimes your tattoo can be in a difficult spot or too large to use a standard bandage, so clear plastic film is used. There are some pros and cons to this practice.
If plastic wrap is used, remove it ASAP, meaning that you really don’t want to go over a couple of hours with it on. Your bandage will be held in place using medical tape. If you are a person that has allergies to the adhesives make sure that you let your tattoo artist know or bring your own tape.
A+D® Ointment: is what most tattoo artists will use during the tattoo process. Many ladies will tell you that it is used quite often for diaper rash, so it is an excellent product to start with. It starts the healing of your tattoo, it also works as a lubricant for the tattooist while working on you but it can have some side effects. One thing is that it is very thick and needs to be rubbed all the way in. If you are getting a large tattoo and you use it for an extended period of time, it can produce an adverse reaction from overdosing due to the skin absorbing too much of the active ingredients. The skin can break out in a rash or get pimply. If this happens, stop immediately!! If you use A+D® Ointment, we would recommend only using it to start the healing process for 1 to 2 days and then at that point switching to a non-medicated, non-scented lotion.
The answers are wide and varied. Almost everyone wants to take it off to show your friends right away, but this is a bad idea. Resist the temptation and wait. Your tattoo will continue to seep bodily fluids for an hour or two depending on the size and location. This time period is critical and it needs to be protected. So, how long? 2 to 4 hours is the most common answer, but it’s not uncommon to hear 6 or 8 hours but never go over 8. If an artist tells you 2 weeks, that is only so they have time to get out of town before you see the mess on your arm!!!
After the 2 to 4 hours, it’s time to remove the bandage and show all of your friends and loved ones the new art that you have collected. Well, you might want to clean it off first. The only thing that you want to use is a non-scented liquid anti-bacterial soap!! (What we recommend is the clear liquid anti-bacterial Dial.) When washing, you want to make sure that you are only using your clean hand to do the washing, and no scrubbing with anything. You want to make sure that you get all of the dried fluids and any ointment that is left. If you have to use a soft washcloth, make sure that you just pat it and do not scrub. If you are washing in the shower, make sure that you are using luke warm water and not hot. DO NOT let the water beat on your new tattoo, let the water hit above it and run off for a short period of time. The idea is to get in and get out. NO soaking in the tub as well!
A cautionary note: Hot water will not feel very nice, and heat and/or steam will open the pores and can leach out some of the coloring of your tattoo and cause an un-even or blotchy end product. It can also make it much easier for germs to get into your skin. Many artists actually recommend at the end of showering or washing that you use cold water or dripping cold compress on the tattoo for a minute or so to close the pores as much as possible thus effectively sealing it.
If you have left your bandage on too long or the tattooist used an improper bandage and it is stuck to your skin, DO NOT pull it off. Get in the shower and soak it off with cool or lukewarm water. Doing this will minimize any damage to the skin and the tattoo itself.
Once the washing is complete, use a soft clean towel to gently pat the tattoo dry. Now it’s time to show off your masterpiece. Allow your tattoo to remain dry for awhile exposed to the air. This will help the healing process.
An additional word of advice: Don’t go leaning on things with your new tattoo. Many folks are out for an evening of fun, but restaurants, bars, tables and walls are all full of dangers! Your new tattoo shouldn’t come into contact with anything.
Again, here is one of those times that there are a thousand recommendations. Don’t take the advice of your buddy who knows everything and has three tattoos. At the same time there are many supposedly professional tattoo artists who don’t know their machine from a jackhammer and will have their clients doing all kinds of crazy things like using Preparation H. I even heard of one telling a client to but rubbing alcohol on their tattoo and nothing else.
There are lots of commercialized tattoo healing products, for example Tattoo Goo, Black Cat, Inkeeze, H2Ocean, Inkfix and many many more. The one thing that they have in common is they tell tattoo shops to “Push these products and pay your rent.” Not that they are the best thing for a tattoo, or better yet, they will tell you that they are the best thing since sliced bread!!!
We recommend two products only during the healing process: Plain unscented Lubriderm lotion and/or Aquaphor. These two products have been time-tested and proven over years of experience and history itself!! Aquaphor is a little bit of a thicker product and a little more expensive, but it’s more than worth it and will heal your tattoo much faster. The one thing that you need to make sure of, is that you rub it all the way in, like you were putting suntan lotion on. I have personally healed a 7 hour solid color tattoo in one week using the Aquaphor. I can also tell you that you would be hard pressed to find a reputable tattooist that would disagree with these two products.
On the other side of the coin, you will hear of all kinds of other products to use like Neosporin, Curel, Cocoa Butter, Noxzema, Bacitracin…. the list goes on and on. While some of these products will work, many have special considerations and potential problems. The other thing is that, if you start giving people too many options then they might think that it is ok to use something close and end up using something wrong and thus causing some sort of problem for their tattoo.
A word of caution about Neosporin: many will recommend this for the healing of tattoos and it sound like a good idea. The problem is that it may do too well of a job! I have seen lots of tattoos that were healed with Neosporin and they had lots of color loss or light spots, not all of the time, but way too often. The thing is that Neosporin has a lot of zinc in it and it also contains petrolatum which promotes the healing too fast and it helps pull the ink particles out of your skin instead of allowing your body to lock in the ink at the cellular level.
It is simple…. Lubriderm or Aquaphor. THAT IS IT!!!!!! We guarantee our work, but if you use something other than these two products, then you use it at your own risk and void our guarantee.
Let me remind you here that basically you have an open wound, and while it’s a good-looking wound, it’s still a wound and you need to treat it as such. First, wash your hands before applying lotion!! Think of all of the things that you have touched and who and what has touched that object. Kids and animals are HOTBEDS for germs, disease and bacteria. It’s very easy to transfer some serious bug from a handle, switch, etc. to your nice new tattoo. (Which, don’t forget, is a nice open wound with direct access to your blood supply.)
All that you are trying to do is to moisturize your skin and keep it clean. Take a small amount of Lubriderm or Aquaphor and gently rub it all of the way in. Your tattoo should have a slight sheen to it, meaning a very thin coat!! Do Not cake or gob it on!! Your tattoo and skin need to breath to heal properly and quickly. You should reapply 3-5 times daily depending on the size, location and condition of your skin. If it looks dried out, then put a small amount on. REMEMBER… More is not better!
One exception to the Rule: In certain areas, like joints, (backside of the knee, the bend of your arm at your elbow) anywhere the skin is very thick or stretchy, it can be tough to heal. Your body is trying to form a scab and you are constantly bending that area and the tattoo/scab keeps cracking. At those points you are probably better off using more lotion and keeping it slightly more moisturized from the lotion or ointment.
The first week of taking care of your tattoo is the most important, especially the first 2 to 3 days. You now know what to put on it, but there are a few other things that you can do to ensure that your new tattoo looks great for many years to come.