The overall healing of one's tattoo depends on many factors. What works for some may not be as successful for others. May these care instructions and tips serve as a guidelines to insure that your tattoo heals correctly and with out issue. Some aftercare may differ amongst artists. It is always our recommendation to refer to the artist or studio that has done your tattoo with any and all questions and/or concerns regarding your tattoo.
Basic Tattoo Care
After the completion of your tattoo your artist will apply a layer of petroleum jelly and bandage. This will act as a barrier and will keep your tattoo from airborne bacteria which can penetrate through broken skin.
Always care for your tattoo with clean hands!
We generally recommend only leaving the bandage on 1 to 4 hours. When taking off bandage to clean there is a chance the bandage might stick to the fresh tatoo. DO NOT RIP OFF. Merely run warm water over the bandage till it falls off on its own.
Using mild antibacterial soap, preferabley one with no heavy dyes and/ or scents, lather up and with the tips of your fingers wash remaining petroleum jelly off. Be sure not to use wash rags loofahs or anything else abrasive besides fingertips or hands to clean tattoo. Doing so may upset the tattoo causing unnecessary pain and could affect the healing process as well. Once clean pat dry with a clean wash rag or paper towel.
After patting dry tattoo lay a hot rag over it for ten seconds then follow up with a cold rag for ten seconds. Note: Make sure rag is not too hot to burn oneself but get it uncomfortably hot and have the other rag soaking in a clean container of ice water. Most important is to be sure rags are clean!
In doing this process it will open up the pores allowing for teh pigment to soak in the skin and then it seals them shut. In our experience this tends to heal the tattoo better and quicker and with less scabbing.
After the hot and cold rag let tattoo air dry for 30 minutes.
Once tattoo is dry you may apply a light layer of fragrance/dye free lotion and continue to do so 3 to 4 times a day for about 3 to 4 weeks.
Some artists may direct you to use an ointment such as Aquaphor, Vitamin A&D ointment, etc. These can be used as well. It is our recommendation to only use such ointments, balms, salves, etc. for maximum of 3 days in very light coats. Then proceed to use a fragrance/dye free loation for the remaining healing time of the tattoo.
Wheather lotion, ointment, balm, etc. be sure to use light coats to prevent suffocating the tattoo. In order for a tatto to heal properly it needs to be able to breathe.
There is always a chance some individuals may develop reactions to the loation, ointment, balm, etc. that they are using. The development of little bumps or pimples in or around the tattoo area is a result of this. Overuse of lotions, ointments, balms, etc. can also produce the same result. This problem is not serious in nature; simply switch to an laternative lotion, ointment, balm, et. and/or consult your artist or studio for advice and/or recommendations.
It is recommended NOT to use Vaseline or Neosporin as healing agent for tattoo. Tattoos will generally take 4 to 6 weeks to heal if taken care of properly. Scabs and flakes are a natural part of the healing process of a tattoo. In order for your tattoo to heal and look it's best to be sure not to pick or scratch at it. Doing so may prematurely rip out still settling in pigment and in turn may leave an empty spot or scar in it's place.
- Be sure to wear looser clothing.
Clothing rubbing against a fresh and new tattoo may irritate it causing discomfort and also can snag scabs or flakes when removing and putting on.
- Avoid working out.
Take a break for a week or so. Gym equipment can harbor many bacteria that can infect your tattoo. The stress and sweating on a new tattoo can also irritate it as well.
- Stay out of the sun.
Exposing your tattoo to direct sunlight while it's healing is one of the easiest ways to insure it will fade. Staying out of the sun and tanning beds till the tattoo is fully healed is recommended. Once the tattoo is healed you can use a high SPF sunscreen to protect your tattoo for the remainder of it's life.DO NOT USE SUNSCREEN TILL FULLY HEALED. This may irritate and upset the healing process.
- Do not submerge in watter.
Taking showers are fine. While the tattoo is healing you will need to stay out of pools, lakes, jacuzzis, etc. Soaking your tattoo may cause the pigment be drawn from your skin as well as mothering the tattoo resulting in heavier scabbing. Also pools, hot tubes and other bodies of water contain chemicals, bacteria, and other pathogens which could result in infection. We at
Tenth Sanctum Tattoo is commited to our client's satisfaction. Once again if you have any questions and/or concerns be sure to stop into the studio or drop one of our artists a call and we will be happy to address.