Your tattoo will take anywhere from 2-5 weeks to fully heal. If you have any questions or concerns about your new tattoo during this time, feel free to call your tattoo artist.
1. Leave the bandage on for two to three hours or until you are home for the evening. After removing the bandage, wash your hands, and then wash your tattoo using only your hands and a mild, non-perfumed soap We recommend Ivory or Dial antibacterial soap. Also, always wash your hands before washing your tattoo to prevent infection.
2. After the tattoo has been properly washed, pat the area dry with a clean towel and allow your tattoo to air dry for 5-10 minutes.
3. Apply a small amount of Vitamin A&D Ointment, in small amounts and rub it in as if you were applying hand lotion. It is better to use less ointment more often, than too much at once. If you have any irritation from using A&D Ointment, we recommend using Aquaphor in its place.
4. For the next 14 days you should wash your tattoo at least once a day and use ointment 3 to 4 times a day. You may use the ointment slightly more often throughout the day if your tattoo is being rubbed off by your clothing. After two weeks, you may switch to a mild hand lotion such as Cocoa Butter Lubriderm, or Eucerin. Apply the lotion whenever the tattoo feels dry or itchy. Do not use scented, perfumed, "Bath & Body Works type lotions. They contain drying alcohol that may stunt the healing of your tattoo and increase the itchiness.
DO NOT: SCRATCH! Itching and peeling are part of the healing process. Scratching may cause the ink to fall out leaving pockets and spaces.
DO NOT: immerse or soak your tattoo for the first 2-3 weeks. Soaking may cause damage and possible infection. No swimming in pools, lakes, salt water or hot tubs. Showering is encouraged (always). Showering will allow you to wash the tattoo, but avoid baths.
DO NOT: Expose your tattoo to direct sunlight or tanning beds during the first 2 weeks. Cover from direct sunlight to avoid and unpleasant burn and colors fading over time. After the healing is complete (approx 4 weeks), you should use a sun block SPF 30 or higher. The better protected your skin is, at all times, the longer that "new tattoo look" will last.
DO NOT: Wear tight clothing that could rub on or stick to the tattoo during the initial healing period. If your clothes get stuck to the tattoo, wet the area and gently pull the cloth away from the skin.
DO NOT: Listen to unprofessional advice on how to care for your new tattoo. Your friends and family cannot give you the correct care instructions to ensure a successful healing process.
Recommended Cleaning Solutions
Use one or both of the following solutions for healing piercings:
• Packaged sterile saline solution with no additives (read the label), or a non-iodized sea salt mixture: Dissolve 1/4 teaspoon of non-iodized (iodine-free) sea salt into one cup (8 oz.) of warm distilled or bottled water. A stronger mixture is not better; a saline solution that is too strong can irritate the piercing.
• A mild, fragrance-free liquid soap—preferably anti-microbial or germicidal.
CLEANING INSTRUCTIONS FOR BODY PIERCINGS
1. Always wash your hands thoroughly prior to cleaning or touching your piercing.
2. Soak for five to ten minutes once or more per day in saline solution. For some piercings it may be easier to apply the saline solution using clean, saturated gauze or paper towels. Rinse briefly afterward to remove any residue.
3. Use soap no more than once or twice a day. While showering, lather up a pearl size drop of the soap to clean the jewelry and the piercing. Leave the cleanser on the piercing no more than 20-30
4. Rinsethoroughly to remove all traces of the soap from the piercing. It is not necessary to rotate the jewelry through the piercing.
5. Dry by gently patting with clean, disposable paper towels. Cloth towels can harbor bacteria and snag jewelry which may cause injury.
(Showers tend to be safer than taking baths, bathtubs can harbor bacteria.)
THINGS YOU SHOULD EXPECT:
• Initially: some bleeding, localized swelling, tenderness, or possible bruising.
• During healing: some discoloration, itching, a whitish-yellow fluid that will form some crust on the jewelry. The tissue may tighten around the jewelry.
• Once it is healed the jewelry may not move freely in the piercing; do not force it. If you fail to properly clean your piercing as part of your daily routine, be aware smelly bodily secretions may accumulate.
• Keep cleaning throughout the entire healing period. Tissue heals from the outside in, and although it may look or feel fine, the interior is fragile and requires time to fully heal. Be patient.
THINGS TO AVOID:
• Avoid cleaning with Betadine, Bactine, alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, or other harsh soaps, as these can damage cells.
• Avoid ointments as they prevent necessary air circulation.
• Avoid over-cleaning. This will delay your healing and may irritate your piercing.
• Avoid friction from clothing, excessive motion of the area, and playing with the jewelry. These things can cause formation of unsightly and uncomfortable scar tissue, prolonged healing, and other complications.
• Avoid oral contact, rough play, and contact with others’ bodily fluids on or near your piercing during healing.
• Avoid stress and recreational drug use, excessive caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol.
• Avoid submerging, immersing or soaking your piercings. Soaking may cause damage and possible infection. No swimming in pools, lakes, salt water or hot tubs. Showering is encouraged (always). Showering will allow you to wash the piercing.
• Avoid beauty and personal care products on or around the piercing including cosmetics, lotions, and sprays.
• Don’t hang objects or charms from your jewelry until the piercing is fully healed.