How to take care of your new tattoo:

Tattoos by Zachary Ripley

How to take care of your new tattoo:

50% of how your tattoo heals is how well I did, the other 50% is how you take care of your tattoo during the healing process. Below I have outlined my recommendations for healing the tattoo. Note, everyone’s skin is different, what works for one person may not work for you. The more tattoos you get the more you will know what works best for your skin.

When you leave the shop you will have either a clear adhesive bandage, or a traditional soaker style bandage. Here is how to take care of both

Clear bandage:

-leave this bandage on for 3-4 days, you will notice a collection of fluid under the bandage, this is totally normal, this would be what forms your stab if it was exposed to air. This fluid which is made up of blood, plasma, and ink may leak out, this is also normal, just clean it off.

-after 3-4 days you can take off the bandage, when taking it off it will be slightly painful. Don’t “rip it off like a bandage”, select a corner and gently pull up slowly. It may help to take a hot shower before hand. With the help of olive oil, coconut oil, vitamin e oil, the bandage will come off easier. 

-once removed the tattoo will look dirty, wash your tattoo throughly, and apply a simple sentless white lotion. 

-apply lotion 3 times a day to the tattoo for one month from the day the tattoo was done.

Soaker style bandage:

-leave this bandage on for at least 3 hours

-once you have removed the bandage, clean the tattoo well. Do not Rebandage the tattoo under any circumstance.

-apply a very thin layer of Aquaphor or A&D ointment. If it looks greasy you have way to much on.

-3 times a day for the first 2 day you will repeat this process of washing the tattoo, gently drying it, and applying a thin layer of ointment.

-after 2 days your skin has mostly closed up, the ointment will no longer be needed, instead you will continue the regimen of apply product to the tattoo 3 times a day, but this time you will be using a scentless lotion. Continue this for one month from the date of your tattoo.

-your tattoo will scab up, this is normal, your skin is healing on top the pigment. You need to let your body heal this on it’s own time table. Picking at the scab can result in loss of pigment from under the scab that was removed. In the same regards, your tattoo will itch, fight the urge to scratch, this may damage your tattoo.

-under no circumstances should you soak the tattoo in any body of water(pools, baths, hot tubs, rivers ect.) you are obviously encouraged to shower and keep the tattoo clean as possible. 

When you leave the shop, you are leaving with an open wound, it is up to you to make sure this doesn’t become infected. Every instrument used in tattooing is 100% sanitized and sterile, your risk of getting an infection in the shop is near impossible, the risk of getting an infection the moment you walk out the door is very high. Keep this in mind.

Helpful hints:

Icing your tattoo the first couple days can help with discomfort, as well as speed up the healing process. Normal icing routine should be followed, ice covered by a cloth apply to area left on for 20 mins , and removed for 20 mins repeating as desired.

-products such as Neosporin and aloe can result in the loss of pigment, do not use these.

-do not expose your tattoo to direct sunlight for at least one month.

-after one month, free touch ups are available, but note, I know what a tattoo that was not well taken care of looks like, if you did not do your due diligence, you will have to pay for the touch up. Tattoo will look more faded then when it was first done, there is no preventing this, you are now seeing the design under a few layers of skin. No amount of touch ups will correct this. To minimize this, apply lotion to the tattoo regularly.