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There are many ways to take care of a new tattoo. The first rule is to use common sense! It is always best to listen to your Artist and do what they suggest.
Leave the bandage on for several hours. Sometimes leaving it on overnight is best. Your Artist will tell you what they suggest for you.
Wash your tattoo gently but thoroughly after you remove the bandage. Anti-bacterial soap should be used. Pat it dry or let it air dry. Do not immediately cover it with clothing if you can avoid it.
For the first few days you must find a balance between your tattoo being too wet or too dry. Too much moisture can keep your tattoo from sealing up and healing internally. Heavy scabbing can result from a fresh tattoo getting too dried out.
It is normal for your tattoo to seep for the first few days. During this time, heavy coats of ointment should be avoided as it will over moisturize the tattoo. Keep your tattoo clean so you do not have to wash it too often. The most you should have to wash it with soap and water is 2-3 times a day.
Once your tattoo is no longer seeping (1-3 days typically) you can begin to use a small amount of lotion to keep it from drying out. A simple fragrance-free lotion is suggested. Some people suggest products like Aquaphor or A+D Ointment but i find that these products do not absorb very well and tend to over moisturize the tattoo. Apply a small amount of lotion 2-5 times a day AFTER the tattoo is no longer seeping.
Limit tight clothing and activities that may aggravate the healing of your tattoo, such as going to the gym or running. Showering is fine but make it quick- soaking up too much water is one reason a tattoo can heal poorly. Absolutely no swimming pools or bathtubs until the tattoo is completely healed!
Remember that your tattoo is an open wound while it is healing. A clean environment is crucial. This includes clean clothes and clean sheets. If you expose your tattoo to unsanitary conditions an infection is possible. Most infections clear up in a day or two with the use of Neosporin. However, we suggest that you contact your Doctor if you think you have an infection just to be on the safe side.
Your tattoo should be mostly healed within two weeks. It may take another few weeks for your tattoo to settle in while your skin is repairing itself.
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