If you have Saniderm
- Leave your bandage on for 3-5 days. You don't need to do anything to it during this time.
- You can shower with the bandage on, but it's still recommended that you avoid submerging it in water.
- Avoid working out completely for the first three days. After that, light exercise (minimal sweating) is ok, but avoid anything that causes profuse sweating for 2 weeks.
- If you notice your skin reacting to the bandage (redness, itching) remove it and follow regular aftercare instructions below.
- It is normal, especially with color pieces, for the tattoo to continue to weep plasma for a day or so after the procedure. This will create plasma pockets under the bandage, which is totally expected, so don't be alarmed if your bandage develops pockets of plasma. The bandage can also push the plasma out to the edges of the piece, so don't be alarmed if that happens as well.
- Once your bandage is off, moisturize with an unscented lotion once per day for four more weeks, though daily moisturizing is a good habit to get into indefinitely. I personally like Hustle Butter for aftercare, but otherwise recommend using products that are NOT petroleum based, as these will just sit on top of the scab instead of actually moisturizing it.
- Keep your piece out of direct sunlight for at least 3 weeks, and to keep it looking its best for as long as possible, get in the habit of using sunscreen on it when you're out in the sun even after it's healed. Whatever sun care routine you'd use for your face, you should use for your tattoo. Managing your sun exposure is the #1 thing you can do to keep your piece looking great for years to come.
- With Saniderm, your piece will scab and itch much less than it would otherwise, but it's still very important that you DO NOT pick/scratch it.
If you're not using Saniderm
Leave your bandage on until told by your artist. We typically recommend that you leave your bandage on for 4-24 hours. Your artist knows which length of time is best for your particular piece. DO NOT RE-BANDAGE YOUR TATTOO.
Wash your tattoo after removing the bandage
Wash your hands well, and carefully remove the bandage. Wash your tattoo by gently patting and brushing off warm water and fragrance-free liquid soap. This removes any dried blood and aftercare ointment your artist applied. Use a clean paper towel to dry your tattoo by gently patting it.
Continue to do this for 2 weeks after being tattooed, at least twice a day.
After 2-3 days, begin applying lotion to your tattoo.
- After cleansing and drying your tattoo, apply a very thin layer of an unscented lotion. Your artist can give you recommendations. Continue to do this for 4 weeks.
Your tattoo will scab and flake, DO NOT PICK IT. Picking at your tattoo can cause fading and increase the chance of an infection. If your tattoo itches, slap it, NEVER scratch it.
Do NOT expose your new tattoo to the sun. Keep your new tattoo covered with a clean article of clothing for three weeks.
Stay away from water! Do NOT submerge/soak your tattoo for AT LEAST 2 weeks. No swimming or taking baths. Showers are fine.
Do NOT let anyone touch your new tattoo, and make sure you are only touching it with clean hands. Anything that touches your tattoo (sheets, clothing, skin, etc.) should be freshly clean. Wash your tattoo directly after any contact with contaminated areas.
Keep your new tattoo away from any pets/animals.
Continue to keep your tattoo happy, even after its healed! Always wear sun lotion, and keep the tattoo moisturized.