There are many ways to care for a new tattoo and advice will vary depending on factors such as the size of the tattoo, location on your body, your previous experience with tattoos, and even your work environment. The following is a general guideline that will help your tattoo heal as easily as possible.
The most important thing to remember is: Listen to your Tattoo Artist! They want your tattoo to look the best it possibly can!
If you have any issues, questions, or concerns, please contact Evolved.
OCCLUSIVE BANDAGE (CLEAR)
- Leave the first bandage on for at least 8 hours. It is typical, and perfectly fine, for blood and fluids (exudation) to collect under the bandage during this time. Before removing the bandage, thoroughly wash your hands using a mild, unscented soap free of all dyes and harsh chemicals. We like Dr. Bronner’s or H2Ocean Foam Soap. After the bandage is removed, wash the tattoo gently with your clean fingertips. To avoid contact with unnecessary bacteria, do not pat dry or use a towel. Let the tattoo air dry.
- Prepare the new bandage by peeling off the paper backing to reveal the adhesive side. If you were not given a second bandage, please follow the aftercare (black bandage) instructions from this point forward.
- Gently apply the bandage using light pressure. For best results, make sure the body part is relaxed and in a neutral position. Remove the plastic top layer, leaving only the thin transparent barrier on the skin.
- Wear this second bandage for 3 to 7 days (max!), depending on the size and placement of the tattoo and your own life activities. After that period, remove the bandage and clean the area as in Step 1.
- If your bandage falls off due to normal daily activities, immediately follow the aftercare instructions below (black bandage).
AFTERCARE (BLACK BANDAGE)
- Leave the bandage on for 2 to 4 hours or until you can remove it under clean conditions. The bandage is there to protect your tattoo while it is still fresh and susceptible to bacteria. There is no need to apply another bandage after the first has been removed.
- Before removing the bandage, thoroughly wash your hands using a mild, unscented soap free of all dyes and harsh chemicals. We like Dr. Bronner’s or H2Ocean Foam Soap. After the bandage is removed, wash the tattoo gently with your clean fingertips. To avoid contact with unnecessary bacteria, do not pat dry or use a towel. Let the tattoo air dry.
- Apply a small amount of the product your tattoo artist suggested. (You never want to smother the tattoo).Your tattoo artist may encourage you to switch to a different product at some point during the healing process. Some of the products we like are lotions such as Lubriderm, Curel, Vaseline Intensive Care, Aveeno, and H2Ocean (unscented, the fewer chemicals the better) and ointments such as Aquaphor, Aquatat, Vitalitree, Vitamin A+D, and coconut oil. Always wash your hands first and be gentle when applying lotion or ointment. This should be done 1 to 3 times daily.
- Tattoos generally take 2 to 4 weeks to heal. Some scabbing will occur and it is very important to let these scabs fall off naturally. Never pick the scabs or pull them off! Scabs that are removed before they are ready to fall off naturally will often result in spotty coloring and longer healing times.
- Wear loose, clean clothing around the tattoo. Let it “breathe” as much as possible. Some areas of the body, for example feet, are often difficult to avoid covering. In these instances refer to the directions of your tattoo artist.
- Never submerge your tattoo underwater. Showering is fine but remember to be gentle. Don’t soak the tattoo.
- Avoid direct sunlight and UV rays. Tanning is very bad for a healing tattoo. Sunblock is also bad for a healing tattoo. However, after your tattoo has completely healed, using sunblock will help reduce fading over the years.
- If you have pets, make sure to avoid getting pet hair on the tattoo.
- Working out and other activities may need to be altered during the healing process. Your tattoo artist can advise you on the best way to go about your day-to-day life and still properly care for your tattoo.