Tattoo aftercare is vital to the longevity of your tattoo! How your tattoo looks three months or three years from now depends upon how you treat it right away. Follow these steps to promote a healthy tattoo.
Remove the bandage after 4 to 12 hours. (Depending upon the size and location of the tattoo). Do not re-bandage. Wash your tattoo with warm water and an antibacterial soap. Gently pat dry with a clean towel. Apply a thin layer of triple antibiotic ointment.
Use the ointment during the first three days, 3 or 4 times a day(apply until completely wet and gently pat excess off). Make sure your hands are clean before touching your tattoo.
During this time you must cover it with plastic wrap while material is rubbing against it at work or some other activity, expecially if there is risk of being contaminated. You only cover if you cannot let it air out without irritating the tattoo.
After the first three days, apply a thin layer of fragrance free moisturizing lotion(one with a healing agent such as Aloe, or vitamin E). Apply it 3 to 4 times daily for the next 2 to 3 weeks.!!!!!!!! A fragrance free, natural lotion is preferred!!!!!!! The normal healing time is 2 to 4 weeks.
Do NOT pick or scratch your tattoo. Flaking or peeling is a natural part of the healing process.
Do not soak your tattoo during healing. That means no baths, hot tubs, pools, etc. Keep your tattoo out of direct sunlight while it’s healing.
After your tattoo is healed, always use sun block while in the sun, preferably 30 to 45 SPF. Tattoos Do fade over time. Remember to moisturize your skin with lotion. This will help keep your colors fresh.
Please consult a physician at any sign of infection or allergic reaction and report any infection or allergic reaction to the tattooist and your State Department of Health in the USA.
A tattoo is wet pigment trapped in your skin, IT DOES NOT DRY! So the point of the healing steps is to heal the puncture wound and trap it in between your layers of skin. If you don’t do this properly IT WILL LEAK OUT!
The trick is to let it breath but not dry out or get infected, it is a type of surgery so please treat it that way.
Got to disagree with the Triple Anti Biotic Cream here. Antiboitics in any form should only be taken or applied ONLY if an infection is present. We have many bugs that live on our skin, naturally, and destroying them aint gonna help your immune system at all. There are plenty of aftercare applications out there today and many are 100% natural and have properties that will help the body not kill off what we need for the good health of our skin. I can speak first hand about this as a person who has had a severe skin condition since childhood. NO ANTIBIOTICS unless there is infection 😀
Got to disagree with the Triple Anti Biotic Cream here. Antiboitics in any form should only be taken or applied ONLY if an infection is present. We have many bugs that live on our skin, naturally, and destroying them aint gonna help your immune system at all. There are plenty of aftercare applications out there today and many are 100% natural and have properties that will help the body not kill off what we need for the good health of our skin. I can speak first hand about this as a person who has had a severe skin condition since childhood. NO ANTIBIOTICS unless there is infection
I agree with iNKYBITS
Antibiotics should only be used as a last resort !!
TY TY TY TY you are a god you are the first person i talk to who would tell me how to treat my tattoo i do have others but i forgot how to care for this one since it is on my arm.
Exactly! NO ANTIBIOTIC OINTMENT unless you actually have an infection. There’s a tattoo shop owner on another forum that said he “will not be held responsible if they don’t follow THEIR aftercare instructions” which include using Bepanthan (petroleum and paraffin wax – NOT good). Sorta hit me wrong because while I understand how important aftercare is… some people are too uneducated on the actual ingredients they’re putting on their skin. No big deal if I didn’t know any better, but I do & I’d have a REAL PROBLEM with somebody telling me they’re not gonna be responsible for my tatt unless I rub petroleum & wax into my new ink. Kwim?
I agree with mohawk19 most artists need educating about aftercare of the skin. I my own experience i have been recommended to use hemorroid cream and nappy rash cream, WTF? My first tat tried hemorroid cream and it nipped like hell so dumped the tube and went and looked around for sumthin else that was natural. Found TAC (tattoo aftercare) on ther internet and the name kind of speaks for itself. Next tat the artist recommended nappy rash cream, raved about it being all he recommended now. Bought a tube of bepanthen, smells urgh! made for use on baby’s arses, enuf said :rolleyes:, tried a bit but came out in a rash aaaaaaaargh! Looked at ingredients and fek me it contains lanolin am allergic to lanolin. Bepanthen also has two alcohols in it! why would an artist recommend something with alcohol in it, do they know this? could alcohol not effect the long term look of my colors, dilute them?? fek that! went back to the internet and ordered my jar of TAC from scotland. check these guys out ppl tattooaftercare.co.uk 😎 now i want some more ink lol 😀
Very well said inkybits, and I wholeheartedly agree!! I’ve got skin ‘issues’ too so I’ve gotta be careful, that’s why I check EVERYTHING out before I buy it. Not only that but I don’t do cheap when it comes to my inkwork, so why the hell would I want to risk using something on it that’s gonna doom it to fade out, just to “go with the flow” cuz other people think it’s great. Nah. That’s not my style. I’m gonna take care of my ink. It’s gonna be with me the rest of my life & I want it to look damn good in 30 years, not just damn good in 3 months.
Here’s a little something I’m hooked on, called Hemp stick. Man you gotta try this stuff!! Not only is it natural, its got some really good shit in it & I swear by it. It’s what got me wondering WTF is keeping the big companies in business when there’s stuff like THIS around that puts em to shame!! Here’s the link:
I’m gonna check out the TAC you mentioned too. Thanx for the tip!
Thanks for the link I’ll check it out. Your right, our ink is with us for life and i too want mine looking as good as the day it was put there and so far all seems well. Too late a few years down the road when tata are jaded and faded due to the initial stages of healing not being look at properly. I think though that once the health and safety boyz an girlz get involved, and they surely will, they’ll be shocked at some of the stuff being recommended to be used on broken skin, then the shit will defo hit the preverbial fan. 😉
Thanks for the interspection. But how can i get the 100% natural application you talked about. I referr being natural.
I won’t get into the arguement about Antibiotic Ointments because it’s been hashed and rehashed and everyone has their own “written in stone” opinions about them. But I do have a bit to offer about post healing ink protection to offer. I have a fairly simple theory about how to keep your tattoo ink and color looking bright and even for many years longer than originally expected. Even the lighter shades such as Yellows, Oranges, and Magentas.
First I’ll start with a little about the chemistry of tattoo pigments to gain an understanding of what you’re actually trying to preserve. Colored tattoo inks are actually not “inks” as in a colored liquid, but they’re really tiny colored solid particles suspended in a carrier liquid for delivery into the skin.(I won’t get into the actual ingredients in the interests of professional security) The more densely these particles are packed into a single area, the brighter and richer the appearance of the finished product.
Over time, as your body reproduces itself and tissues are regenerated, some of these particles are broken loose and stripped away making the tattoo appear to fade. An example of this effect is easy to reproduce while performing the tattoo. If the tattoo is located on skin that can easily be stretched, such as the lower back, you can watch as the tattoo is performed while skin is stretched taut. The ink will appear to become much deeper and brighter when the client relaxes as the particles move closer together. Also, sometimes a woman with a very bright tattoo on her lower stomach may see her tattoo appear to fade if she becomes pregnant, then darken again after the pregnancy is over (provided no stretch marks!)
Exposure to light can cause the particles to erode and disperse through the body which results in a faded appearance. Exposure to light also affects certain pigments, causing Photodegeneration, which is the only true form of fading that can happen to pigments. Only a few colors have a considerable sensitivity to light, when they lose their pigmentation, the inks may change to a lighter shade, or to a chalky yellowish white as the particles are still there but light has bleached them out.
We all try our best to care for our tattoos while they are healing so that our damaged skin won’t become infected, suffer scarring, or the ink won’t become washed out or damaged. After our bodies have regenerated enough to cover the tattoos, most people believe it’s all over and the tattoo is as permament as it can possibly be. I don’t believe that’s entirely true.
I believe that tattoo pigments will go through stages of healing within our tissues which will affect the longevity of the work. The pigmentation is “NOT” a stain caused by ink, but a complex group of foreign objects which our body has not chosen to reject. If it were just a stain in our tissue it would disappear very quickly as our body regenerates itself.
This makes me believe that the tattoo is still “curing” long after our bodies “heal” from the superficial wounds to the skin by its application. (Just like a freshly poured concrete foundation may dry enough to build on within a few days, but the concrete is still curing and strengthening for several years. It’s said the concrete used to build the Hoover Dam will not be fully cured for several decades to come) In my experience having studied my own ink, and the ink of countless others I’ve known I’ve come to the conclusion that our tattoos continue to cure from 12 – 18 months after the skin heals.
During these 12-18 months the pigments are still very sensitive to sunlight and the particles can fracture, seperate and easily disperse causing fading. Even when high SPF sunblocks are applied there can be a significant amount of pigmentation lost due to light exposure.
Using these theories as a guide, I chose to protect my sleeves from sunlight completely for the first 2 years after getting them. I wore longsleeves every place I went outdoors the entire time, negating any exposure to the sun. After the first 2 years I’ve done NOTHING to further protect my artwork from the sun. I’m in the sun all the time, I never wear sunscreens and my tattoos are still fulll of very bright and smooth colors after almost 18 years. Even the yellows, ornages, and magentas so famous for fading quickly. They of course will dull in appearance when I have a tan, but show brightly after the tan subsides in winter months. I’ve witnessed similar results with many others I’ve known who protected their work the first 2 years.
What about using A&D Ointment?
try tattoo genie instead
No kidding right!
When you first get home with your new tattoo, you should never hop right in the shower. You should keep it dry for the first few days, but also clean it every few hours. Before you touch the tattoo or clean it, you should always make sure that your hands are clean. If you keep your hands clean, you won’t have to worry about an infection.
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