You've been Tattooed. You've sat through it, now it's time to take care of it.
From now on it is your responsibility to look after it, your Tattooist cannot follow you around to make sure you're looking after your new tattoo, so follow these instructions and every thing will be O.K.
(1) Remove the cover as instructed... Your artist might tell you to take the cover off in one hour..a couple of hours...or leave it on over night. It depends on the type of work, where it was done and how much was done that day. Do as YOUR artist instructs. They did the Tattoo, they will know the level of skin abrasion, and the best amount of time for the new Tattoo to remain covered.
When a tattoo is just done it seeps, this is caused by the puncturing of the skin during the tattoo procedure. The covering on the new tattoo is to protect your new tattoo from dirt, oil, dust, etc.. in the initial healing stage. Do not re-cover tattoo, after the initial cover is removed.
(2) Wash with luke-warm soapy water and pat dry with a clean towel.
When you first remove you covering from your tattoo, there will be a build up of excess ink and dried white blood cells:, it will look a bit "gooey". Gently wash this away, don't use a wash cloth or anything abrasive, and gently pat dry.
Don't rub, as this will only aggravate your skin. Also it is important to only use a clean towel.
(3) Apply BEPANTHEN nappy rash cream, four to five times a Day. Washing down the tattoo before each application. IMPORTANT : DO NOT USE ANY OTHER NAPPY RASH CREAM This is the part of your Tattoo care that you will be offered the most advice on, mostly by people who have never been tattooed. Please disregard any advice, except that of YOUR artist. This includes NURSES and other So called Tattoo EXPERTS. DO NOT use Vaseline: This forms a barrier to the air and prolongs healing. Preparation-H: yeast cells can cause infections. Neosorin: destroys the Ink, and causes irritation. *NB* When using any medical products always read the label. If you have any ill effects stop using immediately.
(4) Do Not pick the Scab! A light flaky scab will form after a day or two, allow it to fall off itself, this will take 5-10 days if you use your Bepanthen cream as instructed. If you don't the scab will be heavier and will take alot longer to heal.
The scab forming over your tattoo, is your bodies natural healing process. It is a thin layer of white blood cells and ink mixed, coating and protecting the damaged skin underneath. This allows the Epidermis ( top layer of skin) to heal over the ink. (there is a bit more to it that this, but that's the basics.)
It is very important to let the scab fall off in its own time. If damage is done to the scab it will promote bleeding which will draw ink from the Tattoo causing patches of ink to disappear from it. This is the most common way to ruin new tattoos and annoy a Tattooist.
(5) Keep it CLEAN! Keep away from Oil, Dust, Dirt, Etc. This part is fairly self-explanatory. If you work in a dirty environment, take care. But VERY IMPORTANT. do not re-cover with a bandage, (SEE RULE (1), loose, clean clothes are sufficient, to protect your tattoo.
(6) Don't soak your new tattoo Soaking an unhealed tattoo will cause a tattoo lose its brightness. By submersing in water, soaking or exposing your unhealed tattoo to a sauna, you can cause the tattoo to lose some ink and prolong the healing time.
(7) Do NOT Expose your new Tattoo to Intense Sun Light. The Sun is your tattoos worst enemy.
All pigment (colour) is affected by light. That is how it works. Light reflects off a coloured object, and by absorbing and reflecting different parts of white light we perceive colour. Tattoos are no different. Sun light or Intense light will take a toll on your tattoo.This will not happen over the space of a day, but if you do not look after your Tattoo, it will fade. DO NOT expose your new tattoo to Strong Sun light or Sun beds for at least Three weeks.
To counteract the effects of sun damage is simple. Whenever you intend to expose your tattoo to intense light e.g. holidays or sun beds, use a TOTAL SUN BLOCK on the tattooed area (only when completely healed ). That way you'll get a nice tan and your tattoo will stay nice and bright.
Think of your Tattoos as an investments - look after them.