-For a traditional meat pack type bandage, Leave the bandage on overnight- the tattoo WILL continue to bleed overnight and if the tattoo sticks to your sheets and you roll over, and the sheets pull off your tattoo you WILL experience ink loss. KEEP THE BANDAGE ON OVERNIGHT! The tattoo will have stopped bleeding by the next morning. Leaving the bandage on for this time will minimize scabbing resulting in faster healing time.
-For the clear "Tegaderm" bandage, leave the bandage on for 5 days. Expect your tattoo to pool with blood, plasma, and ink under the bandage, this is normal. You can either let it sit under the bandage or squeeze it out the seems. Throughout 5 days, the blood and ink will dry under the bandage, when you remove the bandage the blood and ink will come off with the bandage.
-As soon as you removed the bandage wash your tattoo with warm water and mild non-fragrance bar soap. Wash all excess ink and blood off your skin that has been pushed out and is on the surface of your skin. Just use your fingertips with soap bubbles. Don't use anything abrasive when washing your tattoo like a washcloth or loofah. Pat dry with a CLEAN towel. Let your tattoo air dry for 15 minutes before putting any clothes over it. Wash your tattoo 1-2 times a day and make sure to wear clean clothes for the next 2-3 weeks while the tattoo is healing.
-DO NOT apply any moisturizer or creams until 2 days after the bandage comes off. On the 3rd day, you may begin applying a small amount of fragrance-free moisturizer twice daily with CLEAN hands, once in the morning and once in the evening. We recommend any lotion that is fragrance-free and free from petroleum/petrolatum. Rub the moisturizer right into the skin like you would your hand or facial cream. Do not leave a layer on your skin or use the lotion too frequently. This will cause your tattoo to weep fluid and become easy to damage. DO NOT USE “OINTMENTS”, as these can prevent the skin from breathing.
Your tattoo will scab, peel or flake for the first 2-3 weeks. It may be warm and red for the first day or two and then start to itch as it heals.
-DO NOT pick or scratch the tattoo. Picking/scratching will result in ink loss which will require touch-ups. Slap your tattoo to manage the itching instead of scratching. Until all scabs have flaked off your tattoo, avoid wetting your tattoo excessively. This includes avoiding saunas, baths, pools, hot tubs, etc. A quick 15-minute shower is fine, but don't soak in the tub. Also, avoid sunlight and tanning beds. All of these things can and will lighten your tattoo. Avoid touching your tattoo!!! There is bacteria on your skin and hands that can lead to infection and prolonged healing.
-If you suspect your tattoo has come in contact with anything other than clean clothes (e.g. dirt, sweat, food), wash it immediately and allow it to dry. Avoid any activity that puts additional strain on your immune system. This may include excessive drug or alcohol consumption or strenuous workouts. If you do work out, showering afterward is recommended, as sweat may irritate the tattoo.
-Improper aftercare can lead to an infection. To know if your tattoo is infected you first need to assess your pain level. If your tattoo is infected, there may be heat radiating from the tattooed skin. Check for any redness on the tattoo site. Some redness and pain is typical in the first few days, but severe redness accompanied by discharge is not. Discharge that is whitish or yellowish in colour and seeps from the tattoo can be an indication of infection. If you are unsure of whether or not your tattoo is infected, please come and let us see it.