Aftercare of your new tattoo
What To Do:
Leave your tattoo bandaged overnight. 12-24 hours is fine so there is no need to rush to take it off first thing in the morning.
Wash your tattoo well with warm water. The temperature does not have to be scalding or frigid to work properly. Any unscented variety of soap works well, as long as it does not contain oils like tea tree or peppermint; it will burn!
Pat your tattoo dry with a paper towel. It should not be goopy or sticky anymore. If it looks like it might be, or is a bit shiny, go ahead and wash it off again and make sure to get the sticky layer off of those spots. It should look dry on the surface.
Apply Aquaphor very lightly for the first 2-3 days. You want to make sure to rub it in about the same as you would if you were putting lotion on your hands, and rubbed in well, with the excess removed with a paper towel if it is too thick.
Your tattoo needs air to heal, too. Aquaphor should be used only when the tattoo is feeling tight or itchy. If it doesn't feel itchy, don't use it. Your body will let you know when it needs some moisture.
After about 3-4 days you can switch to a fragrance free hand lotion, keeping the same idea in mind of "applying when itchy".
Flaking is normal. If you have some heavier scabbing or cloudiness make sure you refrain from picking or over-worrying. It will heal eventually, and just let me know if you need a touch-up when the tattoo is done healing.
Plan to take a break from the gym at least for a few days while your tattoo is healing. Gyms are full of germs and should be avoided for about a week.
Don't re-cover your tattoo for any reason, especially with anything that will trap moisture against it once you have removed your initial bandage. This will cause serious issues if you let your tattoo switch between being dry and wet constantly.
Wait to go swimming for a couple of weeks post-appointment.