GTattoo Inc

Aftercare Instrustions For Your Tattoo

Here you will find the aftercare process I recommend to all my clients for their new tattoo.

I have also listed some tips on how to keep your tattoo looking like new for years to come as well as

answers to some problems that can occur during the healing process.

How To Care For Your New Tattoo

1. Remove the bandage from your new tattoo in 2-4 hours.

If the bandage is sticking to the tattoo, DO NOT pull it free. Pour a little water on it to loosen up the dried blood or ointment that is holding it there. You don't want to cause any damage to the skin under it. Discard the bandage once it is removed. There is no need to re-bandage the tattoo again unless instructed to when the tattoo was complete.

2. Wash your new tattoo with warm water and a mild soap.

When washing, it is best to just use your hand and rub lightly on the tattoo to remove any dried blood, ointment or excess ink. Do not use a washcloth or an abrasive soap because at this time your tattoo is forming a scab and you do not want to cause any damage to it or the skin underneath. For the remainder of the healing process it is best to wash the tattoo once in the morning and once at night. When you are finished washing the tattoo, pat it dry with a soft towel.

3. Apply a thin layer of Bacitracin, Vitamin A&D ointment, or Aquaphor ointment to the tattoo.

Generally you do this about 4 times a day over the next week. Apply the ointment in small doses with your fingertip until the tattoo is completely covered in a very thin layer of ointment. Then pat it several times with a dry paper towel to remove any excess ointment. Keeping a thin layer on the tattoo will allow the skin to breath and let the tattoo heal faster and retain its color. A thick layer of ointment will cause the tattoo to push out too much excess ink, scab heavy, slow the healing time, and/or cause an allergic rash.

4. After a week, switch to a moisturizing skin lotion.

Curel or Lubriderm work very well, but any will do as long as it is fragrance free. Again, you do this about 4 times a day over the following week. Rubbing it gently into the tattoo, be careful not to remove any scabs that still remain when doing so.

5. Your tattoo will scab and flake during these 2 weeks.

DO NOT pick at the scabs. Doing so can cause damage to the skin as well as the tattoo. This can also result in color loss and scarring.

6. For the first 3 weeks avoid:

Sun Tanning, Tanning Beds, Salt Water, Chlorine, Steam Rooms, and Hot Tubs. These will harm the healing process of your tattoo by damaging the new skin that is forming over it.

Once the tattooing process is complete it is your responsibility to take care of it. A few weeks are not a lot to ask for something that will last for the rest of your life. The better you care for your tattoo now, the brighter it will stay for years to come.

Useful Tips For A Life Long Tattoo

Avoid exposing the tattoo to the sun for long periods of time without protection. The sun can fade a tattoo drastically over the years. Using a good, strong sun block over the tattoo will help avoid this.

Use moisturizing skin lotion on the tattoo often. Dry skin can make a tattoo look dull and faded. The lotion will moisten that dry layer making it more translucent which in turn makes the tattoo more visible and brighter.

Use moisturizing skin lotion on rough skin areas. Tattoos on the fingers, hands, elbows and feet tend to fade faster than other areas. Use a moisturizing lotion often on these areas to keep the skin softer and more flexible. This will result in less shedding of the skin in those areas and help them retain the tattoo for many years.

Shave over the tattoo. This one is more for people that are hairy. Hair can obstruct the view of the tattoo on your skin again making it look dull and faded. Shaving that area will make the tattoo more visible and brighter looking. Despite the myth, your hair will not grow back faster and thicker.

Frequently Asked Questions About Tattoo Aftercare

1. Does every tattoo scab?

Yes every tattoo scabs to some degree. If taken care of correctly it should be very minimal. But this also depends on your body, how it heals and the type of tattoo. Black and gray pieces scab less and heal faster than color tattoos. Color tattoos require more work therefore create more trauma to the skin, which causes a heavier scab. Placement on the body also affects scabbing. Areas that bend, like the inside elbow, tend to form heavier scabs and take longer to heal.

2. Ink is coming out of my tattoo, is something wrong?

Yes and no. It is normal for your tattoo to push out small amounts of excess ink the first 2-3 days. But if it continues after that then you are applying too much ointment to your tattoo. Remember, thinner is better when it comes to applying the ointment. Re-read the aftercare above to familiarize yourself with the correct way to apply ointment to your tattoo.

3. Will the area be sore during the healing process?

Yes, for the most part. It should just be sore to the touch as you apply the ointment. But some areas like the ankles can swell if you tend to be on your feet for long periods of time throughout the day. Ice inside a zip lock bag can be placed over the tattoo to help relieve the soreness in any area.

4. After my tattoo healed I can see some spots missing, can this be fixed?

Yes, even the most well taken care of tattoo can heal with a spot or 2 missing. It is good to wait a week or 2 after your tattoo is completely healed before you come back for any touch ups. Going into the skin too soon can cause scarring.

5. My tattoo broke out in a red rash with pimples what should I do?

This rash is caused by the use of the ointment, stop using it at once and start applying rubbing alcohol to the tattoo 4 times a day until the rash is gone. This will dry up the rash as well as the tattoo causing it to take a little longer to heal. While it won't look like it during this time, the tattoo should heal up fine.

6. Can I still tan if I cover my tattoo while it is healing?

No, UV rays can still penetrate through and damage the newly forming skin.

7. When my tattoo healed I noticed that it isn't as bright as when I first had it done, is this normal?

Yes. New skin forms over the tattoo as it heals. So essentially when you look at a tattoo you are looking at it through your skin. The darker your skin tone is the less vibrant the colors will be. This is a normal process of your body and going over the tattoo again won't make it any brighter. Apply some moisturizing skin lotion to the tattoo. It will make the top layer of skin more translucent which in turn makes the tattoo more visible and brighter.

8. My friends told me a different way to heal my tattoos, who should I listen too?

While we are sure your friends care about you and want the best for you, if they are not professional tattoo artists than you shouldn't be listening to them about your tattoo care. Also there are many tattoo artists out there with many ways to heal a tattoo, and I find that my aftercare is what works best with my style of tattooing. I am always available to answers any questions my clients may have about their tattoos.


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