Tattoo Aftercare by Vegas J.
My name is Jeremiah A. I'm from Las Vegas, Nevada. The bellow Aftercare recommendation is based on my own body’s observation during to get my two sleeves done. This is the method what fits most for MY BODY. It doesn’t mean it will as successfully work for you as well … but gives you a better idea to find your way. Don’t forget to handle and think about your new tattoo like a piece of art. Being lazy and let other’s artwork messing up is very costly and disrespectful as well. If you mess it up, it will cost you double to fix and expands the progress time too. Protect your investment!
I hope you are going to be able to use “my way” as a reference and will light up the formerly questionable aftercare parts.
Immediately after your tattoo, the area should be properly cleaned, and if necessary, plastic wrap applied to protect your new tattoo while you are in transit home. Once home, remove any plastic and take a lukewarm shower. This shower should be brief. WATER is not your new tattoo’s friend! Wash gently with Hibiclens antibacterial soap using your hand. No scrubbing to remove ink that has been smeared on surrounding flesh outside the tattoo is necessary. Full removal of the Aquaphor - have been put on by your artist - is also not necessary and not recommended. It won’t stain and it will come off in a short time, do not use shampoo, conditioner or anything else not mentioned in this care procedure. Once clean, turn the water all the way to cold and then put your tattoo area into the cold water for just a few seconds. This will close and shrink the pores. PAT (don’t rub) dry with a fresh clean towel after your shower and let your fresh tattoo dry out for about 15 minutes. Then apply Aquaphor. DO NOT RUB IT IN, but only smear a very light coat over the tattooed surface. Aquaphor will not dry out, and usually gets wetter over time. Keep fresh,sterile gauze pads on hand every time you apply this because you will need to dab up the extra wet areas on spots where it has been over applied. Aquaphor, lotion or Hibiclense WON’T heal your tattoo. Your body will. These things can either aid in the healing or ruin it if misused; Aquaphor should stay at a moisture level of how you would apply chap stick or lip balm. Any more is not a good idea. The less, the better. You are now ready to rest, eat or continue your day. Do not cover your tattoo or expose it to sunlight for any length of time. If your tattoo needs to be cleaned repeat the same process. However, try not to repeat the process too often: Again, Water IS NOT your friend! Exceptions are may include something like a spill on it or if dirt gets on it. Be careful sleeping. Try not to sleep on it, move it around too much or let it rub against anything abrasive. But, do not cover it to try to protect it. It needs to breathe and heal. While sleeping, keep a small amount of Aquaphore and gauze nearby. If you wake and notice an area that has dried out (if it will feel dry and scratchy), again dab any extra up. Spot treating and being observant will help, but over treating is worse. Also don't take any blood thinning pain relievers or anti-inflammatory medications like Ibuprofen, Aspirin, Tylenol, that might cause you to bleed extra.
Re-apply Aquaphor to any excess dry spots, then get into a quick shower. Repeat same shower and dry-out procedure as Day 1.
This will be the transition day from Aquaphor to Tattoo Lotion. At the beginning of the third day, take your shower and apply the Aquaphor as usual. Now, make the switch from using Aquaphor to lotion by leaving on the Aquaphor in the morning and throughout the rest of the day. Instead of Aquaphor, apply lotion when needed throughout the day without washing the Aquaphor from this morning off. Spot treating very sparingly with Aquaphor on any small spots that are excessively dry is okay. Also discontinue washing with soap or Hibiclens or anything on the tattoo for days 3 and 4. This will help maintain a natural moisture level for the skin. However, at the first sign of peeling, a mild or gentle cleanser should be used. Use lotion when dry, but avoid over applying lotion. A few times a day is plenty and always after a shower is necessary.
Day 4 -5
If peeling has started, use a mild cleanser to wash away peeling dead skin during your showers and lightly rub lotion in thoroughly after the shower and throughout the day.
After 7 days
You might discover peeling skin parts surrounding the inked area. The reason for this is because the needle actually cuts the skin and destroys the top few layers. The new tattoo is on a lower or sublevel of skin. As the tattoo ages it grows new layers of skin over the tattooed area so your tattoo actually beneath the surface layers. The lowering part what you see peeling off. No worries! It is normal and will go away in a few days. Later on, you can use any kind of body cream moisturizing the skin.
In the long run : dry skin and hair makes the tattoo look dull. I suggest to start shaving your hairy parts if you want to make your art look good all the time. That is not a GAY thing! J But showing off your investment. Like washing your new car. Shaving usually dries the skin up and gives the tattoo an ashy look. Trimming it very short might solve this problem... try it out!
I would recommend thinking about hair removing as permanent solution, if your tattoo is on your hairy parts, because it makes it look blurry and ashy. Avoid the laser hair removal methods, because it destroys pigmentation as well. Just use the traditional ways like, shaving, waxing and different hair removal creams!
The other big enemy of the tattoo is the SUN. Please keep that in your mind summer time. We can not avoid the sunshine but we can prevent the known result - getting tanned and sunburned. What is fading and blotching. The tan turns the black ink into bluish color and the white ink into beiges. Winter time when you fade back to your natural tone most of the tattoed colors get back to their original hue.
Good luck with your new piece!