2-3 hours after your tattoo remove protective covering and gently wash with an antibacterial pump hand soap do not use bar soaps, body washes, or dish soap. Once the tattoo has been washed gently dry with paper towels as cotton towels can hold bacteria and other particles that may infect or irritate your new tattoo.
For the next 2-3 weeks keep your tattoo moisturized with a plain un-scented white lotion use a brand you trust that you know wont irritate your skin. Apply a small amount of moisturizer if your tattoo looks or feels greasy you have applied to much lotion. Apply lotion anytime the tattoo feels dry or itchy. You may use a stronger lotion or ointment such as A&D ointment if you feel your tattoo is staying too dry avoid using any ointment that says antibacterial as it will pull the color out of your tattoo.
Keep your tattoo out of the sun for the next 2-3 weeks. UV rays damage your skin, its critical to keep them away from your tattoo this will help it heal faster and keep your color brighter.
Do not soak your tattoo in water for the next 2-3 weeks, avoid long hot baths, and especially avoid swimming pools, lakes, rivers, and the ocean.
You may experience swelling or redness around tattoo site and as your tattoo heals it will peel and scab this is normal. Do not pick or scratch at your tattoo while it is healing this will pull the color out of your tattoo and can leave it vulnerable to infection. Let all scabs and flaky skin fall off naturally.
Keep pets away from tattoo site, and limit any activities that may compromise the healing process, such as strenuous exercise or yard work. If you go to the gym make sure your tattoo is covered and does not come in contact with any equipment and thoroughly wash your tattoo after your work out.
If you experience anything that concerns you please contact your artist and let them know they will be more than happy to explain and advise what course of action to take. See your doctor if you suspect you have an infection in your tattoo or if you have reason to believe you are having an allergic reaction such as hives, or if your tattoo takes longer than 3 weeks to heal.
Wrist/hand and foot tattoos after care: For the first 3-4 days wash your tattoo an extra 2-3 times a day outside of normal showering/hand washing. re-apply lotion after each wash. For hands avoid activities that will soak your hands in dirty water such as hand washing dishes or giving your dog a bath if you must do these activities wear long rubber gloves to protect your tattoo. For feet avoid wearing shoes that will rub or cover your tattoo while it is healing sandals are preferred.
If you have diabetes, any auto immune diseases, or are under going chemo-therapy or are taking any drugs that may suppress your immune system or thin your blood consult your doctor before deciding to get a tattoo and disclose any medical conditions you have to your artist before getting a tattoo.
Wash your hands with an anti bacterial soap then gently soak your new piercing in a sterile saline solution, such as H2ocean, or contact solution until all drainage or scabbing becomes soft then gently rinse the area with warm water. Piercings only need to be cleaned twice a day, and should be left alone between cleanings. If you over clean your piercing you will increase the likely hood of swelling, dryness, irritation, longer healing times, as well as scarring(keloids)
DO NOT TOUCH or rotate the piercing unless you are cleaning it. This will only spread germs and infect your piercing. NEVER USE: alcohol , peroxide or any hard disinfectants repeated use of these products will dry out your piercing, damage new skin grown, promote scarring(keloids) and infection.
Your new piercing will experience soreness, and slight redness around the area. Some slight swelling scabbing drainage, and bruising. All of this is normal and will slowly lessen over time with proper care.
If you notice that your piercing feels hot, or feverish is expressing thick or colored puss or has a large even area of redness or swelling contact your doctor your piercing has become infected. do not remove jewelry until infection has been treated as this will actually help your body drain the infection away more quickly than if you take it out and try to let it close.
If you develop a small red or white bump next to the opening of your piercing this is a blood blister not an infection! It is irritation usually caused by ill fitting jewelry (too big or too small) or from physical injury such as your piercing getting hit or tugged or from you moving it during the day or over cleaning it. Correct these issues and it will go away.
Your piercing will not be completely healed for at least 5-8 months so regular cleaning is advised during this time period even if your piercing looks and feels healed it is not it takes a long time for your skin to rebuild and become strong again. Tears and rips are common during the first months of a new piercing so be careful not to wear jewelry that will catch or snag on your clothing, hair ect.
Keep all new piercings out of pools, lakes, and oceans for at least a month, public or natural swimming areas contain bacteria which will infect your piercing and harsh chemicals in chlorine pools can burn new skin and cause irritation and scarring. Even after a month any piercing exposed to pools ect. Must be washed after exiting the pool.