After leaving the studio, keep the wrap on for a couple of hours.
Take the wrap off and wash your new tattoo with warm water first, and cold water to finish (since cold water will close the pores as much as possible and effectively seal your new tattoo).
It is important to wash the tattoo lightly, but be sure you remove all ointment and blood from the surface using - clean - hands (after you take the cling wrap off, your tattoo will be goopy).
Do not let the water run directly on the tattoo (let it run over it) and don't stay too long in the shower (the idea is to get in and get out).
Although the use of soap is not compulsory, you can use non-scented antibacterial soap if you'd like, in order to facilitate the cleaning process.
If you don't have it, you can use your regular soap, but limit it to a few drops (regular soap can be a little aggressive for your new tattoo).
Gently pat the tattoo dry with paper towel or a clean towel (NB: do not use toilet paper, since it could stick to your tattoo and leave residues of paper).
Allow your tattoo to air-dry for the rest of the day (or at least for an hour, should it be already late and time to go to bed).
This will help the healing process.
NB: during this time, please make sure you don't lean on anything with your new tattoo.
At this stage your new tattoo shouldn't come into contact with anything.
Time to go to bed? Make sure your tattoo is clean (repeat paragraph 2 if necessary and give it a quick rinse, in case 4+ hours have passed since your first wash).
Apply a VERY thin, shiny and “barely there” layer of the Aftercare Cream recommended by your artist, over the tattoo.
NB: applying too much cream can clog the pores of your skin and lead to having pimples over your tattoo. Pimples can damage little areas of the tattoo so remember: in this case, less is more.
IMPORTANT NOTE: make sure your hands are clean before applying the lotion on your skin and don't "double dip" into the lotion (cosmetic jar or tip of a lotion tube), unless you have washed your hands in between each application of the product on your skin. If you apply an aftercare lotion on your skin and reach inside a cosmetic jar or touch the tip of a lotion tube to get more product, without washing your hands first, you risk to contaminate the entire product with skin bacteria. This can lead to bacteria growth inside your cosmetic container, and to skin infection when applying the product during the healing process period.
On the first night (two nights for medium/large sized tattoos), wrap your tattoo in cling film after washing (paragraph 2) and applying the cream (paragraph 5); this way you won’t risk waking up with your bed sheets stuck to your tattoo and/or with your sheets covered in ink.
NB: If in the morning for some reason your sheets are stuck to you, follow the same instructions as with a stuck bandage, don’t peel the sheet off as this could damage the tattoo; take the sheet with you to the shower and wet it off with cool or lukewarm water.
As you wake, your tattoo will appear very goopy under the cling wrap. Rest assured, this is normal. Take a shower and wash your tattoo (paragraph 2), pat it dry (paragraph 3) and apply a thin layer of aftercare cream (paragraph 5). Get ready for your day making sure your clothing won't damage the tattoo (paragraph 8).
Starting from today, you will apply a thin layer of aftercare cream twice a day (morning and late afternoon/evening), for the next four weeks.
avoid wearing tight clothing over your new tattoo. Otherwise you run the risk of scabbing and ink loss when clothes rub up against your tattoo. If possible, avoid sleeping on your tattoo so you don’t aggravate the healing process.
Refrain from any workout or physical activity more intense than walking, especially in cases where the new tattoo is in a direct sweat-zone of the body.
NB: After a few days your tattoo will peel like a sunburn and become very itchy. DO NOT pick or scratch and do not touch your tattoo unnecessarily.
Also, please be aware that under the peeling layer of skin, the new tattoo will look inconsistent and a little "foggy".
This is NORMAL and it is part of the healing process of your tattoo.
This is what's happening to it:
the first layer of your skin is peeling and along with it, the first layer of ink is coming off too (yes, this is perfectly normal). Now, underneath this first layer which is slowly coming off, you have now a thin layer of brand new skin. This second layer is forming, and needs about a week to perfectly settle and reach the right consistency. At this stage, it appears like a foggy filter over the actual tattoo, and makes the tattoo appear a little a "milky" and "foggy".
This new layer of skin needs about a week to perfectly settle and show the true colours and shape of your new the tattoo.
This is why UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES you should pick on the peeling skin to check the tattoo under it!!!
Again, DO NOT pick or scratch and do not touch your tattoo unnecessarily.
You should avoid direct sunlight (where possible), and MUST avoid salty and chlorinated water (sea/ocean/pools will permanently damage areas of your tattoo at this stage), as well as soaking your tattoo (baths etc), and long showers, until the tattoo is perfectly healed on the outside, and settled inside the skin (four weeks).
Apply a thin layer of cream twice a day (paragraph 5 and end of paragraph 7).
After three to four weeks your tattoo will be perfectly healed, both inside and out.
At this point if you want your tattoo to keep its shine and remain perfect for many years to come, you should make it a habit to apply a skin moisturiser every night (we do not recommend to apply it during the day if you are not sure on the effects that your moisturiser can have with the sun, as some of them, like for example the Nivea cream, can intensify greatly the tanning effect of the sun on your tattoo).
REMEMBER: hydrated skin will make sure your tattoo stays in excellent condition over the years, and will keep the colours bright and saturated.
Also, when exposing your HEALED tattoo to the sun, make sure you ALWAYS protect it with high UV protection suncream.These two tips are a must for a long-lasting, pristine looking tattoo. As always, should you have any doubts or questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.
THINKER TATTOO ~ Your Custom Tattoo Specialists in Brisbane.