Tattoo aftercare plays a significant role in the healing process. How you care for your tattoo determines how well your tattoo heals, thus making your tattoo last longer and looking vibrant. First and foremost, leave the tattoo bandaged for a minimum of ONE hour, and no longer than SIX hours. Wash your hands using an unscented anti-bacterial (such as Dial or Soft-Soap) prior to removing the bandage. Remove the bandage gently to reduce the risk of damaging the tattoo. As soon as the bandage is removed, use an unscented anti-bacterial soap to wash your tattoo using only your hands, and warm, soapy water to wash off any excess ink, ointment, blood, or bodily fluids that would normally be left behind from the tattooing process. When you are finished, allow your tattoo to air dry for 5-10 minutes. Then, apply a fragrance-free lotion (such as Lubriderm, Curel, or Eucerin) to your new tattoo. Do NOT re-bandage your tattoo.
Generally, you should be washing your tattoo about 5-10 times daily within the first week, air drying your tattoo after. It is also strongly advised that you apply fragrance-free lotion to the area about 10-15 times a day, as well. During the first week or two, your tattoo will begin to peel, which is normal. You need to let your tattoo peel on its own during this process, as picking or scratching at it runs a high risk of ruining your tattoo. During this time, wearing loose fitting clothing over your tattoo is vital, as you don’t want to suffocate the area that has been tattooed. You should be letting your tattoo “breathe” as much as possible.
Lastly, there are a few restrictions during the healing process. Do not expose your tattoo to direct sunlight for about four weeks, or until your tattoo is completely healed. Do not submerge your tattoo in water and avoid swimming (bathtubs/swimming pools/lakes/rivers/saunas/hot tubs) Do not shave, wax, or use any hair removal products, and do not apply Vaseline, any petroleum based products, or sunblock to your tattoo at this time.
Following the appropriate tattoo aftercare instructions will prevent infection of the tattooed area, and will ensure that your tattoo will heal properly and looking immaculate. Prevention of infection is also your responsibility, as well as the ultimate outcome of your tattoo. Once you leave the shop, caring for your tattoo is YOUR responsibility.
The Client shall consult a health practitioner at the first sign of infection or an allergic reaction and report any diagnosed infection, allergic reaction, or adverse reaction resulting from the tattoo to the artist to the Texas Department of State Health Services, Drugs, and Medical Devices Group at 1-888-839-6676.
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