Once the tattoo is complete, it will be wrapped with plastic film. The film is there to protect your tattoo from pathogens and airborne bacteria, which can penetrate through your broken skin. I believe that the plastic film is the best way to wrap a new tattoo as it is easy to apply and remove without sticking to the skin. It also forms an effective shield that blocks any bacteria from getting near the tattoo. It Sould be removed after 2 hours, Never leave the film on for longer as it prevents oxygen from getting to the tattoo, and oxygen is essential for healing. It also seals in moisture and raises the temperature of the skin, creating a perfect breeding ground for bacteria.
1. After 2 hours carefully remove the plastic wrap, it should never be left on a new tattoo for longer than two hours.
2. Gently wash the tattoo. Use lukewarm water and mild, unscented liquid antibacterial or antimicrobial soap. Use your hands to rub the tattoo gently, removing all traces of leaked ink blood, or other body fluids. This will help to prevent the tattoo from scabbing too soon. Do not use a washcloth or any sponge to clean the tattoo, as these may harbor bacteria. After you washed it rinse it with cold water that will healp to close off the poores.
3. Pat the tattoo dry with a light, soft towel. Once you have thoroughly washed the tattoo, you should gently pat it dry with a little paper towel. Do not rub the tattoo, as this may cause irritation. Once the excess moisture has been removed, you should leave the tattoo uncovered for 20 minutes to an hour. This will allow the tattoo to breathe and any excess moisture to evaporate.
You should allow your tattoo to breathe like this after each time you wash it or get it wet.
4. Apply an anti-bacterial ointment. Once your tattoo is fully dry, and the skin begins to feel tight you can apply a little ointment such as Bepanthen, to the tattoo. Make sure to apply only a very thin layer that’s just enough to make the tattoo shine and rub it in gently until it’s absorbed by the skin. It’s very important that you don’t apply too much ointment, or else you’ll suffocate the tattoo and encourage the growth of bacteria.
You should continue applying the ointment after each time you wash the tattoo, at least twice a day, for 3 to 5 days or until the tattoo starts to peel. When it does you can switch to a regular, fragrance-free lotion or continue to use oinament.
Don’t use petroleum-based products, such as Vaseline, as these are too heavy and may clog the pores, causing breakouts on the tattoo. They also draw the ink from the tattoo to the surface of the skin, causing the tattoo to fade before it’s even fully healed.
There are some excellent specialist products on the market that are a little pricey, but work wonders for healing tattoos. The “Tattoo Aftercare Oinament” which is non-greasy and is made from natural ingredients (this can be purchased from tattoo shop – subject to availability). Another great product is “H2Ocean”, which is a foam rather than an ointment, that uses a salt concentration to prevent infection.
5. Continue to wash and moisturise your tattoo, at minimum, twice a day until the scab is gone. You should continue to wash your tattoo with anti-bacterial soap and warm water until it is fully healed. This can take anywhere from 2 to 6 six weeks, depending on the size and location of the tattoo. You should wash the tattoo approximately three times a day, though you should wash more often if the tattoo is on your hand, wrist, foot, or any other area that is more exposed to germs.
After applying special anti-bacterial ointment for the first 3 to 5 days, you can switch to regular lotion after each wash. Avoid using lotions that are scen ted, colored or contain glitter. Remember only to apply a light layer of lotion, as over-moisturizing can negatively affect the tattoo.
The initial healing of the tattoo will take up to two weeks. During this time, you can expect the tattoo to start peeling or flaking, in a similar way to sunburn. Some colored skin may come away as the tattoo peels, but this is entirely normal.
After the skin peels, your tattoo will look glassy and feel tight. It may also have cloudy or white patches of skin that you will be tempted to peel off, but try to resist. This is referred to as “onion skin” and will fall off by itself within a couple of weeks.
If you have taken proper care of your new tattoo, you can expect your tattoo to be healed and your skin to have fully regenerated in about four to six weeks
6. During healing process avoid UV exposure (both natural sun as well as tanning beds). Do not go swimming.