Plan to be sore the first couple of days following your tattoo. Accommodate yourself with a day of of rest.
Wash your hands with soap before cleaning or touching your tattoo. Be aware of pets and other hands wanting to touch.
Keep the plastic bandage on for at least an hour or more. It can be left on overnight.
Listen to your body. Remove plastic if it feels annoying or hot.
Ice the area to reduce heat and swelling.
Wash twice a day, or more as needed, and apply a thin layer of ointment after washing for the first 2-3 days. Then switch to a mild, unscented lotion, lotion for life will keep colors looking bright and saturated.
Do not scratch or pick. This may remove ink and can lead to infections. Gently rub or pat itchiness with cloth.
Avoid direct sunlight for the first 2 weeks of healing. Use a high SPF sunscreen on your tattoo when in the sun, for the life of your tattoo.
Avoid tanning beds, in general.
Avoid prolonged soaking in any waters (lake, ocean, bathtub, pool) for two weeks. More depending on amount of surface area tattooed and speed of healing.
Avoid heavy sweating and friction in the area of your tattoo for two weeks. Wash after sweating and re-apply ointment.
Do not let your tattoo stick to sheets or clothing. If stuck, soak the cloth with warm water to gently remove.
Color and plasma may seep to the surface, especially when first removing the bandage. This is normal.
Wash gently with warm water and wipe with a clean paper towel and reapply ointment or lotion.
The tattoo and surrounding area may be swollen, red, and sore for at least a week.
Within a few days or a week, a thin scab should form evenly over the tattoo and peel like a sunburn. (Do not pick at it!)
The color may seem dull or uneven while the tattoo is healing.
All skin is different, shading and certain colors may fade during the healing process.