What you need:
Unscented Antibacterial Soap (I recommend Dial Gold, but any non scented soap will do!)
Coconut Oil (the solid form for cooking) or Hustlebutter (this can be found on amazon, you don’t need a huge tub if it’s a smaller tattoo!- I would look into the 5 oz size for sleeves and leg sleeves though if you like it)
Plastic wrap (just regular plastic wrap will do, no need to buy anything fancy)
Paper towels or a clean towel
Non-scented Lotion (Lubriderm, Aveeno, Gold Bond etc)
Patience and Common Sense!
* Disclaimer! *
I am not a doctor, I do not claim to be a doctor, if there is any issue healing or anything looks like you should seek out medical attention, PLEASE PLEASE do so!! Urgent Care will normally prescribe oral and topical antibiotics, please follow the doctors orders from there on out, I can only advise what to do to prevent the beginning stages of infection.
If you are a seasoned tattoo collector, feel free to continue with whatever methods works best for you. I’m a big believer in if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it. Everyone is different, listen to your body.
That being said, treat this like any other surface wound! Keeping it clean and letting it heal is essential!
Potential things that could cause infection:
Dirty sheets, Blankets, towels in your bed/couch/house etc
Pet Dander! Pet Hair! Pet Saliva!
(I love animals more that most, but please keep them away from your fresh tattoo)
Any type of grime/dirt/dust
This could be as simple as you leaning your arm on a counter that hasn’t been cleaned in a bit.
If you work in a dirty environment (i.e. construction, hospital, kitchen work, bartender, really anything besides office, please be extra cautious!!) I recommend long sleeve shirts for the first 3-5 days.
Over washing your tattoo!!
Washing with it more than instructed could lead to cause it to always be wet or to be too dried out and both lead heavy scabbing and poor healing or infection.
Putting too much ointment on your tattoo!
Suffocating your tattoo and keeping it too wet could also lead to heavy scabbing and poor healing or infection.
Swimming or bathing while the tattoo is still healing!
This is incredibly dangerous! Swimming within 2-3 weeks of getting a tattoo could lead to staphylococcus which could lead in amputation/death.
1. Keep your cling wrap on for anywhere between 3-8 hours after getting tattooed! (If your session ends at 7-9 pm you can keep that wrap on overnight).
2. Wash with warm water, clean hands, and non-scented antibacterial soap until the tattoo is clean and all the plasma is removed.
3. Pat dry with a paper towel or let air dry.
4. Put a very small amount (dime size) of coconut oil or hustle butter on your tattoo! The tattoo should not be shiny or wet. The ointment should soak into the skin, if the skin is wet/greasy/shiny, please pat it dry with a paper towel to take some of the ointment off.
5. Repeat steps 2-4 Morning, Afternoon and Evening for the first 5 days.
**For the first 3 to 4 nights, wash your tattoo 30 minutes before you’re ready to sleep, let it air dry or pat it dry, then rewrap it with cling wrap and leave it on all night until you wake up and are ready to wash it again. Do NOT put any ointment on the tattoo before you wrap it, this is called Dry Wrapping and is very beneficial to the healing process.
6. Once your tattoo starts to peel like a bad sunburn, I mean really start to look snake like; then you can replace your coconut oil/Hustlebutter with your lotion! You are STILL washing it 3 times a day, but you no longer have to dry wrap it at night.
It is very very important in this stage that you do not pick off these thin layers of skin!!! This will cause scarring and scabbing and I will 100% know if you are doing this.
The best method for this is out of sight, out of mind. If you have a tendency to pick at things (don’t worry, 99% of people do) put on a long sleeve shirt or pants. Keep it out of sight unless you are washing it and try to forget about it. I promise you this is essential to a good heal.
7. Continue to put lotion on your tattoo even well after it is healed! It’s good for your skin and will keep your tattoo looking fresh.
Your tattoo will be healed (depending on the person and the location) within 3 weeks, the tattoo will fully settle into your skin within 6-8 months.
Once you have a healed tattoo, sunscreen it daily with 55-100 spf every two hours depending on the location of the tattoo and your skin tone! Sun damage will affect the tattoo so much that it could actually start to break down some of the ink in your skin and you could have a fresh tattoo that looks 5 years old.
**My clients should never hesitate to email me with any questions or concerns regarding healing!**