For 2 weeks after receiving your tattoo you must:
1) Properly clean the tattooed area
2) Minimize exposure to the sun
3) Minimize exposure to water; do not swim or soak in fresh, salt, or chlorinated water.
DAY OF TATTOO: Approximately 1-3 hours after the completion of the tattoo, take a warm shower allowing the water to run over the surface of the tattooed area for 10-15 minutes. This allows the pores of the skin to dilate, releasing any remaining blood and/or plasma that has not drained. Then turn the water to a cool temperature and apply a small amount of either Provon antimicrobial soap or Dial antibacterial soap. Wash the surface of the tattoo until it feels clean and not "slimy." Finish showering, and then blot the tattoo with a clean towel by blotting, not wiping. The cool water allows the pores of the skin to close down, effectively stopping any remaining weeping of plasma that might occur otherwise.
If you are awake for more than 3 hours after showering, wash the surface of the tattoo once more before going to bed. Dry the tattoo by blotting not wiping.
DO NOT APPLY ANY LOTION THIS DAY! Your body has all it needs to heal the tattoo, your job is to keep the tattoo clean and dry. Application of lotions or ointments too soon will soften the protective scab that has formed over the wound, allowing bacteria to get in, and plasma to weep out.
DAY AFTER: At this point the protective scab has formed over the wound; wash the tattoo twice, once in the morning and once in the evening. Either washing can be done in the shower. However, it is very important to keep your shower to a minimum of 5 minutes. Over exposure to water will soften the protective scab that has formed over the wound, allowing bacteria to get in, and plasma to weep out.
DO NOT APPLY LOTION ON THIS DAY!
DAY THREE AND FOUR: Clean the tattoo when you wake up; blot dry and wait 15 minutes. Once the tattoo is completely dry, then apply the appropriate amount of a good skin lotion. Avoid the use of any ointments These petroleum based products will suffocate your tattoo and allow the protective scab to become soft and ineffective as a bacterial barrier.
DAY FIVE AND SIX: At this point your tattoo will most likely begin peeling, similar to a sunburn, but generally a little thicker. Do not help it peel, no matter how tempting it is. Continue with the previous days care, however, be careful not to pull the scabs when applying lotion to the area.
DAY SEVEN: Around this time your tattoo will have peeled. After all remaining scabs fall off, you can resume regular water activities. Continue to apply lotion once a day for at least two weeks or longer. The skin generally takes 40-50 days to completely regenerate from a wound.
These aftercare suggestions are based on the cumulative knowledge we have gained in the past 12 years of tattooing. Please follow them accurately and let us know if you have any problems. DO NOT LISTEN TO YOUR FRIENDS, they do not know how I applied your tattoo, and therefore are not an accurate authority on how to heal your tattoo. The pigments used in your tattoo are lightfast, however with moderate to heavy exposure to the sun your tattoo will lighten over the years. Touch-ups are free, unless you abuse the tattoo. So use a quality sunscreen of 30 SPF or higher.
The State of Texas Health Department requires us to tell you to use an antibiotic ointment and to cover your tattoo with a sterile bandage. Although we believe this to be a poor healing technique for a tattoo, by mandate from the state we must tell you this aftercare. If you have any questions or complaints you may contact the Texas Department of Health, Drugs, and Medical Devices Division at 1-888-839-6676