I have two aftercare instructions below, one for using a Recovery DermShield bandage (wet healing), and another for the old school method (dry healing). If you ever have any questions or concerns about aftercare, please feel free to send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org :)
W A S H I N G Y O U R T A T T O O
Regardless of what aftercare method you choose, the instructions for washing your tattoo are the same! You will need a fragrance-free gentle liquid soap (I recommend Dial Gold), clean paper towels, and a plain gentle lotion (Lubriderm, Cera Ve, and Aveeno are all great).
Step 1 | Always wash your hands first before touching your tattoo!
Step 2 | Gently lather soap over your tattoo.
Step 3 | Pat dry with a clean paper towel (no bath towels!)
Step 4 | Let the tattoo breathe for 10-15 minutes, then apply a VERY thin layer of lotion.
Step 5 | Repeat 3-4 times a day if your tattoo is still wet, and switch to 2-3 times a day once your tattoo becomes dry/flaky (please don't pick at the flakes or scabs-- they will come off naturally!)
Your tattoo will fully heal in 2-3 weeks (you'll be able to tell once there are no more flakes) and will settle in your skin over the months following. While your tattoo is healing, please remember to stay out of bodies of water (the ocean, hot tubs, baths, etc) as it can mess with the healing process and introduce bacteria into the wound. Also limit your sun exposure, and don't apply sunscreen on your tattoo until it has healed.
W E T H E A L I N G
If you chose to opt for DermShield after your session, keep the bandage on for 3-5 days. There may be some blood, plasma, and ink collecting in the bandage over the first day or so-- this is completely normal! As long as the bandage doesn't leak just keep it on, and the liquid will dry up in the next few days. If your bandage does leak, or if there is excess liquid that feels like it might, you may replace it within the first 24 hours.
To remove the bandage, do so in the shower under warm running water. Wash your hands first, and then rub soap over the bandage to help loosen the adhesive. Gently pull the bandage from top down, and take your time with it as to not irritate your skin. After removing, wash your tattoo as described above.
If replacing the bandage, you can find Recovery's instructions for applying a new one here! Make sure to thoroughly clean the area before applying, as to not trap any bacteria in the wound.
D R Y H E A L I N G
If you chose to heal without DermShield, I will wrap your tattoo temporarily after your session. Please keep this wrapping on for at least 2 hours, but I encourage keeping it on until you get home for the evening.
Before you go to bed, take off the wrapping and wash your tattoo thoroughly as described above. If you'd like, you may dry wrap your tattoo with cling wrap the first night so that your tattoo doesn't rest on your sheets. DO NOT apply any lotion under the wrapping, as it may over-moisturize and irritate your tattoo!! Also DO NOT wrap your tattoo after the first night, as this will mess with the dry healing process.
Continue washing your tattoo 3-4 times a day for the first week or so, and then switch to 2-3 times a day once the tattoo begins to flake.