The long life of your tattoo depends upon the care you give it during the critical first few days and weeks.
After finishing your tattoo, it will be gently bandaged. Depending on the size and placement of your tattoo, the artist will choose which method of bandage is appropriate. The first being a clear plastic wrap, which you will leave on for approximately 2 hours. The second option is a derm shield bandage that you will leave on for up to 3 days. Prior to removing your bandage, wash your hands with an antibacterial liquid hand soap. Once your hands are clean, you will remove your bandage and wash the tattoo with the same antibacterial hand soap and lukewarm water. Please be sure to not scrub the area and then pat dry with paper towels.
Once you have properly cleansed your tattoo, apply a thin layer of fragrance-free lotion or tattoo aftercare products such as Tattoo Goo. Do not cover your tattoo again.
Repeat the cleaning and application of lotion 2-3 times a day for the next 7 days if you had clear plastic wrap applied. If derm shield was applied, repeat the cleaning and application of lotion for the next 4 days.
Expect your tattoo to peel and become itchy, this is part of the healing process. Do not pick or scratch your new tattoo as this will affect the end result.
Avoid direct sunlight and tanning beds for approximately 2 weeks. After healing, it is best to use sun block whenever exposed to sun as this will prolong the life of your tattoo.
Avoid baths, pools, spas, hot tubs, salt water, lakes, etc., for the first 10-15 days.
The normal healing time is typically 2 to 4 weeks but may take longer in some cases.