If your tattoo is bandaged with Tegaderm, you should keep the bandage on for 4 days. You can shower with the Tegaderm bandage, but no baths/soaking until the Tegaderm is off and the tattoo is fully healed.
During this time, it is normal to see some fluid build up beneath the bandage. (If the bandage begins to leak, you must remove the bandage and follow the standard aftercare instructions listed below. If fluid can get out, bacteria can get in).
After 4 days, remove the Tegaderm bandage gently under warm running water. Wash the tattoo with a mild, fragrance-free soap. At this point, your tattoo should be well into the healing process - you may use an unscented, non-greasy lotion (like Cetaphil or Lubriderm) to keep the tattoo moisturized.
1. Leave bandage on for 2-3 hours or as instructed.
2. Wash your hands well with soap before touching your new tattoo.
3. After the bandage is removed, wash your tattoo with warm water and a mild, fragrance-free soap. Gently remove all existing A&D ointment, blood, and lymph with your fingertips. Excess lymph will cause scabbing, and you want to minimize this as much as possible. Do not use anything abrasive to clean your new tattoo.
4. Rinse and pat dry with a disposable paper towel.
5. Wash tattoo twice a day until your tattoo is completely healed. Do not over-wash. Regular showering is fine. Do not submerge the tattoo for an extended amount of time until it has healed - this includes baths and swimming.
6. Over the next few days the tattoo will become flaky, dry, and tight. Use a fragrance-free, non-greasy lotion 1-2 times a day sparingly. Rub lotion in until it is fully absorbed into your skin. Do not over-moisturize. If a scab forms, it will be the color of the ink used. This does not mean the ink is going to fall out. Leave the scabs and let them fall off naturally. Do not pick or scratch the area. The tattoo may appear dull until it has completely healed - this is normal and will go away after a few weeks. Wear loose fitting clothing over the area.
Soaps To Use
- Mild, fragrance-free soap: Dial, Dove, Lever 2000, Neutrogena
Lotions To Use
- Non-greasy, fragrance-free, dye-free moisturizing lotion: Cetaphil, Lubriderm, Aveeno, Keri
- Optional: Aquaphor for the first few days, sparingly. Should never look shiny - rub it in very well. Failure to use sparingly will slow down the healing process, and in some cases cause skin irritation.
- Do not use anything on the tattoo other than what is previously recommended.
- Do not pick, peel, or scratch your new tattoo.
- Do not under any circumstance use rubbing alcohol, peroxide, or cortisone on your new tattoo.
- Do not use sponges, washcloths, or anything abrasive while cleaning your tattoo. They harbor bacteria and may irritate or harm your tattoo.
- Do not let anyone touch your new tattoo. This includes pets.
- Do not go in a lake, tub, pool, etc. These all contain bacteria.
- Do not expose your new tattoo to direct sunlight. This includes tanning beds. A high SPF sunscreen will protect the crispness/longevity of your tattoo in the future.
Failure to follow these guidelines could result in infection or a poorly healed tattoo. I am not a physician, if you have any concerns about infection, please consult a doctor immediately. Feel free to DM/email me with any aftercare questions if you need clarification.