As soon as you get your first tattoo, you're going to want to show the world. You'll want to remove the bandage, wearing your new design proudly for all to see, letting people look closely and touch the miraculous markings. Don't! A tattoo is an open wound, and it has to be cared for carefully. Cover it, clean it, apply lotion and keep it out of the sun.
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Things you need
- Tattoo ointment
- Skin lotion
- Paper towel
- Fine cloth
Leave the bandage on for at least two hours. Immediately after a tattoo, your skin is basically an open wound, extremely susceptible to infection. Leaving the tattoo covered for at least a couple of hours is necessary to give it time to close up. Some experts recommend leaving the bandage on for as long as 24 hours, but opinions vary. Do what your tattoo artist tells you.
Carefully remove the bandaging and discard it. Your tattoo needs to breathe out, so you will not want to bandage it again.
Gently wash the tattoo. Use cool or lukewarm water along with an unscented antibacterial soap. Pat it with a fine cloth to dry.
Use your fingertips to rub in a tattoo ointment such as Tattoo Goo or A&D Ointment to the tattoo. Only use enough to cover it, and wipe off any excess with a fine cloth or paper towel.
Cover the tattoo with loosely fitting clothing. You want to avoid rubbing the tattoo against things and to keep it out of the sun. Do not wear skin-tight clothes over the area until it has healed.
Reapply a thin layer of tattoo ointment any time your tattoo feels dry or uncomfortable.
Keep the tattoo dry. After the first washing, you don't want to get the tattoo wet again for at least a few days. When you shower, try to hold the tattoo out of the stream of water, or use a plastic bag and a rubber band to cover it.
Do not sleep on your tattoo. If it is on your back, try sleeping on your side.
After 3 to 5 days, switch to normal skin lotion. Use a dye free, fragrance free lotion on your tattoo. Do not use petroleum jelly, as it can leach the dye out of your tattoo, causing it to fade.