Jun's Aftercare Instructions!
Disclaimer: All artists will have a slightly different recommendation for aftercare. Generally speaking, you should do what works best for your healing if you’ve gotten a tattoo before. You know your body best. There is no one right way; there are some ways better than others, which entirely depends on the kind of tattoo you got and your skin type. If you don’t know what works, or want to try something different, it may be best to simply follow what your artist recommends.
Things you will need for aftercare:
+Lukewarm water access
*GENERALLY BAD SYMPTOMS: Hotness/redness/pain after a few days of procedure, small red bumps that resembles pimples, fever, abscess/boils/drainage. Contact your artist or shop right away!! Use your judgement if you need to go to a doctor!!
Days 1-4: It’s going to feel like a sunburn. These first few days are the most important to pay attention to your tattoo as you’re going to have to care for an open wound of art. Wash your tattoo twice a day and apply a THIN layer of ointment a few times a day or as needed. Keep your tattoo moist, but not oily or over-saturated. It should feel soft to the touch and not dry or crusty.
+Bandages: If you get a traditional bandage (usually a pad and tape), keep it wrapped for a minimum of 2 hours and maximum or 8 hours (or overnight). If you get a clear-adhesive wrap called Saniderm, you can keep it on for up to 3 days as long as your tattoo does not become uncovered (I recommend removing it quickly in the shower, can be painful/cause lightheadedness so be careful!). Wash your tattoo after you take off your bandage and NEVER re-cover your tattoo with another bandage. Air is best for your tattoo, try to wear loose fitting clothing around the fresh tattoo for best healing.
+Some ink loss is normal, do not worry about it. You will find it on your bandage and on your paper towels while washing. You may get ink stains on your sheets, clothes, or where you sleep.
+Wear loose clothing around your tattoo or keep it out and uncovered. Be aware of waist bands/belts, wrist cuffs, jewelry, bras/binders/holsters, and tight socks that may come into contact with your tattoo.
Days 5-8ish: Linework heals very quickly and easily, so if your tattoo is just linework, you have the option of drying out your tattoo at this point. There is such a thing as too much moisture in healing, so I tend to recommend only a few days of ointment/washing. If you live in a dry climate, have chronic dry skin, or simply can’t handle the itchy feeling, you can continue using ointment.
+Around this time, your tattoo may itch like hell. Don’t itch it, don’t pick at it. Rub or tap your tattoo gently if you must.
+Your tattoo may also look different at this stage as it is changing from an open wound to a healing ink scar. Some people get alarmed, don't worry. Your tattoo may look light (the top layers of your skin are shedding, like when a snake looks different when it's about to shed) or wrinkly in the skin (scabs will tighten the skin around it for healing).
+Wait about a week after your appointment to start using any moisturizers (lotion). Moisturizers can include coconut oil and shea butter (watch for irritation if they have fragrances or essential oils).
If you have ANY questions or concerns during your healing process, ASK! If something is unusual or doesn’t feel right to you, ASK!
+The number one recommended ointment from me is Eucerin’s Aquaphor. Two other alternative options are Vitamins A&D ointment and generic triple antibiotic ointment (tho some people are allergic, avoid Neosporin, see Ointment Guide above!).
+SOAP: Get a simple soap to wash your tattoo. Make sure it is free of fragrance and essential oils, these things can irritate your fresh tattoo. Antibacterial soaps will work. You will want to lather into bubbles and gently rub over your tattoo with your hand. Don't scrub or leave the soap on too long!
+Cold water can feel good but won’t wash away the grime. Too hot water has the potential of hurting your tattoo (remember that it is an open wound for a couple days). Showers are okay, expect to not submerge your tattoo under water for at least 2 weeks. Avoid swimming pools or saunas in those 2 weeks.
+It is recommended to use paper towels instead of a cloth towel. Cloth towels can shed fibers that get stuck in your tattoo. It can also carry a lot of other bacteria, which is a thing to keep in mind if you’re using a communal towel or repeatedly using a towel.
+Working out? Depending on the size of your tattoo, I would give yourself at least 2 days of no hard workouts/excess sweating if you can help it. If you are sweating a lot in the area of the tattoo, make sure to wash afterwards during the healing process.
+Keep your tattoo out of direct sunlight for at least 2 weeks. After it is healed and there are no visible scabs after 2-3 weeks, you can start using sunscreen. Sunscreen is a choice. Sunburning/tanning your tattoo will make it fade quicker. Aging is a natural part of life, so naturally your tattoo will change, shift, and age with you in it’s own ways.
+Use your judgement! If your tattoo still feels painful/hot after a few days of your appt, I recommend checking in with your artist.