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Healing a tattoo is a simple process. The most important things to remember are keeping it clean and properly moisturized. Cleaning should be done daily and additionally if coming from an unclean environment (work, gym, etc.). There are many products on the market that are specific to the tattoo healing. I personally do not use them but most people seem to have fine results by following the directions on the product. I prefer the combination of Aquaphor and unscented lotion.  Continue on for the process dos and don'ts.

Day 1-3

Day 1      When coming home with your new tattoo, you may remove the bandage and clean the tattoo. At this time, your tattoo is an open wound and highly susceptible to infection. Washing it once or twice a day is recommended. Your everyday soap can be used as long as it does not contain scrubbing beads. Work soap to a lather in your  hands and gently rub away blood, plasma, or ink stuck on the surface of your tattoo (stencil may need more time to disappear).  After cleaning and patting dry, the tattoo needs to dry out further since the tattoo has been well moisturized during the tattoo process. If the tattoo was finished prior to 7pm, the tattoo can be lightly moisturized by rubbing the Aquaphor in before bed. No shine should be left on the surface by patting away excess. 

Day 2-3       Wash gently with hand and pat dry. After 15 minutes, you may apply a small amount of Aquaphor. Again ensuring that there is no shine. This should be repeated before bed. Aquaphor can be reapplied in the middle of the day if the tattoo feels dry, "tight" or itchy.


Day 4-14

For the next two weeks and possibly longer, your tattoo will start to peel. It is important to resist the urge to pick at the tattoo. Let everything fall of naturally. It is ok for the skin to come off with a gentle wash when cleaning. It is also during this time that you switch from Aquaphor to unscented lotion. I prefer Jergen's and Aveno. Work the lotion well in to the skin and pat away any excess four times a day. 

Special Attention

     For the entirety of the healing time, you must avoid excessive sunlight, swimming, scratching, dirty sheets and tight clothing

     Over moisturization is a thing and it can clog the pores, causing pimples to form. If this happens, let the tattoo dry out before you put more and do not pop the pimples.

     Going to the gym can be resumed at day four as long as the tattoo is properly moisturized. If the tattoo feels tight, do not stretch it further. This can cause cracking which will make the tattoo bleed and ultimately lead to ink loss. Remember, Gyms are havens for staph and can easily lead to infection.

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