Aftercare is important.
Most tattoo shops forget to teach a new customer how to properly care for their tattoo during the healing process. The way the skin heals can extremely alter a great tattoo. Great aftercare is not hard and with a little effort you can guarantee a great result.
The only thing the tattoo needs from you is a little moisture. You will feel it tighten up when it gets dry. A tattoo is a controlled abrasion. While an uncontrolled abrasion would require you to slather on antibiotic ointment to head off infection, a tattoo does not. Less is more! This is because an uncontrolled abrasion is usually caused by a non-sterile object. The entire tattoo process is sterile from beginning to end. This is not to say it cannot get infected. There are plenty of opportunities for it to come in contact with bacteria or further damage the skin. Learn to avoid them.
○ Clean with anti bacterial soap unscented at least 3 times a day let tattoo dry for 10-15 minutes before applying any ointment.
○ Sleep on clean sheets.
○ Try not to wear clothes that cut across the tattoo.
○ No hot tubs or swimming pools for 1 & 1/2 weeks.
○ Avoid direct sunlight for 1 & 1/2 weeks.
○ Do not scratch or pick at it.
Oil based ointments like A&D, Aquaphor, Bag Balm, etc. will not evaporate on their own. Rub them in good and let them soak in for a minute or two, then wipe off all the excess with water and dry with paper towel. Use for the first 4 to 5 days and then switch to a water based lotion. Don’t use ointment or lotions with a strong fragrance or alcohol.
Water based lotions can sting for the first couple of days even if it is unscented. This is the only reason you would use oil based ointment in the first place. If your tattoo dries out and the pealing skin is hard and crusty go back to the Aquaphor for another day or two.