The minute you step out the front door of the tattoo studio, you are responsible for the post-operative care of your tattoo. How you look after your tattoo for the next few days and weeks will determine how crisp and clear it looks for the rest of your life.
Do not try to "air out" your tattoo by removing the bandage. Leave the bandage on for as long as recommended by your tattoo artist. Some tattooists will recommend that you leave the bandage on for as long twenty-four hours but others will recommend not taking a peek at your design for at least three to six hours.
When it is time to remove the bandage, do so very gently. Don't forget to always wash your hands before you touch your tattoo or the surrounding area If the bandage is stuck to your skin, do not tug at it or try to rip it off. Wet the bandage with some warm water until the moisture loosens it and then carefully pull it away.
When the tattoo is uncovered, use warm soapy to thoroughly clean the area. Pat (don't rub) the area dry with a soft, clean towel. For the first week try to avoid soaking the tattoo while in the bath or the shower.
After you remove the bandage, some tattooists will recommend that you leave the tattoo open to the air for around ten minutes while others will tell you to treat the area with ointment immediately. Usually the tattooist will recommend that you apply an antibacterial cream such as Bactine or a specialty tattoo cream such as Tattoo Goo to the tattooed area. If you have a reaction to any kind of ointment, make sure you inform the tatooist immediately. He or she will recommend an alternative or suggest you seek medical advice if the reaction is severe.
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