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Published on Nov 9, 2010
TATTOO HEALING / AFTERCARE
This is the "standard" method and most common. We suggest this method for those with smaller tattoos, and those that have had good results with it in the past. Your new tattoo has been bandaged, and it should be removed after at least four hours. It is very important that your new tattoo be protected from the sun and dirty environments, as it is a rather large open wound at this time. You should wait to remove the bandage until you can properly clean it with mild soap and warm water. Rinse it well, and pat it dry, then allow it to air-dry before applying ointment.
You should apply ointment, H2Ocean, regularly throughout the day, keeping the tattoo slightly moist, but NOT smothered. Use just enough ointment to make the tattoo slightly shiny, and blot off any excess. For the first day or two, your tattoo will require more cleaning, as it will lose fluid at first--this is normal. You want to make sure that moisture doesn't get trapped under the ointment (hence the air-drying), and that the tattoo doesn't stay submerged in water either. We recommend washing your tattoo a couple times throughout the day, using only mild soap, and rinsing and drying well. Frequency of cleaning depends on your lifestyle--use your best judgement, but don't overdo it.
You should only apply ointment for as many days as it takes for your tattoo to peel, this process will take anywhere from three days to 1 week, depending on your body and the area of skin. It will begin to flake like sunburn--just let this happen on its own, and don't pick at it. When the tattoo has fully entered the peeling phase, you need not, and should not, apply any more ointment. The area will become dry and itchy, and a good hand lotion should help with this.
Here's what you should look out for with this method. Should any "bubbling" of your tattoo occur, you should consider method 2. This bubbling is caused from moisture (usually too much ointment!) getting trapped in your tattoo, and could lead to scabbing. If scabs develop, they can remove the color beneath them. It is very important that they are allowed to dry out completely, and not at any time get water-logged. The scab will eventually fall off on its own, and your tattoo should be fine if you keep the scabs dry. Also, some people develop a small allergic reaction to Bacitracin, which shows up as a red rash around the tattoo, and disappears once the ointment is no longer used. A small percentage of people may develop a more serious reaction, and may require medical attention, so we suggest the use of A&D, unless you've not had problems with Bacitracin in the past.