Here is a baseline instruction guide to tattoo aftercare. If your artist has given you different instructions follow them. If you forget what they have told you, this will work just fine!
After getting your tattoo, your fresh art will be wrapped in either a bandage or selefane (plastic wrap). You want to leave this on for 3 hrs, then take it off and clean it with basic soap and warm water (have a shower if its in a hard to reach spot). Pat it dry with a clean towel or paper towel. Give it a day or 2 to dry out, then start applying moisturizer when dry. Common sense healing.
DO'S -- UN-SCENTED moisturizer will be needed periodically throughout healing as it begins to dry out. Dont smother it, but just a light coat that can be rubbed in. Apply when dry. There are many brands available, just make sure its as basic as possible and unscented. Cleaning your tattoo is a must. Rinse with basic soap (WHITE BAR) and warm water. Showers are all good, and cleaning the tattoo when you shower is good. Trouble comes in with soaking situations. Stay away from hot-tubs, pools, anything where the tattoo can soak.
DONT'S -- Sunshine is kryptonite to tattoos. Unprotected sun exposure will drastically fade your quality and brightness of your tattoo (especially color) . Always remember to apply 40+ sunblock if your doing activities in the sun. Sunburns are your tattoos worst nightmare. Dont pick or scratch! As your tattoo dries out it will flake and peel, and ITCH. this is all normal. This is the healing process. Moisturizer is usually the best option to quench a good itch. If you take those scabs or flakes off too early it can take ink with it, so leave them be.
SOME OTHER QUESTIONS
- Do tattoos hurt?
Yes. But not bad enough for people to not get them. Usually it's a 10% 80% 10% breakdown. 10% think it hurts a lot. 80% think it is t that bad, but experience some tender spots here and there. And 10% think it doesn't hurt at all. Most likely your in the 80%, so don't be to worried.
- Do I have to be 18 years old?
- Do certain colours cause allergies?
Some colours have higher tendencies to have allergic properties. Red is the most common culperate. If your worried about this you can always have a very small amount of the suspected color tattooed in and see how the body reacts. Although cases have been heard of (second hand) where individuals have had red tattooed over the years with no reaction, later to have a reaction when a large amount of red was tattooed. There is no 100% way to know how someone's skin will react, but over the years ink quality has improved immensely. We only use the best inks tried and tested throughout the industry. Choosing them on the basis that we haven't heard of reactions with these brands. Remember a tattooist never wants anyone to have an allergy, or any type of negative experience, we are always trying to avoid any possible problems by using the best possible tools and ink. Best bet is if you have had problems with super sensitive skin in the past, black and grey might be the safest way to go.
- Do you reuse needles?
Never! You will be hard pressed to find any professional studio in 2015 reusing needles. It's not only ridiculous but not economical. The production of today's premade needles make it very convenient for artists. You should always see an artist open the needle from a fresh package when your about to get started.
- How long do they take to heal?
Plan for two weeks to be safe.
- How much do they cost?
Tattoos generally cost between $140-200 an hour. All depends on who your artist is.
- How often do I need touch-ups?
A good rule of thumb is once your tattoo is complete, wait 6 month and have it checked for any imperfections. Ink that hasn't been put into the deeper skin layers looks great for the first couple of months. Over time those top layers of skin shed away leaving areas that aren't solidly saturated. They usually aren't very noticeable, but are quickly fixed up with a slight touch up. Usually a full sleep can be touched up of any imperfections in a quick 20 min session. It's all part of the process making sure your tattoo is at it's best. As log as you protect the tattoo with sum screen it should stay looking good for years to come.
- Can i workout after getting my tattoo?
Give it a couple days to chill. Once it's not sore anymore it's probably ok. Just make sure to use common sense. If you had a 6hr session on your back, don't do an excercise that applies a bunch of pressure to your back like bench press the next day. Also wear clean clothes that protect the tattoo from touching any open gym equipment. Gyms are dirty, and new tattoos are somewhat open wounds. Have a shower and clean it up afterwords. Remember tattoo aftercare is very common sense.