portfolios > Tattoo aftercare (Black or blue bandages)

Leave the bandage on overnight.
Fluid weeping and some bleeding is NORMAL and should be expected. There may be a little or a lot. There is no need for concern when you notice fluid, this is your own blood plasma and a bit of tattoo pigment.
Do not remove the bandage until you can wash your tattoo in a clean place!
When it comes time to remove the bandage, the easiest way is to do it in the shower. Gently remove the medical tape holding the bandage in place and allow warm water to flow over the bandage releasing it. Never pull a bandage off without warm water. Your skin has likely stuck to your bandage over night. Pulling the bandage off can result in undue discomfort and potential damage to the new tattoo.
Another thing to look out for is your bandage (or your skin over the next several days after the bandage has been removed) sticking to your bed sheets at night. Most of the time this cannot be helped, but if you happen to wake up one morning stuck to the sheets, DO NOT just pull at the sheets to unstick them. Instead, soak the stuck area with lukewarm water until the bedding is damp enough to pull free with no effort. If this means that you need to drag your duvet into the shower with you, so-be-it. This technique should also be applied if any other types of material/clothing might become stuck to a tattooed area such as pajamas.
WASHING INSTRUCTIONS- Immediately after removing the bandage, while in the shower, wash the tattoo thoroughly with mild, UNSCENTED soap and very warm water. Use only your fingertips with gentle pressure. The trick to getting your tattoo clean is to wash it not just once but as many times as needed to get it clean. Your tattoo isn't clean until it no longer has any areas that feel 'slippery' to the touch. DO NOT USE A CLOTH, LOOFAH or SPONGE. Do not use an exfoliating soap. A mild, liquid or foam soap (unscented dish-soap works well) are best. If you use bar soap, it should be brand new bar. Bacteria sits on bar soap in between uses.
Once your tattoo is clean, rinse it one last time with cold water to help close the pores of your skin.
PAT DRY the tattoo using a FRESH, CLEAN towel. Avoid using a bath towel that you've been using for several days as it likely contains bacteria.
MOISTURIZING YOUR TATTOO- For the next 5-7 days let your tattoo dry out completely. DO NOT apply lotions or creams to the area. Allow the tattoo to be dry until it feels tight, itchy or flaky.
After that, you can start to moisturize with any UNSCENTED lotion a couple times a day as needed. DO NOT OVER MOISTURIZE!! And do not use any heavy, thick creams. A small amount of a light, unscented lotion is all you need.
You can wash/shower daily but it is important to keep showers short and always PAT DRY, do not rub your tattoo afterwards. Allow the tattoo to dry out COMPLETELY (normally several hours) after showering before applying any moisturizer.
Your new tattoo will begin to develop a light, flaky skin or a thicker scab over its top. This is usually accompanied by severe itching around the tattooed area. It is normal for your tattoo to be intensely itchy while it’s repairing itself.
Avoid clothing or activities that may irritate your new tattoo for several days. This may include clothing that is tight or has a coarse texture. It is also advisable you avoid wearing your favourite light coloured clothing or sleeping on your best sheets for the first 3 days, in case of leakage.
If you experience any swelling around your new tattoo, treat the body part as you would a sprained ankle. Ice, elevation and Advil. Lower extremities are particularly vulnerable to swelling. It's usually nothing to be concerned about, but it can be uncomfortable. Just rest and put your feet up for a while.
-Do not go on vacation with a new tattoo and do not submerge your healing tattoo in water.

Scabbing can’t always be avoided. In fact, it's considered a natural process. When you get a tattoo you’re essentially causing trauma to a specific area of the skin.
Depending on the size and nature of the tattoo, and to some degree on your body’s chemistry, you may experience a number of scabs. You can't really predict whether or not you're going to experience scabbing or how severe it might be.
When scabbing does occur, it's important to allow the scabs to dry out and fall off naturally.
Keep in mind, if you have any dense, thick scabs that have formed over your tattoo, the general rule of thumb is, the thicker the scab, the longer it is going to take to heal. So be patient if this is the case with your specific tattoo.
There are some rules everyone should follow when it comes to aftercare if scabbing occurs during the healing process.
-NEVER PICK at your scabs. This is the number one rule. No-matter how big, how small, how dark or how ugly your scabs are- if you begin to pick them off, you greatly increase your chances of pulling ink out of your tattoo along with the scab. It can also lead to pitting or scarring and potentially permanently damage the area.
-DON'T APPLY LOTION DIRECTLY ONTO THE SCABS. Make sure to use lotion around the scabs to keep them dry as possible. When you smother a tattoo with a thick layer of lotion, moisture gets trapped and it will get soaked up by your scabs, making them soggy and gooey.
-DON'T SUBMERGE YOUR SCABS IN WATER or keep them wet for extended periods of time. Same as above- the scabs will soak up the water turning them sticky and gooey. When you have a shower, try as best as possible to keep the scabbed area from water contact. The more water that lands on the tattoo, the more water the scab is going to soak up.
-BE VERY CAREFUL WHEN CLEANING AND DRYING THE TATTOO, especially when going over the scabbed area. When drying, very gently pat the area dry and continue to check that the scab doesn't stick to the towel as you pat.
The bigger the scab, the easier it will be to catch on clothing and other objects, so you're going to have to be extra cautious when putting on/removing clothing and doing general day-to-day tasks, etc.

Overall, the healing stages of tattoos stretch out over a 2-6 week period depending on the individual. Age, lifestyle and the size and location of your tattoo are all factors in the healing process.
Always use a good sunscreen (SPF 30+) on your tattoo after it has healed.

Should you any additional questions or experience any symptoms beyond those mentioned here, please don't hesitate to contact us.