It takes 3 weeks to a month for tattoos to heal. As your tattoo heals, it will leak, scab, and peel - this is natural! All tattoos itch as they heal, but it’s important to NEVER scratch or pick at the tattoo. If you must, you can lightly pat the skin to alleviate the itch. To minimize the risk of infection, wash your hands before bandaging or cleaning the tattoo, and don’t go swimming or use hot tubs.
Leave bandage on until you can get to a clean location with soap and water. Wash hands, then remove and discard bandage. Wash tattoo thoroughly with unscented, anti-bacterial soap. Pat dry, then apply a THIN coat of Vitamin A&D Ointment (found at most stores in the baby section). Do not re-bandage. Repeat two or three times a day for the next 72 hours.
Clean your tattoo once or twice a day and moisturize with a light, non-scented, water-based lotion like Lubriderm or Aveeno (NOT Aquaphor or A&D Ointment, as those are too heavy). You don’t want to over-moisturize your tattoo.
Remember: NO swimming. NO suntanning. NO picking. Period! Sunlight fades tattoos, so after your tattoo heals keep it covered or use sunblock when you’re in the sun.
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