Your tattoo is essentially an area of tiny skin breaks caused by the penetration of needles carrying ink into your skin. By following our aftercare advice, you will reduce the risk of infection and any potential damage to your new tattoo.
- It is important to wear the sterile dressing for at least an hour after it is applied. This should provide enough time for the tattoo to stop bleeding or weeping.
- Once the dressing is removed, you should wash the tattoo with your fingertips or hands only, using slightly warm water and a mild soap. Pat it dry with a clean towel or kitchen roll. Do not use a towel that has previously been used by yourself or someone else, as this may cause infection.
- After washing and drying your tattoo apply an appropriate aftercare cream (we recommend using Bepanthen or E45). Apply a thin layer of cream 3 to 4 times a day, in the morning, afternoon, evening and just before bedtime. There is no need to re-cover the tattoo.
- Repeat this process for the first week or until the tattoo has completely healed.
Most scabbing should disappear within 2 weeks or less after, which a silver skin will appear. This will remain for about a week. Your tattoo should be completely healed in about 4 weeks.
During the healing period of your tattoo:
- If possible, shower rather than bathe. This prevents prolonged water exposure, which may negatively affect your tattoo. Always pat your tattoo dry with a separate, clean towel to minimise the risk of cross contamination until fully healed.
- Avoid swimming, sun bathing, sun beds, saunas and steam rooms. Sun light and chlorine can interact with the ink and cause irritation and inflammation of the skin. Excessive heat will also cause irritation, pain and drying out of the tattoo.
- Wait until the tattoo has fully healed before exposing it to the sun or a tanning bed. Make sure you use a high quality sunblock (not sunscreen) on your tattoo. Exposure to sunlight will, over time, cause your tattoo to fade.
- Where possible minimise the amount of friction from clothing by wearing loose clothing around the area of the tattoo. If the tattoo is on the leg we advise wearing skirts/ shorts instead of trousers.
- Your hands and feet reproduce skin cells much faster than other parts of the body. A tattoo in these areas will sometimes take an extra two weeks to heal. If the tattoo is on the hand avoid washing dishes, wearing gloves etc. If the tattoo is on the foot, where possible, avoid wearing socks/ tights and shoes (sandals must not rub the tattoo). Any friction of this type will inhibit the healing of the tattoo, and may 'wear away' the tattoo. Tattoos on hands and feet are never guaranteed.
- Keep your tattoo covered and moisturised if you work in a dirty or dusty environment.
- Most importantly, do not pick the tattoo! This will increase the healing time, cause infection and lessen the quality of the tattoo once healed.
If you have any problems or questions at any time during the healing process, please do not hesitate to contact Otzi for advice.