Tattoo Aftercare Tips & Protocol

After you are done getting your tattoo, it isn’t completely finished. It’s up to you to continue to care for it. Here are 8 simple tips to help you properly heal your tattoo and keep it looking new for a lifetime.

  1. Do not re-bandage your tattoo. Once the bandage has been gently removed after the designated 2-3 hours, do not place another bandage on top of the new tattoo. Another bandage can slow healing time and stop the area from “breathing” which means it can hold in harmful bacteria that will begin to grow in the moisture created between the bandage and your skin.
  2. Your tattoo should be washed with anti-microbial Blue Green Foam Soap and ONLY with your hand or fingers. Always wash your hands thoroughly with Blue Green Foam Soap prior to ever touching your tattoo. This will rid your hands of any bacteria, viruses, and other nasty things you may have touched before planning to clean the area such as: tetanus, Staphylococcus, influenza, and Group A Streptococcal Disease. Do not use a wash cloth or any abrasive materials to clean your tattoo. Abrasive materials will hurt, irritate the skin, and can leave fragments behind in your tattoo which may slow healing and generate a higher risk of infection. So, wash the area softly with your clean hand and allow the tattoo to air dry before applying Aquatat or Ocean Care Tattoo Aftercare Cream. Follow this process for at least the first two weeks of healing.
  3. Do not pick or scratch your tattoo. Leave your tattoo alone unless you are washing it. Picking or scratching the tattoo will pull out ink, fade the tattoo, and greatly irritate the area. If your tattoo itches, make sure your hands are clean, you may lightly tap the area with the palm of your hand in an attempt to lessen the irritating feeling.
  4. Avoid hot tubs, pools, and the ocean during the healing process. Chlorine and other harmful chemicals from hot tubs and public pools can be extremely degenerative to your tattoo as well as irritating to the point of causing infection.  Ocean water has many microorganisms and bacteria floating around in it that can inflame and infect your tattoo while it is healing. Some of the diseases that can be caused from swimming in these areas are: Cryptosporidiosis (crypto), Viral Hepatitis A, E. Coli, and Leptospirosis.
  5. Do not over soak your tattoo with water while in the shower. Over soaking your tattoo will increase scabbing which may cause your new tattoo to look murky and faded after the area has finished healing.
  6. Avoid direct sunlight or tanning beds for the first few weeks. Not only will sunlight and tanning beds be very painful to the tattooed area, but will cause the ink to begin fading and dispersing to the surrounding areas. This will leave the tattoo splotchy and irritated. Avoid the use of any tanning oils, lotions, and sand. The oils and lotions used for tanning have many harmful ingredients in them that should not be put on an open wound. Wait at least 30 days before allowing yourself to apply tanning lotions and oils to the newly tattooed area. Even after you have healed, direct sunlight and tanning beds will break up the ink in your skin and cause you to lose much of the detail and light colors. When out in the sun plan on using sun block that is at least 30+ SPF to hinder the effects of fading as much as possible.
  7. Avoid tight fitting clothes which might irritate a new tattoo. Just as abrasive materials such as wash cloths, loofah’s, and towels will highly irritate your new tattoo, clothes that are constantly rubbing and very tight will have the same effect. Loose fitting clothing with the addition of Tattoo Aftercare Foam will give you and your tattoo the highest amount of possible comfort.
  8. When using H2Ocean, do not use any other aftercare products. H2Ocean products have been specially formulated to heal tattoos and work with your skin while healing.

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