So, you finally made the decision to get a tattoo (or you just need a refresher on how to care for one) Welcome and congrats on your big commitment! But now what?! Well, that's what were here for! Your artist should have gone over after care with you during your appointment wrapping up, but most of the time getting a new tattoo is so exciting we forget what we were told. So, if you're like the most of us here's a summary you can check whenever you please :)
Second skin (and all products similar)
If your artist has placed second skin on your fresh tattoo, it is a thin see through adhesive like the bandaging you get in the hospital over and IV then you're in the right spot! (If not please see below!)
There is nothing at the moment you need to do for the first 24 hours, you get to enjoy the beauty of the new tattoo and no responsibility for the moment. Until tomorrow.
After 24 hours of the first wrap being applied you may notice a significant amount of fluid in your newfound "skin sack" or you may not. Healing is as different for each person. If you happen to have a lot of fluid in said wrap within the first 24 hours you may remove it, clean the tattoo off with anti-bacterial soap, pat dry, and wipe down the area with rubbing alcohol. Once the area is completely dry you may reapply another "second skin". If you are uncomfortable with this, please stop in the shop and an artist will gladly change it for you!
Whether you needed to change it out or have the original on, you now leave it on for the next 5-6 days* (each brand is different, check with your artist on how long they suggest).
After the recommended time frame given to you here is what to do next. We highly suggest getting in the shower to remove the film. Get an edge peeled up some with warm soapy water and start pulling downwards on the film. Once the film is removed, please wash the area with anti-bacterial soap and pat dry. For some, the tattoo will be healed, others the tattoo may be a little dry and or flakey. Apply either an unscented lotion or coconut oil on the tattoo as needed. *Remember oversaturation does not help speed up the process* You want to use a thin "sunscreen like layer" of whatever product you decide to use on it.
Keep it clean and enjoy :)
P.S. dont pop the dang thing and play with the fluid, yes we had to add this. If the film can get fluid out, bacateria can get in!
There may be a few reasons this method is used still. You may be allergic to the adhesive, you just enjoy the process of taking care of your new tattoo, the style or sizing, or it was in a spot where second skin will not stay.
Here is what to do in this situation:
You may have plastic wrapped around your tattoo and some medical tape or something similar if that sounds right keep reading!
Leave on the wrap until you are home, once you're home take the wrap off, wash it with antibacterial soap and let it air dry for the first 24 hours.
Following that clean 2-3 times a day with the antibacterial soap, pat dry, and apply either coconut oil, a tattoo aftercare ointment, or unscented lotion. *Please do not use A&D or anything petroleum based. Petroleum based products traps moisture and bacteria, which can lead to infection and scarring if your tattoo doesn't get enough air while it is healing!