Getting a tattoo on your body is an important decision to make, so once you have had your tattoo you want to be sure you take good care of it. While you may want to jump right in the shower after you get home to keep the tattoo area clean and free of infection, it is important to take extra care and be gentle with your new body art. Your skin is irritated after the painful procedure, and will need to remain bandaged before you shower.
Remove the bandage your tattoo artist placed over the tattoo after having left it on for at least two hours. Before placing the bandage on your tattoo, the artist most likely put on an antiseptic ointment. This is why it is important to leave your bandage on for the appropriate amount of time. You can leave it on for up to 24 hours.
Wash the tattoo and the area around the tattoo in the shower with a mild antibacterial soap and warm water. Wash it very gently, avoiding any scrubbing. Wash it with your fingertips as opposed to a washcloth, which may be too scratchy, before the tattoo heals. It is best to wait 24 hours before showering after receiving a tattoo.
Pat the area dry with a clean towel after your shower.
Apply a fragrance-free lotion or ointment to the tattoo several times a day for five to six days. A general rule of thumb is to keep the area moist, so when it feels dry, it is time to apply more lotion.
Tattoos heal in about two weeks, so pay extra attention to it during this time.
Apply sunscreen over your tattoo when you are outdoors to protect your irritated skin from sun damage.
Do not use an abrasive or exfoliating scrub on your tattoo until it completely heals.