Upon leaving Sandtiger Tattoos, your tattoo will be covered with a bandage intended to stay on for the first night.
During the first night, the skin has a tendency to stick to fabric, so the bandage is crucial in preventing damage. It is important to wet the bandage before removal. The bandage can be easily removed in the shower. There is no reason to rebandage a tattoo unless otherwise suggested.
Lightly wash the tattoo with your finger tips using a mild soap. Do not use a washcloth or loofa sponge. It is important to keep the tattoo clean. Wash it at least twice a day. Gently pat the tattoo dry with a clean towel, no scrubbing.
FIRST THREE DAYS:
For the first three days, apply a very thin layer of Vitamin A&D ointment, (which will be provided). Feel free to remove excess A&D by gently dabbing with a paper towel. It is best to use A&D once a day for the first three days. Overuse can lead to poor healing. Wash the layer of A&D off before going to bed. This allows the tattoo to get oxygen which will speed up the healing process. Careful with Vitamin A&D, it is a petroleum product which can leave a stain on sheets and clothing. A&D provides a protective layer from dust and dander, which is especially important for pet owners. Pet dander can lead to an infection.
DAY 4 AND BEYOND:
After the first three days, switch from Vitamin A&D to a mild hand lotion. The best brand I've found to use is Curel. Look for the unscented water based version. Use Curel twice a day for 10 days. Apply a light amount to the tattoo and within two weeks, your tattoo should be done healing. Overuse can also cause the tattoo to heal poorly.
Around the fourth or fifth day, it is common for the tattoo to peel and flake like a sun burn. Do not itch or pick at any scabs, no matter how few or how small. Picking greatly increases your chances of scar formation and loss of color in the tattoo.
AVOID THE FOLLOWING:
Exposure to direct sunlight, tanning booths, swimming in the ocean, ponds, rivers, and hot tubs are all very destructive and can have a bleaching effect. Also beware of non chlorinated bodies of water, as they often contain E. coli bacteria. Forego the beach and above activities for two weeks, then begin applying sunscreen any and every time your tattoo is exposed to sunlight. The cumulative affect of UV exposure will cause your tattoo to lighten and blur over time. The best way to protect your investment is sunscreen. If you have any questions beyond these suggestions, feel free to call.