Tattoo Aftercare and Healing
The First Days
Immediately after session, the tattoo film should be keep the tattoo covered and dry. Protective films should be kept for 3-4 days, or as otherwise suggested, before being peeled off, to maximize the medical film's healing-assistive properties. After peel-off, the skin area should be cleaned daily with mild soap and running water. Within the first week, it should gradually start forming scabs.
When cleaning the tattoo area, avoid submerging it in water or other liquids for long periods of time. As such, swimming and sweating activities like workouts should be avoided for 2-3 weeks post-session.
Tattoos heal faster when dry-exposed. However, as they are wounds, avoid exposing them to contaminants and infection-causing circumstances. Do also avoid direct sun exposure of the tattoo especially during the first weeks after inking. For placements that experience area pressure such as bra lines, wrists and waists, it will be best to keep away from tight clothing, watch straps, etc. while the tattoos heal.
As the tattoo scabs, the placement area will feel very itchy; do not pick on it and just allow it to go through its normal healing process. Apply a thin layer lotion or healing ointment if the skin’s acute drying necessitates.
The wound scabs will slowly peel off and the ink will gradually surface. If scabbing comes off prematurely, or if it is accidentally scraped off, there is a chance that parts of the tattoo would look faded or in flesh tone. It would usually take days or weeks before the ink surfaces over flesh tones. In the case that the tattoo would still look faded after fully healing, you may schedule for a retouch.
The tattoo should look healed in 3-4 weeks, however, it may still appear shiny and scaly for several more. This is completely normal. These dead layers of skin will shed eventually.
Tattoos inevitably fade, blur or thicken over time, with the blackworks staying longer. White tattoos will most likely heal into scars and other colors may lose vibrance. Tattoos with placements that frequently meet pressure and friction, such as wrists, ankles and waistlines, are more prone to fading or thickening/bleeding; finger tattoos would most likely fade or develop blowouts. For all tattoos, sun exposure is the dominant factor causing fading. Colorworks usually need retouching after several months or years.