Your artist will go over this information with you when your tattoo is finished, but we have included it here for you to refer back to. If you have any questions or concerns at any point during the healing process please do not hesitate to contact us.
Your artist will bandage your new tattoo before you leave the shop. Leave the bandage on at least until you get home, a few hours at the most.
Once you are home or somewhere with a clean sink, remove the bandage. Wash your hands first, remove the bandage carefully, and throw the bandage away. If the bandage is sticking or painful to remove, getting in a warm shower will loosen it up. Once this bandage is removed, do not re-bandage the tattoo at any time.
After removing the bandage, wash the tattoo with warm water and a plain liquid hand soap. Avoid using any soaps that are heavily scented. Soaps such as a plain Dial or Softsoap work well. Wash using your fingertips, then rinse off and pat dry with a clean towel.
Wash the tattoo as described above 2-3 times per day for 2 weeks. Generally it's good to wash it in the morning, before you go to bed at night, and somewhere in between. When you take a shower, wash the tattoo at the end before you get out. Be sure to wash the tattoo if you have been sweating or if you brush your tattoo on anything that may be dirty.
Starting the day after you get your tattoo, you may apply a small amount of unscented lotion to your tattoo after each time you wash it. Always wash the tattoo before applying lotion. Be sure to only use a small amount and rub all the way in; it's better to use too little than too much. Lotions like Lubriderm and Curel work well.
DO NOT scratch or pick at your tattoo. It is completely normal for it to scab up, and if the scabs come off before they're ready, it may need to be touched up.
DO NOT submerge your tattoo in water for at least 2 weeks. This includes baths and swimming. Submerging a fresh/healing tattoo in water can lead to infections from exposure to germs and/or chemicals in the water. Showers are fine.
DO NOT allow your tattoo to be exposed to the sun for an extended amount of time. If you are going to be out in the sun while the tattoo is healing, it's best to keep it covered with clothing. Getting a sunburn on a fresh tattoo will cause it to be very faded by the time it is healed. To maximize the life of your tattoo, it's best to use sunscreen and/or limit sun exposure even after it is healed.
DO NOT use a rag, sponge, or anything other than your hands to wash your tattoo. Washing with any abrasive material can rip scabs off and lead to needing a touch up. Also remember to pat dry, don't wipe.
All of us here at GCTC stand behind our work and want our customers to be happy with their tattoos, so we do offer free touch-ups if needed. It generally takes at least a month for the tattoo to be completely healed and settled in to the point where it can be touched up. Please contact the artist who did your tattoo if you think you need a touch-up.