Your tattoo artist will clean and wrap your new tattoo to help protect the area from infection. At this point, your tattoo is basically a large open wound. Each artist has their own philosophy and approach to wrapping and how long they advise keeping the area covered, but most recommend keeping it covered for 3-6 hours.
The new tattoo will begin producing plasma, and begin clotting and scabbing. It might also start to weep/ooze as the skin starts to heal and regenerate. You will most likely experience some redness and soreness. You can also expect some inflammation, and possibly a general ache that may feel like a sunburn. Luckily, these symptoms should begin to feel better each day.
Once your covering is removed, it is important to carefully wash your new tattoo with a gentle antibacterial soap, such as Elevated Aftercare Foam Cleanser. You will most likely see that the skin has oozed/weeped blood, plasma, lymphatic fluid, and ink. This is normal, and part of your bodies attempt to heal itself. You will want to gently wash away as much of these substances as possible. Use your fingers to cleanse the area with warm water and the cleanser using a circular motion.
Once you have cleaned your tattoo, gently pat the area dry with a clean cloth or paper towel. Let the area dry for a few minutes, then apply a healing balm such as Elevated Aftercare Tattoo Balm to assist with the healing process. This stage will last around one week but can vary.
Tip- Try to keep as much of the plasma that is oozing (clear liquid) cleaned off. Plasma is what helps your skin to scab. By carefully removing the plasma, especially during the first few days, you will reduce the chance of excessive scabbing.
By this stage, your skin will be repairing and well into the healing process. You may be experiencing some itching. Whatever you do…do NOT scratch it. Removing any scabs you might have may damage your tattoo and your skin.
Instead, keep your hands busy by applying Elevated Aftercare Tattoo Balm a few times a day. This will keep the area well moisturized, help to ease the itching, while continuing to help heal your new ink. This stage should last about a week, then the skin will start to flake and peel naturally. It won’t the most attractive stage, but avoid rushing things along with picking, scratching and rubbing.
While your skin may look to be nearly completely healed, there’s still a way to go before your tattoo reaches its full potential. There’s still a lot going on beneath the surface, so don’t worry if it looks a little cloudy or even faded. There’s still a layer of dead skin concealing and protecting the area, and once this finally flakes away, you’ll be able to see the finished product. Keep applying Elevated Aftercare Tattoo Balm. Keeping the area well moisturized and clean will help the skin to heal and repair. While everyone is different, most tattoos will heal and look vibrant after a month or two.
Remember to keep your tattoo away from direct UV exposure for about a month. The sun can be very damaging to tattoos, especially while they are still healing. Once your tattoo is fully healed, apply a sunscreen with at least SPF 30. Over time, UV rays can damage your tattoo and cause them to fade considerably.
Finally, if you begin to experience excessive redness, bruising, or pain be sure to contact your tattoo artist and/or doctor. If your tattoo seems to be getting worse rather than better, it could be a sign that it is infected. It’s always best to contact a professional if you have any concerns.