Gotham Tattoos' Tattoo Aftercare Instructions

The following are Gotham Tattoos' recommended guidelines for the care and healing of your new tattoo. We have found that you follow these simple guidelines it will help your tattoo to heal quicker, look its very best and greatly reduce the risk of infection. Tattoos normally take two full weeks to heal.

1. Immediately after you get tattooed. After receiving your tattoo our artist will clean and bandage your tattoo. Wait at least 2-3 hours before removing the bandage. This is to allow the traumatized skin to seal itself up and to stop oozing lymphatic fluid and blood. After you remove the bandage clean your new tattoo well with a anti-bacterial, non-abrasive soap (use this for two weeks) and warm water. Do not use a wash cloth on the tattoo until it's fully healed. Clean it well using only your hands. If the bandage has stuck to your tattoo remove the plastic film-wrap by letting it loosen and slip-off while taking a shower. If because of working conditions or other situations where you will be more exposed to dirt, grease and other contaminants than is normal, it is better to cover your Tattoo with loose-fitting, protective clothing, rather than re-bandaging it.

2. Anti-Bacterial Ointments (Bacitracin, Neosporin or Triple Antibiotic). A Tattoo is an open wound and susceptible to the possibility of infection. If you take basic precautions and practice simple good hygiene you will greatly limit the danger of a serious infection.

For the first 2 to 3 days apply a thin layer of anti-bacterial ointment to the tattoo repeatedly throughout the day to insure that the tattooed area does not dry up or become infected. Bacitracin can be found in the first aid section of your local drug store. We recommend using a generic bacitracin. You will also want to be sure to wear loose-fitting clothing that will not rub against the Tattoo, especially during the first 2 or 3 days of healing. It is better to allow the tattooed area to breathe during the healing process if at all possible, and if not, to avoid tight clothing that can "stick" to the Tattoo, or clothing that will cause you to perspire where you have been Tattooed, etc.

As the first layer of skin regenerates itself, it is not uncommon to see colored pigment "shed" from your Tattoo during the healing process. It is normal and nothing to be alarmed about.

CAUTION: While showering, do not let the full force of the shower spray directly onto the newly Tattooed skin. You will also find that a lukewarm shower is more comfortable and will not "sting" your new Tattoo. Hot water (and STEAM) opens the skin's pores and can cause greater loss of pigment during the healing process.

HINT: After you have cleaned your Tattoo and before stepping out of the shower, turn the temperature to ice-cold and let the water run indirectly over your new tattoo for 30 to 45 seconds -- this closes the pores and prevents further drainage and in our personal experience feel generally results in better healing, and for a color Tattoo, retention of color pigment. Then gently pat the Tattooed area dry.

3. Moisturize with Aquaphor. After the first 2 to 3 day of applying the anti-bacterial ointment to the tattoo switch to Aquaphor healing ointment. You will find this in the skin care section of you local drug store with the lotions. The importance of keeping your tattoo properly moisturized cannot be over-emphasized. Keeping your tattoo properly moisturized will prevent you tattoo from forming hard scabs which, can crack or get pulled off and damage your tattoo. It will help to prevent itching and help regenerate the top layer of skin quicker.

EXCEPTION TO THE RULE - Difficult to heal areas of the body are more prone scabbing e.g. where your arm bends. You will need to be especially vigilant in keeping these areas moisturized. You may need to apply a heavier and more frequent coating of Aquaphor to help hydrate the area to avoid any hard scabs from forming.

DO NOT PICK OR SCRATCH YOUR TATTOO AND KEEP IT CLEAN! Avoid anything that will rub your new tattoo. Do not touch your tattoo unless you have washed your hands. Picking at the scabs that forms over your Tattoo will result in loss of color, leave light spots in your tattoo or cause permanent scaring.

HINT: A time-tested remedy to relieve the itching should you experience it is simply to "slap" the area that itches repeatedly. Rubbing alcohol or other alcohol based products (Listerine or Bactine) can also temporarily relieve itching.

To avoid the freshly tattooed skin from "sticking" to your bed sheets you can apply a little baby powder to the area after you've applied the ointment before going to bed. It will not hurt the tattoo and will prevent your tattoo from sticking to the sheets. You may also want to use an old set of bed linens during the first few days after you are Tattooed and reuse them in the future if you plan on getting more work because the oozing lymphatic fluid and blood mixed with ointment may damage your sheets.


Bathing: During the first 48-72 hours, care should be taken while bathing. Soaking in a hot tub is NOT A GOOD IDEA! The hot water will draw impurities (including Tattoo ink pigment) out of your skin. Similarly, a hot shower or a steam-room will have the same effect -- take a lukewarm shower and minimize your time in the shower with a new Tattoo and do not let the shower spray beat on the Tattooed skin directly.

Swimming: Swimming should be avoided for one full week after being tattooed. Soaking in a Jacuzzi, or bathtub should also be avoided. Both are sources of bacteria and other impurities that could infect your new tattoo. After the scabbing is finished it is OK to swim. If you go into the water and swim while your tattoo is still scabbing, you scabs can come off and cause loss of pigment.

Steam Rooms/Saunas: Are not good idea while your new tattoo is healing. Steam and hot water open the pores of the skin and can result in loss of pigment.

Sunlight/Tanning: Tattoos naturally fade; however, prolonged exposure to UV light e.g. sunlight and tanning beds will fade your tattoo much faster. To increase the life of your tattoo and keep them looking their best, limit your exposure to direct sunlight. If you are going to be spending a lot of time in the sun apply a strong sunscreen to the tattoo.




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