Proper aftercare is extremely important. Leave your bandage on for an hour or so to protect it from any outside bacterial contact. It is an open wound and may bleed slightly for the first 24 hours. Remove bandage carefully – do not rip it off quickly. Do not re-bandage, as the artwork needs oxygen to heal properly.
Your skin is going to be red, sore and probably swollen. It may feel similar to a bad sunburn while healing. You may want to take over the counter pain relievers for the pain.
The most important thing to remember is to keep it clean. You want to gently wash your tattoo 4-5 times daily with water and anti-bacterial soap. Only touch your body art with clean hands, or use a paper towel. Do not scrub with a washcloth. Gently pat it and avoid rubbing it.
Frequently apply a scent free lotion such as Lubriderm. You may want to apply a very small amount of A&D ointment for 24-48 hours. Dod not use A&D before bed. Your art may stick to your sheets and pull the ink out, and cause permanent damage to your new ink.
In a few days you will begin to peel, this is normal. Allow the pooling to happen naturally. Do not use Neosporin, unless you have an infection. It is very important not to pick or scratch. It will also begin to feel tight, dry and itchy. Lotion will help these symptoms. It is also normal for color to flake off.
Avoid tanning beds, hot tubs, swimming, baths, extreme sunlight and shaving for the 1st two weeks.
Eating a healthy diet will give you body nutrients and mineral for a quick healing process. You may also want to add vitamin supplements.
If you show signs of a serious infection – contact a physician.