Congratulations on your new tattoo – you have just joined, or renewed your membership to, the elite society of the tattooed – your life will never be the same - the opposite sex will find you more attractive, kids will be in awe of you, and ruffians will give you that all knowing nod - in order to keep your tattoo looking good and healing properly here are some recommendations, tips, and warnings –
THE FIRST 24 HOURS
Your bandage – a bandage has been placed on your tattoo to protect it from air borne bacteria, which can penetrate through your broken skin.  Please leave your bandage on for a minimum of one hour, but no longer than 12 hours 
Cleaning your tattoo – once you remove the bandage gently wash the tattoo with lukewarm water and a mild soap – using only your hands (no wash cloths, loofas, etc.) remove all traces of blood, plasma, and ink –gently pat it dry with a clean cloth or towel, or let it air dry.
Ointment – apply a thin coat of the recommended ointment 2 to 3 times a day or when necessary.  Treat your tattoo like chapped lips; if it looks dry and cracked apply ointment.  Make sure you rub the ointment until it’s completely absorbed.  Err on the side of caution by putting too little then too much – too much ointment can encourage the growth of bacteria and clog your pours, which may lead to acne break out, infection, or worse.  Avoid products such as Neosporin, they are built to pull infection out of the body and can help the body expel the ink.
THE FRIST 3 TO 6 WEEKS
Continue to wash the tattoo a couple of times a day, more if the tattooed area is more exposed to germs (such as hands, wrists, feet, etc.)And continue to apply the ointment. Healing take, on average, 4 weeks, but every one heals at a different rate, some faster and some slower, please be patient.
THE REST OF YOUR LIFE
Anytime the tattoo is going to be exposed to the sun – whether its laying out pool side, hanging out at a back yard BAR-B-Q or just cruising in your convertible down Sunset Blvd, if it’s going to be in the sun please apply sunscreen –  exposure to sunlight is the biggest cause of fading and spreading – tattoos, over time, will fade and spread, that’s unavoidable, but the more you can protect it while it’s in the sun the brighter and sharper the tattoo will stay.
WHAT TO AVOID
Your tattoo, over the next few weeks will scab up, the scabs will come off and be the color of your tattoo – don’t worry, this is the natural process of the tattoo, and you will still look cool once it’s healed.  The basic rule of thumb is to avoid anything that will cause the scabs to come off prematurely – here are some things we recommend you avoid
-Avoid soaking your tattoo in hot water – such as baths, Jacuzzis, saunas, or anything with a lot of heat that will help the scabs become soft and come off easily – showers are fine and we want to keep it clean, just not submerged in water.
-Avoid picking or scratching – the tattoo will itch like crazy – do not scratch it, you can poke at it, slap it, even apply an ice pack, all will subdue the itching.
-Avoid extremely tight or restricting clothing – such as latex, rubber, and vinyl – such as wetsuits or fetish wear – forcing your tattoo in tight clothing can cause the material to remove the scabs prematurely, hence remove some of the ink from the tattoo.
-Avoid working out IF your tattoo is on a crease of the body (elbow areas, knee areas, etc.) or if your workout consists of any movements where other people will be pulling on your skin, such as martial arts, tackle football, kickboxing, etc.)
-Avoid shaving the area after getting tattooed – such as legs, faces, etc.
-Avoid pets, particularly dogs, which will be drawing to the injury and want to lick your wounds.
-Avoid anything dirty or gross, your tattoo is an open wound and susceptible to all sorts of infection.
-Avoid products such as Neosporin, scented soaps and lotions, and your friend’s advice.


Signs and symptoms that indicate the need to seek medical attention
If you experience fever, any green/yellow discharge that is foul in order, or red streaks from the tattoo towards the heart, please seek immediate medical attention.  Swelling, tenderness, and redness are part of the healing process, but usually diminish within a few days to a couple of week – it these symptoms persist beyond that also seek medical attention.

Congratulations, you are now tattooed and on your way to a lifetime of adventure – if you have any questions or concerns, always feel free to contact your body art practitioner and they will happily answer any and all questions - thanks again and we look forward to working with you in the future.