It is very important to carefully follow all the directions in this guide. By doing so, you will ensure that your new tattoo will heal properly. Don’t forget that your new tattoo is a wound, therefore it’s very important to follow every step and recommendation so it heals correctly, without infection or complications! Please do not hesitate to contact The Zen Tattoo Studio if you have any questions about your new tattoo.
When leaving the Zen Tattoo Studio, your fresh tattoo will be wrapped in a sterilized plastic wrap. On your way home, it is very important to keep the plastic wrap on. The plastic wrap will prevent wound from becoming infected until you arrive home. Once home you can remove it. We advise you not to keep the plastic wrap on your tattoo for more than 2 hours.
-First, clean your hands, then remove and dispose of the plastic wrap that covers your tattoo. It is normal for the wrap to be filled with Vaseline, ink and blood, don’t worry!
-Gently wash your tattoo under warm (not hot) water with your hand with a soft, unscented soap (Dove, Ivory, Spectro Jel). This is important to remove all the excess ink and blood. DO NOT RUB IT TOO HARD TO AVOID FURTHER IRRITATION.
-Dry it out by gently wiping your skin with a clean paper towel or a clean washcloth.
-Do not put any type of bandage or plastic wrap on your tattoo - let it breathe.
-We advise you to sleep in some old clothes that will prevent any excess ink and blood from staining your sheets. If your clothing stick to the tattoo, drown it under water before taking it off to avoid removing the scabs.
It is important to apply the ointment 3 to 4 times a day (morning, noon, night), for the next 10 days while carefully following these hygiene steps each time:
1. Carefully clean your hands.
2. Apply a VERY THIN layer of ointment (Bacitin or the green Polysporin) over the entire tattoo. Do not put any type of bandage or plastic wrap on your tattoo; just let it breathe and make sur the ointment sinks into the skin.
It is best to replace the ointment by an unscented hydrating cream (like Lubriderm or Aveeno). Apply the cream 2 to 3 times a day, and be sure to carefully follow these hygiene steps each time:
1. Carefully clean your hands.
2. Apply a VERY THIN layer of unscented hydrating cream (Lubriderm or Aveeno) everywhere on the tattoo. Do not put any type of bandage or plastic wrap on your tattoo; just let it breathe and make sure the hydrating cream sinks well into the skin before reapplying.
-The tattoo might continue to release secretions during the first few days and nights. Do not worry – this is only the excess ink that is coming out of your skin. It will not ruin the beauty of your tattoo
-The scabs are a normal part of the healing process. They will fall off by themselves. IT IS VERY IMPORTANT NOT TO PEEL THEM OFF
-It is normal for your tattoo to itch. It is very important not to scratch it; the itching confirms that you are healing well
-It is normal to observe a desquamation (skin peeling) of your tattoo. It is also possible that some small, white pieces of skin fall off the tattoo; it means new skin is growing on top of your tattoo.
-During the healing process, the lines and colours of the tattoo will seem washed out and very different from when you left the studio freshly tattooed. Everything will turn back to normal as soon as the tattoo is completely healed
-The tattoo can take up to 4 weeks to heal.
Small pimples: If the tattoo becomes very pale and it peels a lot, you might be using too much ointment. During the healing process, it is important to use the MINIMUM AMOUNT OF OINTMENT on the tattoo. Too much ointment will disallow the wound to breathe correctly and will sweat under the ointment. This will cause small pimples to emerge.
Infections: Infections are the most common complications during the healing process. They happen when the tattoo encounters bacteria, dust, animal fur, or anything that can infect the wound. An infection is characterized by the formation of bubbles of pus that ooze a stinky whitish-yellowing secretion. It is very important to seek advice from your artist if you think you are developing an infection. Come by the studio so that the artist can look at your tattoo. When an infection is identified and treated quickly, it is possible to eliminate it before it starts damaging the tattoo. The best thing to do is to use an ointment that contains antibiotic ingredients like Bacitin or the green Polysporin. This will help you avoid infections during the healing process of your tattoo. If you choose to use a non-medicated ointment, you have a greater chance of contracting an infection.
Allergies: Allergic reactions are a very rare complication in the tattoo healing process and should not be mistaken for a minor infection. Allergies are caused by an ingredient in the ink, a certain pigmentation or by the medical equipment. A person who is allergic to the ink is usually only allergic to one color! The allergy is characterized by the inflammation of the areas where the colour has been used. For instance, if the artist used the red color in different spots, all these spots will be swollen, but all the other colors will be fine. It is very important to seek advice from your artist when you think that you have an allergic reaction. Come by the studio so the artist can have a look at the situation. If you are having a very bad allergic reaction, the artist will advise you to consult a doctor. Our experts can evaluate every complication related to the healing process of your tattoo.
- It is important not to scratch off the scabs of the tattoo. If you peel off the scabs, this will leave a white scar that will need touch-ups. Scabs are part of the normal process of a healing wound. They will fall off by themselves.
- Try not to wear tight clothes. That will cause friction and irritate the tattoo. Wear light clothing that will allow the tattoo to breathe.
- If your tattoo gets stuck to your clothes or your sheets, do not pull. Un-stick it by putting it under water.
- Avoid exposing your tattoo in dusty places, it could cause an infection. Try avoiding animals, because having fur caught in your tattoo can cause an infection as well. If you come across any of these possible infection triggers, you must wash your hands and your tattoo immediately.
- Avoid going into pools, spas, saunas or taking baths for the next 3 weeks after the tattoo session. Submerging your new tattoo in water is bad; you are exposing your tattoo to bacteria that can infect it. Moreover, keeping your tattoo under water will soften the scabs causing them to fall off too early in the healing process. Therefore, your tattoo might need more touch-ups.
- Avoid exposing your tattoo to the sun at all costs. Even after the tattoo is completely healed, always use sunscreen if you don’t want your tattoo to fade throughout the years.
Once the tattoo has healed, it is important to pass by the studio, so the artist can have a look at the tattoo. If need, we do offer free touch-ups for up to 6 months after the last tattoo session on our small tattoos. It is important to keep your receipt as proof. For larger projects, the touch-ups are done at each session to facilitate the flow of the project. They are therefore included in the tattoo time. If the artist judges that the tattoo has been neglected on your behalf during the healing process, that touch-ups are not needed or if you come back after the 6-month period, you will be required to pay our minimum fees of 60$.
As mentioned during the tattoo session, some touch-ups are NOT guaranteed:
-Touch-ups on the feet
-Touch-ups on the hands or the fingers
-Touch-ups on the inside of the lips
-Touch-ups on the elbow (when tattooed alone)
-Touch-ups on the knee (when tattooed alone)