Updated: Sep 9, 2021
For aftercare, I recommend using either a healing balm (like Vitalitree) or Derm Shield, the multi-day aftercare sticker made by Recovery. The directions for both are listed below.
Vitalitree or other approved balm or salve
Gently wash your tattoo morning and evening for 3-5 days (or until tattoo has finished "flaking") with a scent-free antibacterial soap and lukewarm water
Wait for tattoo to completely air dry
Apply a very thing layer of a tattoo balm
Apply balm twice a day if skin isn't reactive. If skin feels tight or has a light, general redness up the amount of times per day that salve/balm is applied. Do not apply a thicker layer.
Switch to an unscented lotion once tattoo finishes shedding.
Do not soak
Avoid sweaingt for 1 - 1.5 weeks
If your tattoo at any point shows signs of infection (such as puss or intense localized redness) please see a healthcare professional. Something may have gotten in during the healing process. While it is likely benign, you do want to rule out things like MRSA.
Derm Shield by Recovery
Directions for use (from the Recovery website):
Gently clean and pat dry the tattoo and surrounding area, ensuring there is no soap or any residue on the skin. With clean gloves, remove Derm Shield from the sterile pouch. Cut the Derm Shield to cover tattooed area plus a 1 to 2 inch margin from the edge of the tattoo. Peel off backing to expose adhesive side and position the Derm Shield over the tattoo with the adhesive side facing the skin. Gently apply using light pressure, starting from the center to the edges to eliminate air bubbles. Do not stretch the Derm Shield during application.
The first Derm Shield application should stay in place for 24 hours, depending on level of exudation. It is normal for blood and fluids to collect under the bandage.
A second application can be used for several days, and a third application may be used if necessary. Gently clean and dry the area between applications. Do not wear any piece longer than one week.
Directions for removal:
Gently peel the Derm Shield by pulling it slowly from the edge back over itself. Do not pull the bandage upwards.