Stay hydrated and moisturized the week before your tattoo appointment—your skin will become healthier and more resilient—which will help with the application and healing process of the tattoo.
Avoid alcohol the night before your appointment, and if possible, avoid the use of blood thinning/clotting medications—including ibuprofen. Both alcohol and these medications can cause your tattoo to bleed excessively during its application, complicating the integrity of your tattoo.
Make sure to eat a substantial meal at least two hours before your appointment, and be aware that caffeine and other stimulates can make you more conscious of pain.
Prepare a relaxed and comfortable outfit that can be adjusted to reveal the part of your body you are planning to get tattooed. Do not wear tight or belted clothing over your tattoo area; e.g., no skinny jeans if you're getting a thigh piece. Be aware that there is a risk of ink splatter and anything you wear can potentially be stained.
If you know you will have a long appointment, consider bringing snacks to hold you over and warm layers if you are prone to getting chills.
Your skin will be cleaned with a gentle soap and bandaged before leaving the shop. A standard bandage should remain on for at least 2 hours and no more than 12. If your tattoo is bandaged in second-skin/saniderm leave the clear adhesive wrap on for 2-4 days. After the allotted time, or if the wrap begins to peel or any unusual redness or itching occurs, remove the clear adhesive by rinsing under warm water and slowly peeling the adhesive back over itself.
After your bandage is removed, or if it falls off, immediately wash the area with dye + fragrance free soap, warm water and clean hands. Do not use wash cloths or scrubs. Pat with a paper towel and allow the tattoo to fully air-dry, afterwards gently apply a thin layer of unscented lotion over the area.
Continue to wash daily and use unscented lotion sparingly 2-3 times per day until the tattoo is healed and no longer flaking.
FOR THE NEXT FOUR WEEKS:
• No submerging in water such as tubs, pools, rivers, etc.
• No picking or scratching. If the tattoo feels itchy, you can gently pat the area til it is remedied.
• No direct sunlight or tanning.
• No shaving over the tattoo.
• Keep tattoo free from grease, chemicals, dirt and biohazards.
Once healed, continue caring for your tattoo by staying hydrated, moisturized and using adequate sunscreen when needed.