Make sure you drink plenty of water the day of, and the day before your tattoo appointment. Hydrated skin heals better, and dehydrated skin will not hold ink as well, so this is very important.
Refrain from drinking (or "partying" in any other way) the night before, and the day of. Alcohol thins the blood and can interfere with the ink, as well as create an unpleasant experience for both of us. You DO NOT want to be hungover AND in pain!
Eat before your tattoo session and consider bringing snacks and water with you.
Keep in mind that I cannot tattoo over sunburned skin, acne, or any cuts or scrapes. The tattoo simply will not heal properly. Contact me immediately if you need to reschedule your appointment due to one of these issues.
I also cannot tattoo you if you are pregnant, on blood-thinning medications, or undergoing cancer treatment. Please keep this in mind.
Children are not allowed in the booth while tattoos are being created. It is considered a health hazard by law, plus it is dangerous for your child. Please arrange child care beforehand.
You must remember that a tattoo is a WOUND. Healing a tattoo is serious business. Aftercare instructions need to be followed exactly. The first rule is: Your friends are idiots. Idiots do not know how to heal tattoos. DO NOT LISTEN TO YOUR FRIENDS.
Leave the bandage on your fresh tattoo for 2 hours and then gently remove. If the bandage sticks to your skin, saturate it with water until it falls off on its own. Ripping off a stuck bandage will damage the skin and impede healing.
Wash your tattoo with warm, soapy water for 30-45 seconds. I recommend original Dial soap. Massage into skin until all blood and plasma has been washed away. Using a clean paper towel, gently dry the skin.
There are many products on the market used for healing. I recommend After Ink or Redemption. You can also use Lubriderm Unscented Hand Lotion. Rub a small amount of product into the entire area of the tattoo. Oversaturation of product is the leading cause of improper healing. You don't need that much! Your tattoo needs to breathe so don't glop it on.
Use another clean paper towel to tap away any excess product. The amount that has already absorbed into the skin is all you need.
Repeat the cleaning and moisturizing regimen 3-5 times per day for 2 weeks.
REMEMBER - everyone's skin heals differently. Your tattoo may heal within a week or two, or your tattoo may heal in a month. After a week, you will likely form a scab. Picking or scratching at the scab will pull color out of your tattoo. Don't do it!