By following a few simple guidelines and using some common sense after having a tattoo you will not only preserve the tattoos quality but also avoid infection.
Step 1: Dressing
On completion of your tattoo your tattooist should cover it with a form of sterile dressing. You should then leave this dressing on for at least 2-6 hours, no more than 10 hours. The reason for the dressing is to keep air-borne bacteria and other contaminants from infecting your wound.
Step 2: Dressing Removal
When the time comes to remove the dressing from your tattoo you should remember that this area was recently a wound. Therefore it is important to wash your hands and carefully remove the dressing. If the dressing is sticking to your skin do not force it as you will either open up the wound or pull away scabs and destroy your tattoo, instead wet the dressing until it removes easily.
Clean the area with an anti-bacterial soap and warm water removing any dried blood etc remembering not to pick or scrub any of the tattooed area afterwich dry with a clean towel using a patting method rather than rubbing.
Step 4: Aftercare Products
Once the area is completely dry apply a tattoo aftercare product such as Bacitracin, vitamin A&D ointment or any other tattoo aftercare product recommended by your tattooist. Apply the ointment 3-4 times a day being sure to first remove the old ointment be carefully washing the area. Do this for 3-5 days so as to prevent your tattoo from becoming dry. After approx 14 days your tattoo should have completely healed. Sometimes longer in some people. Sunscreen is recommended from then on to protect your tattoo and prevent it from fading.