Up next in How to Get a Tattoo (20 videos)
Before getting inked, learn everything you need to know about tattoos from the professional tattoo artists in these Howcast videos.
Hi, my name is Chris 51. I specialize in what I like to call "Hyper Realism Tattooing". And my name is Joshua South. I'm the head instructor here at Area 51 in Springfield, Oregon. To find out more information, visit a51tats.com. Let's talk tattoos. The first thing you want to do is leave your bandage on there for 3-4 hours. Your friends are going to want to see your new tattoo but at this stage your tattoo is vulnerable to infection, so make sure you leave your tattoo covered until the time required. Leave the bandage on there until you are ready to wash it. Don't remove it at the bar or while you are driving down the street. When you get home and are ready to wash the tattoo, take the bandage off. Thoroughly wash the tattoo with a mild, liquid soap. Pat it dry with a clean paper towel. Don't put any lotion on the tattoo right after washing it. You want the tattoo to dry out a little bit. If you wash it and then put lotion on it right away, it will make the scabbing bigger. The trick is to wash the tattoo thoroughly, repeatedly. I like to think of it as breakfast, lunch, and dinner - wash it 3 times a day. That way you keep the scabbing to a minimum. Avoid sun and tanning booths for up to 2 weeks. Do not soak your tattoo while its healing. Avoid bathtubs and swimming pools. Your tattoo will begin to peal 5 days to 2 weeks after you got it done. Be patient with the scabs on your tattoo. Don't pick them off - if you pick them off it'll rip the color out of your tattoo. One of the biggest mistakes I see people making is that they start to fidget at their tattoo, they want to pick at it, they want to tear the scabs off. The scabs are like roots attached to the color. If you tear the scab off before its ready to come off it'll literally rip a hole right in your tattoo.