The following is an excerpt
from A.P.T.'s Quick Reference Guide:
1) Blot excess blood and body fluids from tattoo.
2) Apply a thick layer of ointment to the tattooed area (A & D
or its equivalent is a good choice).
3) Bandage client using sealed telfa pads. Plastic wrap is unacceptable.
4) Give the client care instructions.
The first instruction is self explanatory, but some
of the others may need a bit more explanation. A & D ointment
or its equivalent is used instead of an antibiotic ointment because
there have been numerous reports of allergic reactions to these preparations.
The ointment soothes the skin, keeps it moist and prevents the bandage
Plastic wrap is considered unacceptable for several reasons. First,
plastic wrap does not breathe. This retards the healing process and
creates the sort of warm, moist, airless environment that encourages
bacterial growth. Second, but no less important, is the psychological
impact. A tattoo wrapped in plastic looks nasty. A clean, white bandage
conveys a subconscious message of cleanliness and sterility. Your
client, especially a first-timer, will feel like they have had a procedure.
Send them out the door in plastic wrap and they feel like meat.
Care instructions can be given verbally, or in written form. Your
best bet is to cover your bases and do both. If you explain care instructions
face to face, then give the client a printed copy it tends to cement
the whole thing in place.