When it comes to tattoo healing, there are two ways to go about it -- quick or proper. The faster way to help a tattoo is to let your body heal it naturally by developing a scab. However, natural scabs are the absolute worst way to heal a tattoo since they almost always cause portions of the ink to fall out and unevenly fade the rest. It is never a good idea to let your body heal the tattoo itself. The proper way can take up to two weeks, but there are some notes of advice that can help shave a few days off that mark.
Things You'll Need
Non-scented body lotion
Remove the initial bandage on your tattoo, put in place by your artist, as soon as you get home. Once you remove the bandage, your tattoo should never be bandaged again.
Wash the fresh tattoo three to four times a day with warm water and antibacterial soap. Do not allow water to run over the tattoo, but instead shovel it onto the area with your hand, and dab the soap on the area, don't rub it in.
Dry the tattoo by dabbing a clean towel on it or allow it to air dry.
Spread a very thin amount of protective ointment over the area after every cleaning for the first two to three days. After those days, only use non-scented body lotion. Scented lotion contains alcohol, which will dry out your tattoo and irritate it. Keep the layers thin; too thick a layer of either the ointment or the lotion will only add time to the healing process. Using a consistent thin layer will help ensure the tattoo heals as quickly as possible without sacrificing any of the proper care.
Leave the tattooed area exposed as much as possible. The less contact your tattoo has with fabrics such as clothing, the quicker it will heal. Obviously, you may have to cover the tattoo for work and other purposes, and when you do, do so with dark and loose fabric. However, unless you absolutely must cover the tattoo, don't.
Avoid direct contact with sunlight. Sunlight causes irritation, which will add time to the healing process.
Constant and proper care will ensure the tattoo heals as quickly as possible, as will keeping it exposed as much as you can and keeping it away from the sun.
This process is meant to simulate the actions of a natural scab so your body will not produce one. If you are not consistent and vigilant, a small scab will begin to develop and then liquefy once you start applying ointment and/or lotion again, prolonging the healing process.