The most important step in caring for your new tattoo is WASH YOUR HANDS before you remove your bandage. Proper hand washing will help to avoid “self-infection” from contaminated hands, especially if you have dogs, cats or birds in your home. Wash the tattoo with mild soap and warm water to remove the residual blood and ointments. Blot dry. Let the tattoo air dry for one hour. Apply hand lotion of your choice several times a day for the next few weeks. Take care to thoroughly rub the lotion into the tattoo. If you leave large amounts of lotion on the tattoo, air can not circulate to facilitate healing. Your new tattoo will peel and flake, much like a sunburn. Expect to see bits of colored flaking from the design. This doesn’t mean the tattoo is “falling off,” but to the first timer, it looks that way! Its there forever and for your sake, don’t pick at it.