here are the instructions I got:
The final appearance of your new tattoo depends on how well you care for it as it heals. Follow these instructions, and enjoy a lifetime of fine art for the flesh.
After 2 – 4 hours: Remove the covering from your tattoo and wash it with antibacterial soap and luke-warm water.Very gently pat it dry, and apply a very thin coat of Vitamin A&D ointment. All that’s needed is enough to gloss over the surface of your tattoo. DO NOT REBANDAGE.
Day 1 – Day 4: As above, wash the tattoo with antibacterial soap and luke-warm water, gently pat it dry and apply a very thin coat of Vitamin A&D ointment. Do this ONCE in the morning and ONCE at night.
Day 5 – Day 14: Stop using the Vitamin A&D ointment. Instead, apply a little moisturizer several times a day (Lubriderm, Curel, or any good fragrance free moisturizer, but NOT Vasoline, petrolium jelly or antibacterial ointment) to keep the tattoo at the same moisture level as the surrounding skin. Too much moisturizer will trap bacteria. Too little will leave your skin dry and sore.
After about 3 days, the tattoo will be covered with a paper-thin scab, which will crack, flake and peel away by itself. DO NOT PICK, PEEL OR SCRATCH YOUR TATTOO. This will ruin it and you will have to pay for retouching.
After 7-10 days, the flaking will stop and you will be at the Primary Heal stage. At this point, the layer of skin with the ink has healed, but you do not yet have an epidermis or “dead layer” of skin cells over the top. As a result, the tattooed skin will have a waxy or shiny appearance. Within 2-3 weeks, the epidermis will form and your tattoo should be fully healed.
During the first 14 days, follow these guidelines:
DO NOT expose your new tattoo to a direct or hot shower jet.
DO NOT swim or use a hot tub, sauna or jacuzzi.
DO NOT use Vasoline, petrolium jelly or any antibacterial ointment. Antibacterial ointments may contain peroxides that will cause fading.
DO NOT expose your new tattoo to the sun.
When healed, protect your artwork with a sun lotion of SPF 45 - 50.
I'm not sure if it makes a difference or not but my artist mixes his own ink.