As a tattooer I spend everyday discussing aftercare with clients. Quite often I am faced with shock as a reaction from them when I recommendthey dry heal their new tattoo for the first four to five days.
A lot of people's first question once their tattoo is complete is "When do I start putting lotion on it?".
My answer is usually, "Would you put lotion on a skinned knee to make it heal faster or would you lotion a cut? For the most part - no.".
Lotions keep the wound moist and for the most part an over moisturized tattoo is the cause of a "my tattoo looks infected" phone call or text.
Leave it alone.
Let your body do what it knows how to do best.
Keep your ink clean. Keep it dry and you will have the best results.
This is a photo of my newest tattoo at day five of dry healing. It has perfect flaking and no thick oatmeal like scabs. In general a properly executed tattoo should look like this during the healing process.