You've been contemplating for a while and you finally gathered the courage to go get that awesome piece of art tattooed on your body like you always wanted. You now have a memory on your body for life and how cool is that? But do you know that tattoos require extensive aftercare because of just how sensitive they are? Just like proper care can preserve a piece of art for years, following a few necessary steps initially can ensure that your tattoo looks fresh for years to come and prevent it from being ruined. If it's your first tattoo, or even if it isn't, here are some things you need to keep in mind to take care of your new ink! Don't forget to follow all these steps, ladies!
Here is a step-by-step instruction manual to take care of your tattoo and avoid any infections or complications!
The First Bandage
The first step of tattoo aftercare starts in the studio itself. Once the art is complete, the artist will then carefully clean the tattoo to remove any moisture and then apply petroleum jelly over it. S/he will then cover it with a cling film, or in some cases, bandages. While you may be tempted to show off the tattoo right off the bat, resist the urge and do not remove this protective covering for the duration that has been advised. This cover will protect the tattoo from sunlight, infection-causing bacteria as well as rubbing against clothing and other surfaces!
Cleaning The Tattoo
The tattoo artist will tell you when to remove the bandage and wash the tattoo. It's usually five to six hours after it has been completed. The process to do this is simple. Thoroughly but gently wash the area with a natural and organic soap. Once done, pat dry the tattoo with a soft cloth or a paper towel and allow it to dry. After another hour, apply a very thin layer of moisturizer and keep the tattoo uncovered to let the skin breathe. It may seem like the tattoo is oozing blood and ink, but that's completely normal and to be expected!
By the second or third day, your tattoo will start looking a little dull than what it looked when you just got it done. You will also notice some scabs but don't worry, this happens when your skin is healing. All you have to do is make sure that you're washing your tattoo 2-3 times a day with a bar of mild soap and applying an alcohol-free moisturizer or vaseline.
You will have to continue the wash and moisturize technique. Do not touch your tattoo with dirty hands and avoid irritating it as much as possible. The redness will start to fade and scabs will start to form but do not pick at them!
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In the second week, the scabs that had previously formed will flake off but that'll come with a lot of urge to itch, one that needs to be avoided at all costs. Make sure you're careful when you're washing your tattoo so that you do not tear away at the scab or you could risk pulling out the ink. Moisturize well to relieve the itching sensation.
The process of healing will require you to be patient. There might still be little scabbing left which may cause the tattoo to look dull and dry but it'll be fine, mostly after 15-20 days. Once the outer layer has healed, the chances of infection reduce greatly. However, it may take couple of months more for the lower layers to heals. It's actually after three months that your tattoo looks like what the artist intended!
Read this list and make sure you follow it!
There are some things you absolutely must take care of once you get a tattoo.
1. You must use fragrance-free, hypoallergenic soaps and moisturizers when you've got a new tattoo as freshly needled skin can get irritated or damaged by using harsh chemicals.
2. Make sure you use a lightweight moisturizer to avoid clogged pores!
3. Before you put on any cream, moisturizer or tattoo wax, dab on and around the tattoo to ensure that the area is completely dry as excess moisture trapped under the skin can lead to irritation.
4. Anytime you indulge in activities that leave you sweaty, make sure you wash the tattoo after that.
5. Drinking water and hydrating yourselves will keep your skin supple and help with the healing.
6. During the healing process, cover the tattoo with a cloth or a bandage to avoid exposure to the sun.
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After getting a tattoo, do keep these things in mind as they must be avoided at all costs!
1. The tattoo is like an injury to the skin so make sure you do not pick up at scabs. This can cause scar tissues to form and hamper the healing process.
2. Do not go swimming until your tattoo has fully healed to avoid infections.
3. Even though the urge to itch a tattoo will be too high, do not give into it. It's actually quite bad for your tattoo.
4. Avoid using thick moisturizers that may clog the pores.
5. Do not forget to use sunscreen every time you step out in the sun as it can cause major damage to freshly tattooed skin!
In the days following the tattoo, your skin may be sore, itchy or red. After all, it was constantly needled. You might also notice some excess ink ooze out mixed with blood and fluid. Don't worry, all this is normal. However, there are some side effects you should keep an eye out to avoid any long-term harm.
Not taking special care when getting the tattoo made and afterwards as well can lead to painful infections. This can also happen when the equipment and ink used by the artist are contaminated.
There are people who are allergic to the ink used by tattoo artists but do not find out about this until after they're inked. Coloured inks like red, yellow and green most commonly cause these allergic reactions.
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If you itch or pick at a tattoo, you are essentially interfering with the skin healing itself and that may cause scar tissue to be formed over the tattoo, which is permanent and affects the look of the tattoo.
Taking care of a tattoo isn't difficult if you know the right process. However, there are times when due to neglect or some oversight, you might have to consult a doctor for an infection. If your tattoo is infected, it'll be painful to touch and it can get inflamed. There are also cases in which your tattoo might ooze pus or you may get a rash.
Apart from rashes, blood-borne infections can also occur if the tattoo artist used needle or ink that were infected. These can include tetanus, hepatitis B and C or HIV. If you feel a fever set in after getting a tattoo, it is always a good idea to get yourself tested. Even if there is no fever, get yourself tested, just in case!
Q. How to keep a tattoo clean?
Ans. Over moisturizing a tattoo can lead to clogged pores. This will cause your skin to break out as well as oozing and discomfort. Let the wound dry out and scab. Don't soak it in water either - baths are an absolute no-no for at least a month.
Sun is one of the worst enemies of a new tattoo. The UV rays of the sun are absorbed by the skin and they break up the pigment particles in your tattoo. This will cause the tattoo, especially coloured ones, to fade over time, quicker in the beginning. So do not expose your tattoo to direct sunlight.
Q. What is the best thing to put on a new tattoo?
Ans. We would suggest you put on a layer of antibacterial ointment twice a day. You can buy cetaphil moisturizing cream to soothe your oozing skin.
Q. How Long Should I keep my tattoo covered?
Ans. As a part of the new tattoo care, it is first wrapped to keep dust, dirt and bacteria away. You can remove the bandage after 2-4 hours of getting out of the tattoo parlour. However, it is always advisable to take the opinion of your tattoo artist.
Q. How long after a tattoo can you shower regularly?
Ans. You can wait for 24-48 hours after getting inked.
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