Tattoo is nothing short of a medical procedure, especially since a needle and tool is involved to pierce through the first layer of the skin known as the epidermis. And every time something gets past it, you are putting yourself at a vulnerable spot to infections and scarring that can be damaging for the individual’s health.
Through the right aftercare procedure, these complications can be prevented and ensured that the tattoo heals perfectly. It is not a one-sided experience but involves two different parties, the tattoo artist and the one who is getting tattooed. Apart from making sure that you go to a licensed tattoo artist, it is going to be your job to look after the tattoo once it has been set onto your skin.
To figure out how to look after your first tattoo or any tattoo for that matter can be a hard task. Most states don’t require tattoo artists to provide their clients with aftercare instructions and procedures. However, we are going to help you go through the aftercare and healing process by offering you tips directed by tattoo design inc and several other experts that will guide you thoroughly.
How to look after your tattoo
The aftercare process practically starts from the second you get inked. The tattoo artist is supposed to apply a thin layer of petroleum ointment on the tattoo design and then cover the inked area with a bandage and or cling film. Tattoos are wrapped to prevent interaction with bacteria since the tattoo is new and vulnerable to infections. This avoids clothes rubbing onto the tattoo as well.
The dressing is kept for a few hours till the excess body fluid and ink has leaked out of the tattoo. A few hours into it, the bandage can be removed. Before you go anywhere near your tattoo and scale it with your fingertips, you must ensure to wash your hands with soap and give your tattoo a lukewarm wash as well with the help of a fragrance-free soap.
Pat your tattoo with a soft piece of cloth and re-apply a small amount of petroleum ointment on the inked area. As your tattoo goes through the process of healing, you should look after a few factors that are:
- Wearing clothes that are going to protect the tattoo from getting exposed to sunlight.
- Contact your tattoo artist or dermatologist in case you notice any signs of infections or irritation.
While we are at it, here are a few things that you should avoid at all cost:
- Covering your new tattoo with sunscreen.
- Scratch your tattoo or pick on its drying skin pieces.
- Wearing tight clothes that will suffocate the tattoo.
- Immersing your body in a body of water or going for a swim. However, the showers are fine.
Tattoo Care Sectioned by Days
How much time your tattoo takes to heal is partially dependent on the size of your tattoo and how detailed it is. In cases where the same place over your body has been touched more than a few times, the tattoo takes a longer time to heal. It is evident that the bigger your tattoo is, the longer it will take and the more redness you will experience. And that is because bigger tattoos induce more trauma on the skin.
You are going to come home with your tattoo covered by a bandage. Within a few hours, you will be able to remove it. Once removed, you might witness fluid leaking from the ink and that is normal. With clean hands, you wash the tattoo and apply the ointment. Over 3 days you are going to witness how your tattoo is losing color and has a cloudy appearance. This is a sign of healing; scab is going to start forming over it shortly afterward.
Wash your tattoo once to twice a day, and make sure to moisturize it. You might notice excess ink running off from the tattoo and that is a part of healing as well.
The redness is going to decrease by day 4 and you might even notice a light scab forming over the tattoo. Now your job is to ensure that you do not pick on those scabs as that is going to cause scarring. Keep your tattoo moisturized as this will help your tattoo from drying out.
Day 7- 14
During this period the scabs are going to get hard and they will flake off on their own. Once again, there cannot be enough emphasis on how you shouldn’t pick on them or even pull them off. Allow them to come off on their own. Otherwise, you might hard your ink. In case your skin feels itchy, which it will by this time; then apply moisturizer a few times a day. In case you are still witnessing redness and swelling, then that might a sign of the early onset of an infection, get it checked.
During the last stages of your healing, you are going to witness that big flakes off of your tattoo have almost disappeared completely. You might even see some dead skin but that will wipe out as well. In case the tattooed area appears to be dry and dull then moisturize your skin and keep it hydrated.
By the third and fourth week of your tattoo, the outer layer of your tattoo would have healed. And by the end of it, your tattoo will be as bright and vivid as it can be.
Jamie Thomas is a tattoo artist and a writer working with Tattoo Design Inc., ensuring tattoo enthusiasts gain the best possible experience and insight before they delve into the inking process. He is passionate about tattoos and therefore aims to educate others on factors that contribute to inking and getting inked.