When you get a tattoo, you are not only getting a piece of art on your skin to express yourself, you are also getting a medical procedure. A tattoo is made by inserting ink underneath your skin with needles, and whenever your skin is open, you become vulnerable to scarring and infections. This is why caring for your tattoo, in the proper way, is extremely important; you need to prevent complications and ensure it heals properly.
You should always get your tattoo done with a licensed and reputable tattoo artist, along with this consideration, you have to take care of your tattoo at home. The problem is, not everyone knows which is the right way to take care of a tattoo after it is done, and some artists don’t care enough to provide the necessary information and instructions (this is why opting for a professional is so important).
Keys to take good care of your tattoo right after it was done
Take care of your tattoo starts as soon as it is done. The first thing a tattoo artist´s must do is apply a thin layer or petroleum ointment over it; then cover it with a bandage or plastic wrap (to prevent any infection). It also protects your skin from rubbing against clothing.
Keep the bandage on for a few hours; it helps to absorb excess ink or any fluids that may leak from the tattoo.
After that time, you can take it off, not before having your hands washed with warm water and soap. The next step is to wash the tattoo (extremely gently) with neutral unscented soap and water. To dry don’t rub a towel against your tattoo, just let it air dry or pat it with a soft cloth. Then apply a small portion of petroleum ointment to the tattoo, and just let your skin breathe, don´t cover it up.
Things to do
While your tattoo is healing, you should wear sun-protective clothing over it every time you go outside. In addition, in case you have any sign of infection or any other problem, call your tattoo artists or a doctor immediately.
While your tattoo is healing, you should never cover it with sunblock until it is fully healed. You must not scratch it (sometimes when it is healing it starts itching). You should never wear tight clothes over it (especially the ladies, no matter how badly you want to wear your shapermint christmas outfit this holiday, if it covers your tattoo, you should kiss it goodbye). Moreover, one of the most important rules, don´t go swimming or immerse your body in water, you can take showers, but not more than that.
Of course, not every tattoo heals at the same pace. It all depends on the size of the tattoo, and how intricate it is. Bigger tattoos take longer to heal because they cause more trauma to the skin.
After getting home and taken care of the tattoo as we explained before, you should wash it once or twice a day and apply the moisturizer the artist recommended (it should always be free of fragrance and alcohol). If you notice ink running, don´t worry, it’s just excess ink that needs to come out through your skin. Your tattoo will have a cloudy appearance, as scabs will start to form.
Days 4 to 6
The scabs are probably not as thick as they were but they will still be raised, do not pick at them or you will scar. The redness should start to fade. Keep washing the tattoo once or twice a day and applying moisturizer.
Days 6 to 14
The scabs will start to flake off, don’t try to pull them off, it is important that they come off naturally, if not it will leave a scar. You may feel very itchy; to alleviate the itch you can rub on moisturizer several times a day.
In case your tattoo is still red and swollen at this point, you may have an infection, and you should see a doctor.
Days 15 to 30
You are in the last stage of healing. The scabs should be mostly gone and the flakes too. There might be some dead skin still, but it will clear up too. The tattoo may look dry; keep applying moisturizer until it looks hydrated again.
By the third week the skin´s outer layers should be healed; but the lower layers take more time (up to three or four months) to completely heal. The tattoo should be healed, bright and vivid by the end of your third month.
Article Submitted By Community Writer