Ever wonder how to care for a new tattoo? Maybe you've recently gotten a tattoo or your planning to get one. It's important to take care of it from the moment the artist completes it. The future of your tattoo depends on it! Whether you're getting your first tattoo or your 15th, you'll learn a lot from "How to Care for Tattoo". This guide will show you how to avoid infection, keep it moisturized, what to do in the first couple of hours to the next couple of weeks, what not to do for your new tattoo, frequently asked questions, and tips you won't find anywhere.
So why is tattoo after care so important? Many people don't realize that new tattoos are basically open wounds that can easily become infected. Failure to take care of this can affect the future of your tattoo and your health.
The better you take care of your tattoo, the better it will look after it's done healing. One can never be too safe when it comes to protecting your body and new "art investment". The whole process should take around 2-4 weeks.
A neglected tattoo can cause infections and ruin your body and new tattoo. This article should answer common questions, and give insightful tips to aid you on your tattoo journey.
The first couple of hours:
Leave it Covered! Since new tattoos are like open wounds. It's very important to do everything you can to keep it from becoming infected. Once your new tattoo is complete the artist should've wiped it clean, applied some ointment, and wrapped it in plastic wrap. They have done so to keep it protected.
Leave the ointment and plastic wrap on your tattoo for about an hour. This will also help to keep it protected from air-born bacteria. After that time remove the plastic and get in the shower. It's crucial at this point to resist soaking your tattoo and avoid using hot water. Rinse it lightly and quickly with cool running water. This will remove excess ink, blood or ointment. You don't need to use soap at this stage. Avoid rubbing vigorously, this could harm the new tattoo. Try to treat the whole process with an extremely gentle touch.
Once out of the shower pat the new tattoo dry with a clean towel. This should not be a towel pulled from the hamper. Do not dry your tattoo like you would normally dry a part of your body. Try to be very gentle. Since your tattoo is a wound it's very easy for germs and dirt to get in and make it infected. The number one goal is keeping your fresh tattoo from becoming infected. Next apply some lotion with a soft touch. Use enough to cover the surface of the tattoo but don't over do it. You may notice the skin around your tattoo is sore and red. Don't panic, this will go away over time.
The Next Couple of Days:
You will need 2 products for the healing process - lotion and ointment. These will be your best friends on your tattoo aftercare journey. If you haven't bought any ointment by this point, you should do so immediately. A&D vitamin enriched ointment is recommended. Avoid using Vaseline or petroleum products. For the tattoo to heal, it must be moist to repair the damaged skin. Keep the tattoo moist for a at least a week.
The Following ointments are preferred:
Tattoo Goo's Tattoo Aftercare Kit
* This should be used as a thin layer over the tattoo.
Always use fragrance free lotions. Using as such may burn or dry out your tattoo. The Following lotions are preferred:
Lubriderm Fragrance Free
Aquaphor Healing Ointment
Curel Daily Moisture Fragrance Free Lotion,
* Do not use Vaseline or petroleum based products. It can draw out the inks and keep your tattoo from "breathing".
Don't Pick the Scabs
All tattoos will heal in different ways. Some areas will heal faster than others. You may notice your skin starting to peel after 3-4 days. Over time it will form scabs. You want these to fall off on their own. It is very important that you avoid the temptation to pull off the scabs. Scabs can take up to 3-4 weeks to fall off on their own. If you pull the scabs you take the chance of ruining the ink in your tattoo. You will also notice certain parts will scab more than others. This is a normal part of the healing process.
The last one or two weeks:
In about 7-10 days your tattoo should be mostly healed. The soreness and redness should be all gone. If redness is still surrounding your tattoo, it may be infected. You should contact your local tattoo shop.
It will feel like a sunburn and peel like one too. Let it peel off, but don't force it. Some scabbing may be normal. Remember not to scratch it. Your tattoo will start to fade a little bit. This is because some of the ink left over from the tattoo is washing out. Don't worry, this is normal.
Apply some more ointment to the tattoo. It's best to apply the lotion in the morning. Your tattoo will peel a bit more throughout the week.
Sources new tattoo care