Tattoo Aftercare Guide

Getting a great looking tattoo does not end with a visit to the tattoo parlor. No matter how good it might look after it’s put on, how well it endures depends on how well its bearer takes care of it. Remember that the tattoo will be around for the rest of one’s life, but it won’t always look as beautiful as it did initially if not properly cared for, and it would prove very harmful to one’s skin as well. It is hence important to be guided accordingly on the basics of tattoo aftercare.

Bandages are normally used to cover up wounds, and that is precisely why tattoo artists use them to plaster a newly-made tattoo. To be brutally frank about it, the art of tattooing entails inflicting wounds on the skin, albeit in an artistic pattern. But just like any old wound, a fresh marking can be prone to infection, necessitating the application of a bandage until it fully heals. The bandage should be left on for at least 2 hours, so one should be a little patient and wait a while before they can show off their new tattoo. One last tip relating to this subject, this time for the tattoo artist: the tattoo should not be covered in plastic wrapping such as saran wrap, as it would cut off the oxygen and affect the healing process.

Once the bandage is finally removed, the tattoo should be washed in tepid water. Gently clean the tattoo area using a mild liquid anti-microbial or anti-bacterial soap. Wash off traces of blood, ointment, and especially plasma as it produces scabs when it dries up on the surface of the skin. Refrain from using a washcloth or any rough material; the use of one’s hands will suffice. To dry off, the spot should be firmly patted (not rubbed) using a clean towel or paper towel. Lightly apply with an anti-bacterial ointment afterwards. One may also opt to use lotion (preferably dye and fragrance-free) or any specialized tattoo aftercare product to keep their skin soft.

It is fine to get a new tattoo wet, as long as it is not soaked. Avoid immersing in a bathtub for a period of 2 to 3 weeks to prevent the tattoo from getting badly damaged. One should also refrain from swimming for a minimum of 2 weeks. Taking a shower is allowed, and in fact recommended, as long as the tattoo is not saturated. During bathing, use water to quickly remove traces of shampoo and soap that get into the tattoo.

One may notice a little peeling of the skin a few days after getting their tattoo, which can be remedied with some lotion. There may also be a bit of scabbing, which is actually a normal occurrence and is to be expected, although having way too much of it might be a sign of a badly-made tattoo. Otherwise, simply use a moist, warm compress on the scabs for a period of around 5 minutes, doing so 2 to 3 times each day, and the scabs will clear off in due course. As the skin heals, there will be some itching, in which case one should slap rather than scratch it. When spending some time in the sun, apply sunblock on the tattoo to protect it from being damaged by ultra-violet rays.

It is a tattoo artist’s responsibility to give their client a beautiful piece of skin art. But afterwards, it falls on the owner of the tattoo to maintain its beauty for all time.

Tom is a free lancer writer of

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