Getting a tattoo is pretty much an investment. You’ll most likely spend a lot of time looking for inspiration and crafting the perfect piece, researching about the process, and choosing the best artist. It can also be an expensive process as getting inked itself can be quite costly. With all of these said, it makes perfect sense if you’ll want to keep your body art in great shape all the time.
If you’re wondering how to take care of a tattoo, fret not as it’s not that hard to do. You just really need to remember a few things and you’re good to go. What exactly are these things? Here are the most important ones according to experts:
1. Follow aftercare tips.
The healing process right after getting inked is possibly the most important phase that you need to know a lot about. The instructions for tattoo care on the first day is very different for the following days so you have to observe it carefully. As the ink will be freshest and your skin will be the rawest during this time, you have to be very careful when caring for your body art right after the session.
Fortunately, there are tons of information about post-session care. Your tattoo artist will give you tattoo care instructions that you should follow carefully. Lots of experts also shared their tips online on what to do after getting a tattoo, so you just need to find the most reliable ones.
2. Use the right products.
After getting a tattoo, you’ll need to keep it clean and moisturized for the wounds to heal properly and quickly. However, you can’t just use the first soap or moisturizer to get the job done. Due to the sensitivity of your ink, you need to be careful when choosing the right products on them.
What to put on a fresh tattoo? Experts recommend using the mildest of soaps for cleaning. Some recommend using mild antibacterial soap as well but if your skin tends to get very dry, it might be better to avoid them so your skin won’t get too dehydrated. Avoid fragrant cleansers as well as they can also cause irritation.
Mild, lightweight, and unscented moisturizers are also preferred by experts and dermatologists for fresh ink. They’re less likely to irritate your skin and clog your pores which can cause more complications.
Some tattoo artists will also recommend a tattoo ointment or other tattoo treatments and they’re typically worth considering. You can also ask your tattoo artist which products they recommend that you use for your aftercare process.
3. Stay hydrated.
To ensure that your skin will heal properly, you should also keep yourself hydrated. Drinking lots of water helps keep the skin plump and moisturized, so this is possibly the easiest of all the tattoo care tips available on this list.
4. Don’t soak your fresh ink in liquid.
While you need to keep your tattoo moisturized, it doesn’t mean that you can have it soaked, especially during its first few weeks of healing. So avoid baths, pools, and other occasions where you’ll get your tattoo soaked. Not only will that cause scabs to get softer and sloughed off while they’re not ready yet, but such activities can also put your open wounds at risk of infections.
Keeping the tattoo dry but moisturized is key to faster healing. Avoid keeping it wet with moisturizer, too, as that will also slow down the skin’s recovery time.
5. Avoid stretching your skin too much during the healing stage.
Another important thing to remember when trying to speed up the healing process of your new ink is to not stretch your skin too much while it hasn’t recovered from the trauma yet. Exercising and other strenuous activities that can cause the skin near the tattoo to stretch will affect the repair process and cause new damages. So if you want to complete your list of things to do on how to care for a tattoo, include this entry and keep it in mind.
6. Keep your fresh ink protected.
Tattoo protection is essential at various stages of healing. Right after the tattoo session, you shouldn’t take the bandage off for a couple of hours to help keep bacteria from infecting the open wounds. Bigger tattoos require frequent re-wrapping on many occasions for the same reason.
You also need to protect the tattooed area from the sun. You should minimize the area’s exposure to the sun especially while it’s still fresh. Once the outermost layer of the skin has healed over the tattoo, wearing SPF is included in the best aftercare routine for tattoos.
7. Keep the tattoo moisturized.
Applying lotion or moisturizer is another crucial part of tattoo maintenance. By keeping the skin on your tattoo hydrated, your ink will look more vibrant. This will help you delay the need to get touchups later on.
As mentioned above, you should avoid over-moisturizing the tattoo as well. Doing so will keep it wet and prevent it from drying up which can also cause various complications. Only apply a thin layer of product for the best results.
8. Absolutely avoid scratching.
Every guide on the aftercare of tattoos will tell you that tattoo will get very itchy. You’ll start to experience the urge to scratch as soon as early as 2 weeks after getting inked. Why? It’s the time when the scabs are starting to form and the skin on your tattoo begins to heal.
As the skin-healing process stimulates new skin growth and nerve endings, itchiness should be expected while your tattoo heals. You should avoid scratching them, however, as that will hinder the healing process.
If you scratch, the scabs and flakes that are forming to close up your wounds and rejuvenate your skin will be removed, leaving it fresh and raw again. Your hand can also introduce bacteria to your open wounds which can cause an infection. That will further delay the healing process.
9. Don’t let anyone touch your fresh ink.
After getting some work done, you’ll be most likely very excited to show off your body art. While doing this is perfectly fine, you should make sure that people don’t touch it while it’s still fresh. This might seem like a snobbish way on how to take care of a new tattoo but it works, so also keep it in mind.
As you’ll still have open wounds when your ink hasn’t fully healed yet, bacteria could get into your wounds through people’s hands. You don’t know where their hands are from so unless they wash up using some antibacterial soap, you shouldn’t let anyone touch your fresh in. This also includes you, as your hands can also be teeming with infectious bacteria.
There’s also a high chance that your tattoo will get manhandled which will hurt you, so it’s just best to not let people poke, pull, and touch your fresh tattoo.
10. Avoid wearing tight clothing.
Another best tattoo aftercare tip is to avoid wearing tight clothing that will cover the fresh ink. The fabric will rub on your new wounds which can irritate your skin or cause some chafing. They can then delay the healing process, so you might want to avoid that.
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11. Don’t ignore it.
While the best way to let a wound heal would be to let it do its thing, it’s not the best way how to treat a tattoo. You should still pay close attention to it in order to take the right measures in helping it heal. Absolutely don’t ignore the recommended aftercare process as it won’t just give you the right tips in caring for a tattoo but it can also help you ensure that your ink will look great once it completely heals.