Tattoo Aftercare: Dos and Don’ts
The road to a perfect tattoo is long and tiring. There are all these precautions you need to take to get there and when you do, you still need to be on the watch. It’s a process: one step at a time and you’ll come to love the outcome. It is an unsaid rule that you need to have a proper tattoo aftercare after you get it inked on your body. It solves two purposes: proper aftercare fastens the healing process and also, gets the best color out of the ink. You’d love that, wouldn’t you? Well, to get best results, you have to pay a little more attention to detail and listen to your tattooist’s advice with all ears open. A skilled tattooist will teach you well – follow his advice and you won’t regret your decision of getting a tattoo. Want to see the true colors of your tattoo – tread wisely.
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- Keep It Wrapped: The tattoo artist will wrap your tattooed area as soon as he is done. He will wipe it off, apply an ointment and then using a bandage, and cover your skin to keep it from getting infected. It is recommended that you let the bandage stay put for a few hours (no more than 4 hours) and when you take it off, make sure you wash the area with an anti-bacterial soap. Don’t let the water run directly on the area but splash the water on it and use fingertips to clean it. Needless to say, be gentle because it is a wound until it heals. Avoid using anything but your fingers to clean the area – don’t rub.
- Apply An Ointment: Using an ointment or moisturizer will keep your tattoo skin soft. What you shouldn’t use are the lotions with fragrance and dye. There are ointments especially made for tattoo skin like Tattoo Goo. Apply it twice a day for the next 3-5 days and the tattoo should be fine.
- Keep It Clean: You are not to re-bandage your tattoo anytime. In fact, it should be given breathing area for it to heal faster. It should be washed twice daily and if it’s your hands or feet that is tattoo borne, wash it thrice. You can take a shower with the tattoo on and washing it is just fine as long as you protect it from soaps and shampoos. Moreover, never touch it with unwashed hands or let anyone else touch your tattoo.
- Loose Clothes:It would be a good idea to wear clothes that let your tattoo alone and not rub against it. For at least the next 3 days, loose clothes should be your new style which won’t let the tattoo stick to your clothes due to perspiration.
- Over-Moisturize: Where keeping it moisturized is a good idea, over-moisturizing it is an equally unwise idea. Petroleum based lotions don’t let the tattoo breathe and makes scabbing more prominent and also prolongs the healing process.
- No Swimming, Hot baths or Saunas: Soaking your tattooed area in water is a very bad decision. It can cause damage if you do either. Swimming pools are sources of bacteria which can cause infections; hot water will get your ink out and saunas open your skin pores which will let the pigments out. So, refrain from all three while it is still healing and enjoy your dips after your tattoo is ready to take it.
- Stay Away From the Sun: Sun harms your tattoo. Regardless to how much time has lapsed, it will always be harmful to your tattoo. It can scar a new tattoo and too much sun exposure makes it harder for the tattoo to heal completely. Keep it covered if it is still healing; once it has healed, make sure you wear sunblock at all times or the colors would fade.
- Pets Away!: No licking by your dogs or cats or any other pets that you might have. Keep them away for as long as you can from your tattoos and never let them lick or rub the area while it is still healing.
- No Scratching: No matter what you do, a layer would be formed on the skin but it heals on its own. Don’t peel it off or you’ll lose your ink too. Even if it itches, control yourself, wash the area and apply lotion but don’t scratch it. Don’t even wipe it off with a washcloth – it can fade off the colors.
When in doubt, always contact your tattoo artist or go to a dermatologist. Don’t try to fix it yourself if it’s bleeding, itching or aching more than measure. Tattoo removal is an option too if it gets bad but it shouldn’t come to that if you behave responsibly.
Tattoo Designs Risks
If you are still taking it lightly, let’s discuss the risks of tattoos. This is not to discourage you from getting inked; on the contrary, it will help you take necessary precautions and invariably an informed choice. At the end of the day, it is what you want that matters
the most but you should be aware of all the risks and prepared to deal with them head on. To begin with, allergies and infections are most common risks you’ll be warned against. Allergies can start even years after you got a tattoo – it will itch and cause rashes on the tattoo area. These allergies are due to the metals in the tattoo ink and are most common in yellow, blue, green and red dyes. Infections occur after instantly tattooing due to improper care of the tattoo and are quite uncomfortable. They cause swelling, redness and even puss is formed. Other than that, skin problems like granulomas and keloids are not unheard of too. Furthermore, skin tumors have been associated with tattoo as well.
Because it involves needles, a tattoo can also give you Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, HIV or Herpes. And in worst case scenarios, you might not be allowed an MRI scan for a tattoo can make your skin burn while getting one.