Getting a tattoo is not an easy task. You have to look for professional artists, ensure that the tattoo parlor has adequate hygiene standards, select the perfect design and finally, endure a lot of pain (while the tattoo is being made). In case you think that the work is complete, you are completely wrong. If you want to make sure that your tattoo settles perfectly in your skin, does not lead to any infection and stays vibrant for a long time, you will have to indulge in proper tattoo aftercare. Go through the following lines and explore tips on care as well as safety of your tattoo.
Immediate Caring For The Tattoo
Don't Take Off The Bandage Too Soon
After making the tattoo, a professional artist will, more often than not, cover it with a bandage. The main aim behind this is to prevent the air-born bacteria from assaulting your wound and treating it as their breeding ground, leading to an infection. Make sure to keep on the bandage for at least two hours after getting the tattoo. The only case where you should remove the bandage is when it is nothing, but saran wrap or plastic wrap.
Washing And Treating Is A Must
Around 2-3 hours after getting the tattoo, when you have removed the bandage, it is very necessary to wash the design. Making use of lukewarm water and a mild, liquid antibacterial (or antimicrobial) soap is a good idea. It will help you remove any ointment, blood and/or plasma from the area and clean it thoroughly. While doing this, instead of a washcloth or any other abrasive cloth, make use of your hands and be gentle.
Drying And Applying An Ointment
After you have washed your wound (okay, the tattoo!) thoroughly, it is the time to dry the area. Now, instead of rubbing, pat dry the area with a clean and soft towel, or paper towel. Thereafter, apply a very think coat of any of your regular ointments. If possible, go for ointments with vitamins A and D, otherwise any with antibacterial ointment will also do well. This will ensure that your tattoo does not get prone to infections later on.
- Make sure to clean you tattoo on a daily basis, again using mild products. However, instead of ointments, you can use hand or body lotion for keeping the skin around the tattoo soft. Do make sure that the lotion does not contain any dye and is also fragrance free.
- While taking a shower with your new tattoo is okay, do not indulge in a deep bath or hot tub for at least 2-3 weeks. At the same time, you also need to avoid swimming, be it in a pool, fresh water or salt water, for at least 2 weeks. Do not let soap stay on your tattoo, making sure to remove it quickly with water, as soon as possible.
- A few days after getting the tattoo made, you are likely to experience peeling and, in some of the cases, even a little scabbing. Unless in excess, scabbing is normal after getting a tattoo. All you have to do is apply warm moist compresses to the scabs, 2-3 times in a day, for about 5 minutes at a time.
- As the tattoo begins to heal, it will start itching. However, you need to make sure that you neither pick it, nor scratch it. If the itching is too much, just slap the area. In case of peeling, you can apply lotion and for scabbing, just stick to the warm compress (and nothing else).
- The ultraviolet rays of the sun are a natural enemy of tattoos and can make them fade out as well. Avoid exposing your tattoo to the sunlight and in case that is not possible, use a sunscreen with minimum 30SPF. This will help you tattoo remain vibrant for a long time.