Whether you are getting tattooed for the first time or you are a veteran, it is important to know the best way on how to care for a tattoo as tattoo aftercare will determine how your tattoo ends up looking. Poorly cared for tattoos will not only look bad, but might end up getting infected. Here are essential tips that will help you properly care for your tattoo to ensure they remain vibrant and beautiful after healing and years to come.
This is the period immediately after you have been tattooed until your tattoo heals.
1. The first thing to do is to ensure you leave the tattoo covering or bandage for at least 3-4 hours after the tattoo has been done. If you had your tattoo at a professional tattoo shop, your artist will advise you on how long to wait till you remove the bandage. Do not be overly excited and remove the tattoo bandage immediately as at this stage, your tattoo is considered a wound and the healing process is just beginning.
2. It is also important to ensure you wash your new tattoo after every 4-6 hours to keep it clean and prevent any infections. When cleaning your tattoo, you should use a non-scented antibacterial soap with a soft piece of cloth. This should be done daily until your tattoo begins to heal. Additionally, you should always ensure your hands are cleaned with antibacterial soap before you touch your tattoo.
3. During the first week, you should apply a thin layer of ointment on your tattoo after washing. This is to keep the tattoo hydrated and fasten the healing process. Your tattoo artist will advise you on the best ointment to apply. Ensure not to put too much ointment as this can blur tattoo lines and leach the colors from the tattoo. After the first week of using ointment, you can switch to a non-scented lotion.
4. Avoid wearing tight clothes during the first few weeks. Such clothing will keep rubbing against your tattoo and scratch the scabs which can result in fading of color on your tattoo as scabs usually contain ink. You should also desist from scratching or peeling any scabs as this could damage your tattoo and remove the ink.
5. Avoid soaking your tattoo during the first two weeks. Jacuzzis, sauna, swimming pools and activities that could result in excessive sweating should be avoided during this time. Soaking will damage the tattoo and also interfere with the healing process. Additionally, keep away from prolonged sunshine exposure and avoid sleeping on your tattoo as much as possible so as not to interfere with the healing process as well as damaging the tattoo.
This is the period after your tattoo has healed. Long term care ensures your tattoo remains looking good for years.
The most important long term tip on how to care for a tattoo is to always keep it moisturized. This is especially in areas prone to fading like elbow area and hands. Additionally, to maintain a solid coloring on your tattoo, you should apply sunscreen when going outdoors especially during summer.
As long as you know how to properly take care of your tattoo, you will never worry about visiting your favorite tattoo shop.