1– Pay attention to what your tattooist tells you and do precisely what he or she instructs. If she/he is a professional with experience, they will certainly know what product and healing technique works best for their own work, in general, and for their clients in particular. Keep in mind, if you change the aftercare for whatever reason the tattooist is not obliged to touch up your tattoo free of cost. It is your responsibility to take care of your tattoo once you leave the studio.
2– DO NOT WRAP YOUR TATTOO AGAIN unless explicitly instructed to do so by your artist. It is extremely important to keep the tattoo clean after the protection has actually been taken off. Remember, your new tattoo is just like an open injury, do not forget that! Most tattooists advise hand-washing the tattoo extremely lightly though thoroughly with your (CLEAN) fingers, using an unscented, anti-bacterial soap. Allow it to air dry or lightly pat it dry with a clean paper towel. CLEAN. Everything you use or touch must be clean. You don’t want cat hairs sitting on your healing tattoo.
3– It is very common that a new tattoo be sensitive, red or slightly inflamed. Most people experience some irritation a day or so after getting a new tattoo (it differs depending on the size, placement and amount of work in the tattoo). If these symptoms continues longer than 3 or 4 days, call your tattooist so you can set up a time to come to the shop so they can see it and advise you.
4– Your tattoo will weep in the first couple of days. The fluid may be clear or slightly colored the same as your tattoo. This is normal, and it does not indicate that your tattoo is coming out. Just clean it regularly as instructed and let it go through the healing process. Your body knows how to heal itself, you are merely assisting it.
5– Keep your tattoo slightly moist. If you allow it to dry out it can lead to a thick scab formation and you don’t want that. Drying out your tattoo can cause it to slow the recovery procedure and could even harm the tattoo. Your tattooist will likely advise a cream or ointment to use and how often to apply to your new tattoo. DO NOT OVERSATURATE your tattoo! Too much ointment on your tattoo and it cannot breathe. A very light coat is all that’s needed. Patting off excess ointment so that it is barely even shiny. A dab is all you need.
6– Within a couple of days to a week, a thin layer of skin will start to peel or flake off from the whole tattoo, just like the peeling you receive from sunburn. Again, this is totally normal. It is essentially the scabby layer and dead skin coming off. Do not scratch it or play with it! It will probably itch throughout this time, do not scratch! Your tattoo will still be extremely delicate and you could end up scratching it open. One remedy for the itch is to lightly pat or slap it with a clean paper towel.
7– Do not soak your tattoo for at least two weeks from the day it’s been done. So no bathing or swimming (sauna is also not recommended). Showering is entirely great, in fact cleaning your tattoo under the shower is probably the simplest way to do it. Your tattooist might encourage you to avoid these things for a longer period of time; it depends on your skin healing time and which aftercare you use.
8– Do not get in a sunbed or expose your tattoo to direct sunlight for at least two weeks! UV rays damage the skin, and will fade your tattoo’s color. This applies forever. Even after your tattoo heals, (not WHILE it’s healing), use the highest UV protection sunblock you can find whenever you are in the sun. (Buy some ‘baby-block’ for maximum protection.)
9– Your tattoo may take between 3-4 weeks to recover. Again, the healing process will depend on your skin type, on theaftercare product you use, the size, position, and style of the tattoo. A full color tattoo will generally take longer to heal than a grey shaded piece. If you get a rash, or any type of unusual signs on or around the tattoo, contact your tattooist immediately.
10– Avoid working out. Tattoos covering big areas or those that are near joints (such as elbows and knees), may take longer if the skin is required to move too much, either during intense workouts or other physical activity. Working out could also cause the skin to break and become irritated, extending the tattoos healing procedure.
11– Always ask for help when you’re not sure of how to take care of tattoo. Note, you can always consult your own medical professional if you experience any sort of skin reaction or if the tattooed area becomes infected, but your tattoo artist is the first resource you should go to. A professional tattooist would have given you lots of tattoo care recommendations prior to you leaving the shop. However, that doesn’t mean you can not return to him or her if you encounter issues or need help or any sort of assistance. They are available to help.
Well, there you have it! Healing a tattoo is truly not all that challenging. Normally individuals make mistakes when they think too much and begin to overdo things. By using good quality tattoo Aftercare products, it minimizes the threat of infection and helps to prevent/minimize scabbing, hence assisting the body to heal faster. (And some don’t use anything at all on healing tattoos. Experience will guide you over time. Follow the advice of your artist till then.)
Do not forget! Looking after your tattoo isn’t really just for a week or so, it’s for life! The better condition your skin is in, the better the tattoo will look and last over the years. Moisturize daily and make use of sun block on every occasion. Bright, clean, crisp tattoos are a fantastic thing to have. The body art you collect will stay with you for the rest of your life. So it’s well worth the time and efforts to appropriately care for them while they are healing, and then beyond. (Remember, the less sun they get, the longer they will stay bright.)