How To Care For A Tattoo
To stave off infection and keep it looking good, you have to know how to care for your tattoo. First timers often struggle with all the effort it takes to keep their tattoos clean and properly tended to. And as many tattoo artists readily explain, there really is no perfect formula for keeping a tattoo perfectly taken care of. There will be lots of itching, a little pain, and maybe even some bleeding no matter what you do. But there are a few key steps you can take to care for your tattoo in a reasonable and effective manner.
What you need to care for a tattoo:
- Soft tissues to wipe the tattooed area immediately afterward
- A bandage (which should be provided by the tattoo parlor)
- Specialized tattoo ointment
- Petroleum jelly
- Caring for your tattoo immediately after getting it is essential. When it’s done, your tattoo will likely ooze for a little while. But for proper healing it has to breathe and be kept only somewhat moist. The artist will put a bandage on you when the tattoo is complete. When you get home, the first step in caring for the tattoo is to take off the bandage and check for oozing. If it is (which is pretty likely) wipe off the moisture with a soft tissue. Check again every fifteen minutes or so for a few hours. If the moisture isn’t wiped up, your tattoo will scab over and heal much worse.
- Buy the right kind of tattoo aftercare lotion, and use it often. Once the oozing has stopped, it’s time to start applying the lotion. The right kind of ointment can usually be found right in the shop where you got your tattoo. Stuff like scented lotions, on the other hand, will clog your pores, fade the new tattoo, and worsen the healing process. Though the proper tattoo aftercare ointment is a little expensive, it’s worth it to preserve the investment you’ve already made in your tattoo.
- In the days ahead, you need to reapply the lotion 3 to 5 times a day. Proper tattoo care also includes avoidance of water, picking and scratching, and cleanliness. Of course, you’ll have to take showers. The recommended way to keep your tattoo dry during them is to put some petroleum jelly on it, and to wipe it off immediately after you get out. Avoid swimming pools, saunas, dirty situations, and tanning during the next two weeks to keep your tattoo actively healing correctly.
- Look out for signs of proper (or improper) tattoo healing. Good tattoo care requires quite a bit of observation. Flaking and peeling skin on the tattoo is completely normal. So when it happens, don’t panic. If there’s a lot of continuous seepage and heavy scabbing or a skin ash on the area, there is a problem with the tattoo healing process. Contact your artist and ask him or her how your tattoo aftercare can be improved.