So you’ve decided to get a tattoo or you’re addicted to tattoo’s, whatever it is did you know you have to care for a tattoo after you’ve had the work done?
Caring for a tattoo properly within the first few weeks can mean the difference between your tattoo looking great throughout its life or looking crap! After the healing stage has happened you should still be caring for your tattoo’s. Fortunately, it’s a lot easier to care for a tattoo once it’s healed then whilst it’s healing.
“Fresh” Tattoo Care
Let’s refer to a new tattoo as “fresh”. With a fresh tattoo you need to look at it as a giant open wound, depending on its size of course, either way, it’s a wound that needs to heal. Usually your local tattoo artist will sell some type of healing gel or balm. If you’re using a natural balm you really can’t “over use” it. Although when using a gel check the ingredients for chemicals and other nasty things like petroleum jellies. These generally suffocate the skin and can actually slow down the healing process. It’s smart though from a business perspective….why let the wound heal faster when you could slow it down and sell someone a ton load more than they need? Because it’ll mean you’ll buy more of it which will give the company more $$$. Smart huh? Well now you’re educated so don’t make that mistake next time.
A few other tips:
- Don’t wash it with hot water in the first 12-24 hours, it’s going to hurt!
- If it’s wrapped in glad wrap remove it within 2 hours.
- A bandage can usually be removed about 4 hours after it has been applied.
- Sleep on sheets you don’t mind getting dirty (it’s not uncommon for your sheets to get “inked” the first night of a new tattoo.
- DON’T PICK THE SCABS!!!
- Don’t expose your new tattoo to the sun until it’s fully healed (10-14days). If you HAVE TO use a SPF 50 sun cream at a minimum.
- Try to not wear tight fitting clothing as it can affect the healing process.
Long Term Tattoo Care
Once you’ve punched through the healing stage of your tattoo you can now care for your skin as you would if there was no tattoo there at all. This can include moisturising if you’re that way inclined….or nothing at all.