How to Care and Clean Your New Tattoo
If you’re thinking about inking, remember this: tattoos are a lot easier to get, than get rid of, so it pays to pick a great tattoo design, and equally as important, to take care of your tat to keep it looking good for the long haul. Don’t forget, it’s going to hurt a little (or a lot) depending on size. Since tattoos can become kind of addictive, you’ll want to stock up on the best tattoo aftercare products.
Since people with tattoos love to expose a bit more skin than the average uninked person, you also need to think about protecting your tats from the sun’s damaging UV rays, and believe it or not, there are even tattoo specific sunscreens.
For complete tattoo aftercare instructions, read on!
Tattoos are an expensive form of art to love. You can easily spend a small fortune, and you most likely did.
Why would you not give your tattoo the best start it can get? Top 10 Tattoo After Care Tips
- Tattoo aftercare is about cleaning your tattoo and removing contaminates that could potentially cause an infection in your tattoo. A good aftercare can leave your tattoo dry and potentially susceptible to infections. A dried, scabbing tattoo with cracks can be susceptible to infection. As your tattoo begins healing the moment you leave the studio, you also need to begin looking after it immediately.
- During the first two hours, your body will secrete out plasma and excess ink. This plasma, a blood by-product, contributes significantly towards the development of scabs. It must be washed off with an anti-bacterial wash.
- Looking after your tattoo correctly isn’t a lengthy or complicated process but it is a necessary one. All you need is a little knowledge of how it’s done some antibacterial wash, and some cream or lotion.
- In the First Three Days:
Ensure that your hands are clean. Use a 100% natural unscented soap.
Apply foam or soap directly onto your new tattoo, gently rinsing off all plasma, excess ink and soaps with your hand. Note: Do not use a washcloth or anything else abrasive as it will rip apart your new tattoo. Your hand is perfectly shaped for the job.
Gently pat your tattoo dry with a fresh, clean towel with minimum fluff. Fluffy towels can shed tiny pieces of cotton that can remain unseen in the tattoo, which can cause an infection.
Allow your tattoo completely air dry in a clean environment. This should be no longer than 45 minutes to one hour.
Sparingly apply aftercare cream or balm, covering the entire tattoo. Gently rub lotion into the skin. Do not apply to any scabs or areas that are very moist within the tattoo. Wipe off any extra cream.
Repeat washing and applying aftercare cream approximately two to three times a day, for the first three days to five days.
Slowly reduce washing your tattoo around the fourth to fifth day. You only need to wash it when you shower.
Continue applying, thoroughly rubbing it in.
- It is not uncommon for a healing tattoo to develop light flaking and peeling of the top layer of skin. It is fine to apply tattoo aftercare cream to this healing skin.
- Immediately discontinue any cream, balm, foam, and lotions that cause irritation, cause a rash, excessive discomfort or heat. If you suspect infection, go directly to your doctor. They will prescribe an antibiotic or steroid to help clear the infection and assist your healing tattoo.
- Your new tattoo may also start developing scabs. This will start to happen at around the five to seven-day mark.
- A tattoo is meant to flake and peel while it sheds its top layer of skin. Large, layered scabs are not normal and require particular care. Scabs, whatever their size needs to dry out, lift and crumble off your tattoo naturally. Prematurely removing a scab can damage a tattoo, so never pick or scratch off scabs.
- Scabs should never have lotion rubbed into them. Your scabs can be washed, but they must air dry.
- Do not pick off scabs. Let them naturally lift and crumble off themselves.
Looking After Your Healing Tattoo
After approximately one week, change your cream to a lotion. Lotions are generally lighter in consistency than a balm or cream. Also, always choose a lotion that contains sunscreen. Sun damages a tattoo quicker than anything else. You can also feel the sun burning through a tattoo if you don’t wear an effective sunscreen lotion.
Your tattoo, after it has completely healed will only need one application of lotion a day. This should keep it fresh and moisturised and protect it from the suns damaging rays.
After a few weeks, you can stop doing all routine aftercare. Your tattoo will benefit from regular application of a body moisturising cream as well as the protection from a sunscreen. Any type of moisturiser can be used at this stage, as your tattoo should not be sensitive to perfumes or other chemicals. Try to choose a moisturiser that contains sunscreen, since the sun is the main factor in tattoos ageing too quickly.
Plus 5 Tattoo Aftercare Tips
- Do not scratch.
- Do not use or wear abrasive materials.
- Do not over apply tattoo creams.
- If your tattoo begins to develop thick scabs, gently wash with soap and warm water.
- Only use your hand to assist lifting.
Remember, your tattoo will never appear as shiny and crisp as it did when it was freshly inked at the tattoo studio. With appropriate and continued aftercare, especially sun protection, your tattoo will always look its best!
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