Tattoo Aftercare: Essential Tips in Taking Care of a New Tattoo
Having a tattoo is a source of pride for many people. Back in the days, people in tribes use it as a symbol of social status and bravery, to show off how many enemies they have killed. In the modern times, it still remains a symbol of bravery – tattoo pain still exists – but is now being looked upon as an art form.
Now, getting inked is just the beginning of the process. Once the process is done, you will have to deal with the other half of the process which is to let it heal. How do you make sure that it does not run into complications in the next few days?
Bandages and Wraps
Once your artist is done with your tattoo, they will usually clean it off with soap, water and apply some antibacterial ointment as well. This will probably rub off the topical anesthetic gel that was applied prior to your inking session so the affected area may also start to sting.
Bandages are then used to cover up small tattoos but, for the bigger ones, a clear plastic film is often used to do the job. Don’t worry, the wraps actually have their advantages over bandages in that it won’t stick to your tattoo plus you don’t have to keep taking it off when trying to show your new ink to friends. The bad news is that it traps all the moisture and bodily fluids which could be a major source of bacteria. Whatever your artist uses, be sure to take off the cover within 24 hours or so.
Ointments and Lotions
In the next few days, the tattooed area will sting but applying a topical anesthetic spray will most likely not change that. Instead of looking for solutions to have a numb skin, be sure to ask your artist for recommendations on ointments and lotions to apply to help speed up the healing process as well as keep your skin moisturized.
Be careful in choosing products though. While some are quite effective in helping the tattoo heal well, it also causes discoloration (color loss and light spots) which you certainly do not want to deal with later on.
Clothing and Sun Exposure
One’s choice of clothing and the amount of sun exposure you bring on your tattoo is a major factor in tattoo aftercare.
Your tattoo needs to breathe so make sure that you choose to wear only loose fitting clothes at least during the next week or so. Wearing tight clothes means having something constantly rub on your tattoo which could affect the way it heals. Additionally, it is important to keep your tattoo away from direct sunlight as it could lighten the area and produce further damage.
Proper care is important if you want your tattoo to heal right. Always remember to follow what your artist told you to do and never pick on scabs. In case you encounter excessive swelling and scabbing, bad smell or pus or any other sign of infection, let your artist know right away or head on to your trusted doctor!