Tattoo Aftercare 101
TATTOO AFTERCARE 101
If you’ve recently gotten tattooed, congratulations! You’re now the proud owner of a beautiful piece of art. But your work isn’t done yet. To make sure your tattoo looks its best for years to come, you need to take proper care of it during the healing process. Here’s a step-by-step guide to make sure you do everything right when it comes to aftercare.
Step One: Unwrap and Discard the Plastic
When you leave the tattoo shop, your new tattoo will be covered in plastic wrap. The first thing you should do is remove this wrap and discard it. This will help prevent infection by keeping contaminants away from your skin and preventing any bacteria from growing on the plastic wrap itself.
Step Two: Rinse It Off
Once you have removed the plastic wrap, rinse off your tattoo with warm water. This helps remove any leftover blood or plasma that may have collected on your skin during the tattooing process. Do not use hot water, as this can cause further irritation to your already sensitive skin. Avoid scrubbing too hard as this could damage or irritate the area around your tattoo or cause scabbing.
Step Three: Wash It with Soap
After rinsing off your tattoo, use an anti-bacterial soap to cleanse it gently and thoroughly. Make sure you use a product that is safe for tattoos; most soaps are too harsh for freshly inked skin and could cause further irritation or even infection if used incorrectly. I prefer Dial Gold or Saniderm Foam Soap.
Once finished, rinse off all of the soap with warm water before patting it dry with a paper towel or cloth (avoid using rough materials such as towels).
Step Four: Apply Lotion
The last step is applying lotion to keep your tattoo moisturized while it heals. Make sure to use a non-fragranced product that won’t irritate your skin or clog up pores—this is especially important if you have sensitive skin! Apply only a thin layer at first; once absorbed into the skin, feel free to apply more if needed later in the day. It is important to avoid putting too much lotion on as you could OVER-moisturize your tattoo. I prefer Palmer’s Cocoa Butter or Saniderm Daily Lotion.
Avoid direct sunlight for at least two weeks (four preferred) after getting inked; if going outdoors cover up your tattoos as opposed to wearing sunscreen. Sunscreen can irritate your skin, extend the healing time, and possibly damage your tattoo. But, I prefer Sun Bum SPF 50 or Tattoo Care Sunscreen.
After about two weeks, most tattoos should be completely healed (though healing times vary from person to person). At this point, it's important that you continue using lotion—this will keep your skin hydrated without clogging up pores like thicker creams and petroleum based products (Aquaphor) can do. Continue avoiding direct sunlight exposure when possible and stay away from tanning beds altogether—the UV rays they emit can cause permanent damage over time! Also try not to scratch or pick at any dry skin around your tattoo—it might be tempting but it can lead to scarring which no one wants!
Taking care of a new tattoo isn't rocket science but there are certain steps one must take in order ensure optimal results and longevity of their artwork! Following these simple steps ensures that you give yourself the best chance of having perfect looking ink for many years down the line! So go forth and show off that beautiful new piece - just remember not to skimp on taking proper care of it! Happy healing everyone!
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