Tattoo Aftercare: What are the things you should do after doing a tattoo ?
Tattoo Aftercare – A tattoo is more than just a piece of art and a way to assert your personal style. It’s a medical procedure, because the artist uses a needle to insert the ink underneath your skin. Any time you open the skin, you leave yourself vulnerable to scarring and infections.
Tattoo Aftercare – Why should we care ?
Caring for your tattoo can prevent these complications and ensure that it heals properly. Both you and your tattoo artist play equal roles in this process. Along with going to a licensed and reputable tattoo artist, you need to take care of your new tattoo at home. Figuring out how to care for your tattoo can be difficult, though.
How to Aftercare ?
Tattoo Aftercare soon starts when your tattoo is done. The tattoo artist applies a thin layer of ointment over the tattoo, and then cover the area in a plastic wrap. This covering prevents bacteria from getting into your skin. It also protects the tattoo from rubbing on your clothes and getting irritated.
You need to keep the dressing on for about 4 hours. It will help absorb any fluid or excess ink that leaks from the tattoo. After few hours, remove the bandage. Wash your hands first with warm water. Gently pat your skin dry with a soft cloth. Apply a small amount of ointment to the tattoo. Ointment is applied so that the wounds are healed quickly. You can keep the bandage off at this point to let your skin breathe.
While your tattoo heals, you should:
- cover your tattoo from the sun, wear full-sleeve clothes
- call your tattoo artist or doctor if you have any signs of infection or other problems
- scratch or pick at the tattoo
- wear tight clothing over the tattoo
- go swimming or immerse your body in water (showers are fine)
Tattoo Aftercare by day
How quickly your tattoo heals depend on the size of your tattoo and how complicated the design is. Bigger tattoos will stay red and swollen longer, because they cause more trauma to your skin.
Days 1 to 4
You will be coming home from the tattoo studio with a bandage covering your tattoo. After 4 hours, you can remove the bandage. Once you remove it, you will notice the blood stains and probably the fluid oozing from the tattoo. The fluid is a mix of blood and some extra ink. Not to worry, this is normal. Your skin will also be red and swollen.
Ensure your hands are clean and then wash the tattoo with warm water. Gently pat your skin dry with cloth. Apply a thin layer of ointment (A & D Ointment) onto your tattoo. Leave the bandage off so the tattoo can heal.
Follow this steps 3 times a day for 4 days.
Days 4 to 6
The redness should start to fade. You’ll probably notice some light scabbing over the tattoo. The scabs shouldn’t be as thick as scabs you get when you cut yourself, but they will be raised. Don’t pick at the scabs — this can cause scarring.
Keep washing your tattoo once or twice a day. Apply moisturizer.
Days 6 to 14
The scabs have hardened and will begin to flake off. Don’t pick at them or try to pull them off, let them come off naturally. Otherwise, you could pull out the ink and leave scars.
At this point your skin may feel very itchy. Gently rub on a moisturizer several times a day to relieve the itch.
If your tattoo is still red and swollen at this point, you might have an infection. Go back to your artist or see a doctor.
Days 15 to 30
In this last stage of healing, most of the big flakes will be gone and the scabs should be going away. You might still see some dead skin, but it should eventually clear up too. The tattooed area might still look dry and dull. Keep moisturizing until the skin looks hydrated again.
By the second or third week, the outer layers of skin should have healed. It may take three to four months for the lower layers to completely heal. By the end of your third month, the tattoo should look as bright and vivid as the artist intended.
Tattoo Aftercare Products
For the first day or two, use a petroleum-based ointment like A&D or Aquaphor to help the tattoo heal. Cosmetic grade petroleum jelly is non-comedogenic, which means it won’t clog your pores and cause infection. But just apply a thin layer. Putting on too thick of a layer won’t allow your skin to breathe.
Can you use Coconut Oil?
Coconut oil keeps the skin under your tattoo moist and protects against infection. Yet there’s no scientific evidence that it works. Check with your doctor before putting coconut oil or any other unproven products on your tattoo.
For the first few days after you getting your tattoo done, your skin may be red, itchy, and sore. You may notice excess ink, along with blood and fluid, leaking from your skin. This is completely normal.
If you begin experiencing symptoms of any of the following complications, see your doctor:
If you don’t properly care your tattoo, there is a chance that you will get infection. Infected skin will be red, warm, and painful. It may also leak pus.
If the equipment or ink your tattoo artist use was contaminated, you could get a bloodborne infection such as hepatitis B or hepatitis C, tetanus, or HIV. There have also been several other reports of infections, like nontuberculous mycobacterial skin infections, being transmitted through tattoos.
If you’re skin is sensitive to the ink your tattoo artist use, you may develop a red, itchy skin reaction at the site. Red, green, yellow, and blue dyes are the most likely to cause a reaction.