So, you’ve finally got the tattoo which you have always wanted. Getting a tattoo is painful, but not taking the correct aftercare precautions can ruin what you’ve waited so long for and all that pain you went through. If you want your tattoo to look exactly the same even years from now you should take a lot of care to look after it – remember you’re spending a lot of money and taking the time to take care of your investment is just common sense. This aftercare advice will be provided to you by any good artist but here are some basic tips you must remember if you have just got a tattoo done:
- Immediately after the tattoo has been inked, it will be wrapped in cling film to collect the blood and fresh ink from the tattoo. Your artist will inform you for how long you will need to keep this on but generally it should be in place for at least two hours (but this is dependent on the size and the area on the body).
- A fresh tattoo is susceptible to infections and hence one must wash it several times a day with an antibacterial, soft and non-scented soap. Washing off the soap with cold water helps close the pores and heal the tattoo more quickly. This should be done for at least two to three weeks or until the tattoo is healed. Keeping the tattoo clean is the only way one can protect it from a potential infection. Also never touch a tattoo without washing your hands thoroughly as it too can be a source of contamination.
- The tattoo should be adequately hydrated and this is achieved by using a good ointment or moisturiser, recommended by your artist. This ointment should be applied on the tattoo after washing it and only a thin layer should be applied, but you must wait for the tattoo to dry naturally; using a course towel or rag can pull the colour out of you tattoo.
- Tight clothing should be avoided for a few weeks after getting a tattoo done. Tight clothes can increase the risk of ink loss and scabbing as they rub against the tattoo. Avoid sleeping on the side of your tattoo, as much as possible as it is likely to delay the healing process.
- While the tattoo is fresh one must avoid going into water bodies such as sea, lakes or even pools. Excess exposure to sweat and sunlight should also be avoided for the first two weeks. Taking a long and hot shower is also likely to disrupt the healing process and hence must be avoided, and you should avoid submerging into water for a long period of time.
- Remember that scabbing is a natural and effective way of healing and hence scabs should not be peeled off or scratched at. Picking them off can remove the colour and cause damage to the skin.
- Once the healing process is complete the tattoo is going to brighten up. This means that the layers of skin are growing back and the tattoo is being accepted. To ensure that the colours do not fade, it is important to protect it from sunlight by applying sunscreen lotion each time you step out in the sun.
- Keep your tattoos moisturised. Moisture helps the tattoo retain its colour and makes it less prone to fading over the years.