Congratulations on your new body art design. If you are like most people who get their first tattoo, this tattoo will not end up being your only one. But before you head back to the tattoo parlor for your second one, it is important that you care for the first one properly. This is for the optimal look of the tattoo as well as optimizing the healing process following the design inking. Maintaining your tattoo will keep it looking good for a long time to come. Hopefully you chose to work with a good tattoo artist so they were able to minimize the trauma to the skin during the inking process which will allow for a faster healing time with less chance of infection and limited irritation.
Be sure to take good care right after you get the tattoo:
The first thing to remember after getting a tattoo is to keep the bandage that the tattoo parlor places on you for at least one hour. The new tattoo is really an open wound on the skin’s surface and can become infected with bacteria or cause a patchy healing over the tattoo. Keeping the bandage on will reduce problems from occurring. Once you are ready to remove the bandage, soak it in warm water for a few minutes before peeling it off. This helps the bandage to come away from the skin much easier especially if the skin has started to stick to the bandage. You will not want to remove healing skin when removing the bandage covering so make sure to carefully and slowly take the bandage off. If the tattoo was covered in a cellophane piece, you will want to remove it and replace with a non-stick gauze pad since this allows the tattoo to breathe and heal, at the same time as not trapping any bacteria in the open wound.
Once it is time to remove the bandage, clean the tattoo off gently with warm water and antimicrobial soap. Soap made specifically for healing a tattoo may also be used here, but regular bar soap should not be used since it will dry out the tattoo area to much. To wash the tattoo, lather the soap in your hand, apply to the tattoo, rinse off with the warm water and then pat dry with a clean, dry towel. Following the cleaning, you should cover the tattoo with a moisturizing lotion or a product made for the healing of a tattoo. Many tattoo parlors suggest using Neosporin, but follow what your tattoo parlor recommends since they may refuse to do touch-ups if you do not do as they instruct you to do. If using a moisturizing lotion, make sure to use one that is free of fragrances and colors as these ingredients may cause irritation to the healing skin.
Apply the lotion or healing product, reapply the bandage for the first twenty-four hours. After the first day, simply reapply the lotion or ointment thinly twice daily for the next three to five days or until the tattoo has completely healed. Placing a bandage on after the first day may be up to you and how well the tattoo is healing. The normal time a tattoo may take for healing is about six days to fourteen days, depending on your body’s healing ability. The tattoo may peel once or even twice before it is completely healed over. Remember not to scratch, peel or pick at it. Just leave it be and your tattoo will take care of itself and look allow it to look its best. The tattoo may go through an ugly period during healing but don’t worry since it will fix itself after complete healing takes place.
For a lasting tattoo, remember to apply sunscreen whenever exposing the tattoo to the sun’s rays in the future. Sunlight will bleach out the color of a tattoo and sunscreen will help to prevent that from happening, giving you a great look piece of body art for years to come.