So, now you have a tattoo over your arm that you’ve been anxiously waiting to sport for long. You practically combed the entire town searching for that perfect tattooist who’d be able to engrave your preferred tattoo design just the way you wanted it. Selecting a well-known tattooist and getting a stylist tattoo inscribed is undoubtedly the most taxing part, but your job is still not over.
If you want your tattoo to retain its ‘just-etched’ freshness for a long time to come, you’d have to be very particular as far as its aftercare is concerned. The professional tattooist who carved out that tattoo with extreme care and meticulousness would not have missed out on giving you aftercare instructions. So, now the onus is on you to take thorough care of your newly obtained tattoo.
The moment the tattooist is done with etching the new tattoo, his or her responsibilities are over. If you go on to have any infection or contagion with regards to your tattoo because of your carelessness in maintenance, the tattoo artist certainly can’t be held responsible for the same. So, what are the Ways to Take Care of Your New Tattoo? Just abide by the ensuing tips for taking scrupulous care of your tattoo and prevent it from becoming a disaster.
1. Let The Bandage Remain
After your tattooist is done with his job, he’ll use a wraparound or bandage to envelop the tattoo thoroughly to prevent if from getting infected by airborne bacteria or other foreign particles. Undoubtedly, your tattoo looks great but it is akin to a festering wound, clinically speaking. Perforations have been made on the epidermis of your skin and the inner flesh in your tattooed area has been exposed to an extent that might be invisible to the naked eye. This makes your skin vulnerable to bacterial infections.
Therefore, it is necessary to dress up the area with a bandage or wrap. The wraparound should stay intact for nothing less than two hours. You might be tempted to show off your new tattoo immediately after you acquire it, to your near and dear ones but you’ll have to rein in your temptations. Abstain from wrapping or shrouding your tattoo with a plastic or synthetic wrap that might be suffocating and damaging for your skin.
The wrap also prevents the tattoo from brushing or scraping against your clothes or everything else. Retaining the bandage overnight is recommended by many tattooists to prevent bed sheets or nightwear from getting stained with the ink. If you’re in the habit of taking a shower before retiring for the day, then unwrap the bandage and cleanse the tattoo properly. After the area dries up, rewrap the shroud.
2. Proper Cleansing
Once you discard the bandage, you’ll need to thoroughly cleanse it. Always clean with tepid warm water and use a mild antibacterial liquid for gentle washing of the area to get rid of any plasma or clotted blood or any dried liniment. Refrain from using anything rough or coarse, for instance a washcloth.
Any blood plasma that might be left in that area might dry up over time that can lead to the development of scabs. Therefore, make sure that the entire area is totally clean of any blood plasma by repeating the wash procedure with the light antimicrobial soap. Thereafter, dry out the area completely using a paper towel.
However, instead of rubbing, just gently pat the area. Once the area dries up completely, the next step would be to apply an ointment over the entire area. Use an ointment that is rich in vitamin A or D. Avoid applying any ointment or salve that you’d normally use for wounds and cuts like Neosporin. Such unguents could cause patches or bumps that might rob your tattoo of its originality once the patches go away.
3. Persist With the Cleansing Process
The need of keeping your tattoo clean is certainly not a one-time process. Rather, you’d have to persist with the cleansing procedure periodically. Depending on your preference, you can use specialized gels and ointments for cleaning.
However, you can always use general OTC items. Follow the directions for use and once you’ve started using an ointment or liniment, continue with its use for 4-5 days. If you want to keep the area around your tattoo soft, alternate your use of ointment with a lotion. Nevertheless, see to it that the lotion that you use is a dye that does not have any artificial odors or fragrances.
4. Be Careful While Bathing or Taking a Shower
You can always take a bath or go under the shower despite having a new tattoo. There’s nothing wrong in wetting your tattoo, only be careful enough not to soak it while you’re taking a shower. While you immerse yourself in a bathtub after scrubbing your body see to it that you don’t soak your tattoo deep inside the tub. Also don’t scour or rub your tattooed area very harshly. Do not forget to wash off the area as soon as possible after you’ve applied soap or a conditioning shampoo. Avoid swimming in any form either in brackish water or fresh water in the first two weeks after getting your tattoo.
5. On Flaking or Scabbing
You’d notice a degree of flaking after some days. The flaking would possibly be followed by some scabbing. Though you don’t have to be overly frantic if there is a slight scabbing, extreme scabbing might be a sign of tattooing that has been done unprofessionally. Anyway, in order to soften up the scabs and allowing them to fall off naturally, soothe the area with a moist lukewarm compress for approximately 5 minutes.
Repeat the process for at least three times in a day. When the scabs start to heal, you’ll have an intense itching sensation and feel like scratching vigorously but you’re strictly advised against scraping or grazing. Whenever you have an itching sensation, just smack the area and apply a cream if the skin is peeling. Just let it go, if you experience scabbing as it is an indication that your tattoo is nearly curing.
6. Ensuring Protection from the UV Rays of the Sun
It goes without saying that you’d have to shield your tattoo from the harmful UV rays of the sun. The toxic UV rays can wear out your tattoo much faster than you can imagine. If you happen to spend the better part of your day outdoors, then you’d have to smear a sunscreen lotion, preferably a SPF sunblock over your tattoo before you venture out. Applying a sunscreen lotion will guarantee that your tattoo remain resplendent in the long run.