A tattoo is personal permanent body art. It can be a daily aide-mémoire for something that one fancies and for some a form of self-expression. Basically, it is a cosmetic procedure where the artist inserts the ink underneath the skin using a needle. Getting it is quite exhilarating. However, after getting the desirable one done at a well-researched tattoo studio isn’t the end of its journey. For the tattooed skin to get healed properly and quickly, one has to take the utmost aftercare of that area. Extra care is required because the newly tattooed area is a fresh wound vulnerable to infections and scarring caused by bacteria and any foreign particle.
The aftercare begins in the studio itself once the tattoo is done. Firstly, a thin layer of petroleum jelly or moisturizer is applied over it and it is covered with a bandage or plastic wrap.
8 tips to take care of Tattoo are:
- Leave the bandage/ wrap on until advised by the tattoo artist. Every person has advised different time limits for the bandage’s stay period depending upon the size and location of the tattoo. One should not remove the cover look at the newly done art even out of curiosity and leave it undisturbed for a few hours after the procedure or as advised. This way it will help absorb any fluid or excess ink from the tattoo.
- Gently wash the tattoo: Most of the time, aftercare advice vary from artists to artists. But the one most common advice is clean hands before touching it. After removing the dressing, the area should be thoroughly and gently washed with warm water and an alcohol-free soap. This is done to remove any excess dried ink or blood.
- After wash, the tattoo should be patted dry using a soft cotton towel: Rubbing the area should be avoided. The tattooed area should be allowed to air dry until it is completely dried. This should be followed by the application of a light moisturizer and leave it uncovered allowing the skin to breathe or cover it as per the artist’s advice.
- Repeat cleaning step several times a day: Until the area is healed completely. This usually lasts two to four weeks on average. Moreover, if it frequently gets rubbed against clothes, it should be covered with a gauze/medical tape.
- Not to pick the scab or scratch the skin: Scabs will appear in the later days which should be left alone. If the area itches, gentle slaps can be given and scratching is not an option. A light moisturizer can be applied in order to minimize the itchiness. Also, the itchiness lasts for few weeks only but if the condition stays the same or even worsens, then a visit to the studio or medic for reference is necessary. However, the scabs once dried, will eventually come off naturally.
- Avoid the sunlight: Direct sunlight should be avoided if possible. Also as it heals, with time the color also fades away. The ink remains suspended in the dermis and basically prolonged exposure to the sun results in the damage of the body art making it look dull. So, a sunscreen of SPF at least 35 should be used before stepping into the sun.
- Avoid swimming. The healing area is still vulnerable to germs, hence one should avoid swimming until it is completely dried in order to avoid any unwanted infections which can ruin it.
- Regular moisturizing. In the final stages of healing, the scabs and the dried-out skin will go away. However, the area might still look dry and dull so regular moisturizing is necessary to avoid wrinkly skin.
So, on average in a month the outer portion of the skin usually heals completely if proper care is taken. It may take about three to four months for the skin underneath to fully heal. After a complete three months, the tattoo should look as expected, bright and prominent.
It can be said that the foremost factor of tattoo care is getting the tattoo done at a highly recommended tattoo artist. This way complication can be minimized and the healing process will be rapid. To avoid any severe skin infections following the tattoo artist’s skincare routine is of utmost importance.