Getting a tattoo is fun and exciting but also a responsibility.
It is extremely important that you take care of your new tattoo carefully to ensure that it heals properly.
Ignoring your new tattoo or treating it improperly could result in infection, which could permanently alter the color and shape of the image you just had inked.
The Basic Supplies to Care for Your Tattoo
The basic supplies that you will need to take care of your new tattoo are:
- Loose clothing
- Antibiotic Soap
- Skin Lotion
- Antibiotic Ointment
Steps to Follow
To take the best care of your tattoo possible, here are some steps to follow:
- Do not remove the bandage on your tattoo for at least two hours after it is completed, or longer if instructed. The bandage is protecting you from bacteria and infection.
- When ready, remove the bandage carefully and discard. Now the tattoo can breathe and it will begin to heal. Do not re-bandage it.
- Wash the tattoo very gently with antibiotic soap, then rinse with lukewarm water and dry it off by patting with a dry washcloth. Do not rub the tattoo dry or use a paper towel.
- Use an antibiotic ointment. Dab a bit over the entire tattoo. Avoid ointments that include zinc, as they are known to cause a reaction in some people. Some tattoo parlours offer their own brand of ointment specifically made for tattoos, you may want to buy some, although the pharmacy ointment should be just as effective.
- Lightly apply the antibiotic ointment for a few days, and then you can switch to an unscented skin lotion.
- While air is good for a healing tattoo, sun is not. If you plan on being out in the sun apply sunscreen first.
- During the healing process it is advisable to avoid excessive exposure to water. This means that a daily show is fine, but no baths or swimming for a week or two.\
A Few More Tips to Care for Your Tattoo
Here are a few more helpful tips to help your tattoo heal properly:
- DO NOT scratch or pick at scabs that form on the tattoo, you might cause a scar and ruin your new tattoo. Instead apply a moist compress for 5 minutes a few times a day, it will help the scab come off.
- It is best to wear clean, loose clothing over the tattoo until it is healed, which should take about two weeks.
- Continue wearing sunblock on your tattoo even after it is healed, this will prevent burns and fading.
If at any time during the healing process you feel that your tattoo is not healing properly you should consult your doctor. Signs of infection can include unusual swelling, extreme itchiness, a fever or rash. There is also a possibility of an allergic reaction, which is why medical attention is so important.