The tattooing process does not end at the tattoo studio. Getting a tattoo is much like getting wounded in a thousand minuscule pricks, which is why you have to take the proper steps to make sure your tattoo stays safe from infection and other complications. This is where tattoo aftercare tips can come in handy.
If it is your first time getting inked, doing your research first is highly recommended. You have to take time to research not only the kind of style that you’re getting and the credible tattoo artists in your area, but you have to be ready for the responsibilities that you have right after. Tattoo aftercare helps prevent infections, but more importantly, it ensures the safe and fast healing of your new tattoo.
Excited for your first-ever tattoo session? Before you hop on the artist’s chair, here are some aftercare tips that you have to know and follow after getting a tattoo.
Listen to your tattoo artist’s instructions.
This might be a no-brainer, but you will be surprised at the rate of complications in other people that could have been easily avoided if only they followed their artist’s instructions. Neglecting to follow your artist is not unlike forgetting to take your prescribed medications. They lead to the same results too – your symptoms not getting better, and sometimes, even getting worse!
Right after your session, your artist must always cover your tattoo with a bandage. No matter which studio you get your tattoo from, getting a bandage right after your session is a must! There are different types of bandages used for tattoo aftercare – plastic driloc pads, Tegaderm, etc. Depending on the type of tattoo that you have, your artist might recommend leaving it on for 3-5 hours and up to a full day.
Clean it gently with mild cleansers.
After taking the bandage off carefully, you have to clean your tattoo right away. But not with regular harsh soaps! Try to find mild cleansers that you can use to clean the tattoo. Use it with lukewarm water for the best results.
Moisturise at all times.
The trick to tattoo treatment is to never let your tattoo dry up. This might be challenging if you have dry skin. You can easily pick out a good quality lotion from the drugstore like Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula which is enriched with Vitamin E. But to better seal the moisture in, you will have to use a cream for the tattoo area. Try to use moisturisers like Savlon Antiseptic Cream which has antibacterial properties to keep the bad bacteria out.
Note, though, that too much moisture is just as bad as having no moisture at all. So, make sure to apply thin layers of moisture at a time.
Try not to sweat too much.
You might want to keep out of the sun to avoid sweating and, in effect, avoid irritating your skin. Skin irritations are bad for your tattoo as they may cause itching or swelling. You can take showers, but never baths. Err on the safe side and try to keep yourself clean and dry.
Wear clothes with lightweight fabric.
To add to the previous point, another thing that might irritate your skin are tight clothes that rub against the surface. You might want to put your jean-wearing days on hold since tight jeans can often irritate fresh tattoos on the hips and legs. Instead, go for loose clothes and light fabrics like cotton, satin, and even silk if you have some.
Fight the urge to itch.
There are times that your tattoo might feel itchy, especially if you have been slacking off on applying moisturiser regularly. They may scab and flake even when you have been diligent about keeping it moisturised. Slight scabbing and flaking are perfectly normal, the important thing is to stop yourself from itching. You may use soothing creams to lessen the itch. Make sure to trim your nails and find something else to do to distract yourself from scratching.
Check for signs of infection.
Monitor your tattoo for any visual signs of infection. Is there any redness or swelling around the tattoo? Are the scabs getting worse? Is it tender to the touch?
There are many signs of infection, but some of the worse may include severe redness, swelling, fever, and chills. If you have all these some days after getting the tattoo, you might have to see a physician as soon as possible and get it treated. You might have caught a bacterial infection from unsanitised tattoo equipment and other factors.
Get some touch-ups, if necessary.
Your tattoo will never look as clean and pristine as when you first walked out of the studio. A tattoo will fade and blur over time, but extreme fading over a short period of time may be because of how the artist drew out the tattoo or because the ink used was not the best.
There are cases when multiple tattoo touch-ups are necessary as part of your tattoo design and plan. Don’t worry, most tattoo studios are courteous enough to offer minor touch-ups for free. After all, good studios will always care about quality customer services.
The important thing is to always communicate with your tattoo artist to ensure that everything is laid out. All you have to do is show up for the next touch-up sessions and follow their instructions carefully.
Tattoo Aftercare for Coloured Vs. Blackwork Tattoo: What’s the Difference?
There’s not much difference between the aftercare needed for coloured tattoo versus blackwork tattoo. However, coloured pigments are more likely to cause an allergic reaction than a blackwork tattoo. This is why you might want to prepare by taking a patch test to make sure you are not allergic to any material used in the process.
Better yet, consult expert tattoo artists in Melbourne who can help address your questions with more in-depth answers. If you have more burning questions about tattoo aftercare, do not hesitate to consult with the tattoo artists over at Vivid Ink Tattoo.