AftercareHow to take care of a new tattoo can be a bit daunting. Especially if it’s your first tattoo. Don’t be afraid to ask questions when you’re not sure what to do. Some tattoo artists may recommend doing different things than others. And that’s because different tattooing techniques might need a different approach to heal them. Here are the instructions on what I have found that works best: Taking care of yourself before and during the tattooing process is maybe as important as what you do afterwards. So before we start tattooing make sure that:
- You are well rested.
- Have eaten a meal recently
- Are wearing comfortable clothing that leaves the area that will be tattooed easily accessible.
- Brought a snack with you. Tattooing can take a lot of energy from you so bring food.
- You have bought a mild and fragrance free soap to wash your tattoo with as well as a tattoo aftercare product.
Now on to the actual after care:
- First we’ll put some plastic on the tattooed area. This might be ordinary cling film that you can take off after about 3 hours. Or it might be a self adhesive plastic that you can leave on for a minimum of 3 hours but up to 3 days. Some access ink, blood and plasma might come out after the tattoo has been wrapped. It might look a bit gross but it’s nothing to worry about.
- When it’s time to remove the plastic foil you should wash the tattooed area immediately after. Start by washing your hands. Use a mild, fragrance-free soap preferably one with a pump and not a bar of soap. Then gently wash away all the ink and blood and ointment from your tattoo using the same soap.
- After that carefully dab the tattoo dry with a clean towel or paper towels. Use a clean towel every time you wash the tattoo. Especially in the first days.
- Now you should apply your aftercare product. Whatever product you are using make sure to apply only a thin layer. Too much aftercare can suffocate the tattoo or make it sticky. Which will only make it more prone to infection. If you need any recommendations on what aftercare to buy please ask this when planning the appointment or at the consultation.
- Repeat these steps 2-3 times a day. For about 5 days.
- After those 5 days you can decrease the amount. Everybody heals at a different speed and it might depend on the area the tattoo is in. But your tattoo isn’t healed yet if there are still scabs on it. And as long as that’s the case you’ll need to keep it clean and keep putting on the aftercare. Basic rule I keep is when it feels and looks dry it’s time to put some crème on the tattoo.
- While healing your tattoo might be itchy. Do not scratch the tattoo and do not in any way remove the scabs prematurely. They should just come off by themselves.
Some other tips:
- Wear clean clothes in the area of the tattoo. And don’t wear any tight fitting clothing or clothing that might otherwise rub on the tattoo.
- Do not soak the tattoo. This means no baths or swimming. Also a sauna is not a good idea.
- Taking showers is fine. But be careful with perfumed soaps and soaps that contain alcohol.
- Don’t wear any band aids or bandages over the tattoo.
- If you are going to be in a dirty or dusty environment it can be good to put some cling film on the tattoo but try to keep this to a minimum.
- Don’t use any disinfectants on the tattoo other then the before described soap
- Do not share your after care products.
- Touch your tattoo as little as possible and always with clean hands.
- Keep your tattoo out of direct sunlight while healing. No tanning beds either.
- Don’t use any sunblock on the tattoo while it’s still healing. After it’s healed you should always use sunscreen on the tattoo when going into the sun.
- When your tattoo might be reacting strangely: extreme redness, continuing bleeding, swelling, puss, pain, discoloration. You should contact a doctor immediately.