How to care for a new tattoo. Advice and tipsTattoos have become a popular way for people to express themselves these days and perhaps to show a small part of our personalities to the world. If you have decided to get your first tattoo then aftercare is important and you will need to know how to keep it clean, free from infection whilst healing, as well as how to help the new ink settle in to your skin.
How to care for a new tattoo
Wash the tattoo frequentlyAftercare of a new tattoo primarily involves keeping it clean to prevent infection. Do this by washing it a couple of times a day, or following instruction of your tattoo artist will help. You will need to use a mild or an antibacterial soap. Don't forget it will help to keep your hands clean too!
Your tattoo artist will usually recommend some aftercare which may involve using a plastic bandage or even cling film to cover it in the first 24-72 hours. This will help the skin and the tattoo with the initial healing process.
Keep a new tattoo well moisturisedYour tattoo artist will also advise you need to keep the tattooed skin moisturised, especially before bed. Your artist will also let you know moisturising every day, particularly pre bathing is the best way to get good results. Let the skin absorb the cream on it's own.
We suggest choosing moisturisers that are fragrance-free and hypoallergenic for tattoo aftercare. That is, the simpler the cream, the better. A week on from your first tattoo the skin will feel less painful of course the area it is done in also plays a part.
Avoid sun exposureAnother important aftercare tip for a new tattoo is to avoid the sun to help make the most of the ink. Of course if you can't avoid it then apply plenty of suncream, preferably factor 50, to help protect both your skin and the tattoo ink.
Remember that UVA rays can damage your skin as well as the colour of a tattoo, something that you should bear in mind if you are planning a holiday or live in a sunny area.
Avoid the beach and poolIf you are thinking of going on holiday, then it may be a wise decision to wait until you return.
As we mention the sun is not a great help and it is not advised to bathe in the sea water or in the pool. At least until you get to the 30 day after mark.
Do not forget that if you bathe with other people, you may be exposing your tattooed skin to an infection and therefore the bandage is very important.
What to do if your tattoo heals badly
The final result of your new tattoo will depend on the skin healing well in the first few days and hours.
When a tattoo is not healing well it can become a little hard and crusty or you may find some infection. Continue to wash it gently with an antibacterial soap to aid healing to avoid discolouration and damaging the tattoo.
Aside from tips on caring for your tattoo, never scratch it as it can make it worse. Don't forget that itchiness is completely normal, although it can be avoided and alleviated by using a good layer of moisturiser or even vaseline or by wetting the tattoo with water.
Try not to wear tight clothing over the tattoo that will rub it and make it sore. If the tissue squeezes and rubs a recently tattooed area it may bruise. Do not forget that a tattoo is still a wound that has to heal as well as possible.
Also keep in mind that the process can be complicated by a common disease such as diabetes. In that case you should always consult with your doctor to avoid putting your health at risk.