Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Proper Care of a New Tattoo
Once finished, you are certainly going to want to know how to take proper care of your new tattoo. From this point on, your artist is not responsible for any infection or problems you may have with your tattoo if you don't take proper care of it. It is very important that you follow these guidelines. A really beautiful tattoo can turn into a disaster if the proper aftercare is not taken.
Before you walked out of the tattoo salon your artist will have covered up your tattoo with a bandage and for a very good reason. The purpose is to keep the air borne bacteria from invading your wound. Yes, as pretty as your new tattoo is, it is still a wound. Open flesh is a breeding ground for bacteria and infection. It is imperative that the bandage not be removed for at least two hours. Resist the urge to peel the bandage away to flaunt your new tat.
After you remove the bandage, you will want to wash your tattoo. Use lukewarm water and mild, liquid antibacterial soap to gently wash away any ointment, blood to completely clean the area. Do not use a washcloth or anything abrasive. Your hand is your best tool in this case. Follow these instructions carefully so you can be certain that you are taking proper care of your new tattoo.
Then pat (do not rub) the area firmly with a clean towel or paper towel to get it completely dry. Follow with a very light application of your choice of ointment. A&D vitamin enriched ointment would be my first choice, but if you don't have any, Bacitracin or a similar antibacterial ointment is acceptable.
Do not use Neosporin. This is a wonderful product for cuts and scrapes, but not in trying to give proper care for new tattoos. Some can have an allergic reaction to the Neosporin, which causes little red bumps. When the bumps go away, so does the ink.
After you have used the ointments for about 3-5 days then continue to keep the tattoo clean but at this point it is acceptable to use a mild lotion rather than ointment. The purpose is just to keep the skin soft. To ensure proper care of your new tattoo make sure any lotions that you apply are dye and fragrance free. Eucerin lotion seems to work the best for most people.
You can shower with a new tattoo. It's OK to get your tattoo wet, just try not to soak it. If you get soap or shampoo on your tattoo, just remove it quickly with water. Swimming, whether it is a pool, fresh water or salt water should be avoided for at least 2 weeks.
After a few days, you will notice some peeling and possibly a little scabbing. Excessive scabbing could indicate a poorly done tat. Apply warm moist compresses to the scabs for about 5 minutes 2-3 times a day to soften them and they will eventually come off on their own. Taking proper care of your new tattoo means that you will have to endure a bit of discomfort so when your tat starts to heal it will itch but NEVER pick it or scratch it. Rather just slap it softly; this means the tattoo is almost healed.
By Mike Wamoult