Probably the most important part of getting a tattoo is the aftercare. After you’ve gone through the process of choosing your design and having it applied, you’ll need to take good care of it until it is fully healed. This will ensure a good result after it heals, help it heal better, and help to prevent infection. In addition to listening to your tattoo artist’s instructions, here are some more important things to remember about aftercare.
Keep the Bandage On Immediately Afterward
When you first get your tattoo done, you will be instructed to keep the bandage on for a little while. This protects the new ink from sun exposure, lint from your clothing, and other elements in your natural environment. You will usually need to keep the bandage on for a few hours at least, but follow your tattoo artist’s instructions to be sure.
Don’t Let the Tattoo Dry Out
Keeping your tattoo moist during the healing process is another important step to taking good care of it. It can make it harder for the tattoo to heal properly and may even affect how it looks if you let the tattoo dry out. Once you take the bandage off, you will probably be told to keep the tattoo moistened with unscented lotion or a special type of ointment. Make sure your ointment doesn’t contain any harsh chemicals, hydrates the skin and tattoo, and doesn’t have any fragrance to it.
Keep the Tattoo as Clean as Possible
You also want to keep the tattoo clean, even though it will be tender. Don’t avoid washing it just because it hurts. You aren’t going to scrub it, but you do want it to be clean. You can keep it clean by using gentle cleanser a few times a day. Like the ointment or lotion, it should be gentle, unscented, and preferably contain antibacterial qualities to help prevent infection.
Watch What You Wear Over the Tattoo
If you wear tight clothing over the tattoo, the friction is going to cause pain and can even affect how well the skin heals. Try to wear loose-fitting clothing and nothing that is irritating to it, such as wool and other hard fabrics.
Leave the Peeling Alone
When your tattoo starts to heal, it is going to crack, peel, and scab over. Try very hard to leave this alone and just let it come off naturally. If you are showering and some of the peeling skin comes off, that is fine, but never peel it on your own or remove the scabs. When healing is complete, this will fall off completely on its own. You don’t want to cause unnecessary scarring around the tattoo.