For most people, getting a tattoo is not a matter that should be taken lightly, especially if it’s going to be the first one. From coming up with the perfect tattoo design and deciding on the exact spot to put it, a lot of thought is certainly given to it.
That’s why you need to make sure you take the proper steps for its care once you finally get it. This is very important not only to prevent getting the new tattoo infected, but also to help keep it looking good for many years to come.
If you’re thinking about getting a tattoo, here are some aftercare tips you should know about so you can keep your ink staying fresh.
Keep the Bandage On
After you get your tattoo, your artist will cover it with a film wrap to keep it protected. Technically, getting a tattoo is actually an invasive cosmetic procedure, so it should be treated with care afterwards. Depending on how large the coverage of the tattoo is, you should leave the bandage on for as little to an hour or several more, or sometimes a full 24 hours. After the prescribed period, you should take the bandage off to let the skin breathe.
Clean the Tattoo
Essentially, your tattoo is a sort of open wound, so you should only touch it with clean hands. Then, you must use antibacterial soap, preferably unscented, with warm to mild temperature water. Apply the soap and wash the area gently to not aggravate the skin. Don’t use a washcloth for now, as the skin is still going to be very sensitive.
The same goes for drying it. Don’t use a towel, but instead use a paper towel to pat it dry. The first three days are especially crucial as the “wound” is still healing, so you should be very mindful about cleaning your tattoo to prevent infection.
Don’t Touch, Scratch, or Peel
Ideally, you should refrain from touching your fresh tattoo, except to clean it. Over the course of the next several days, you can expect your tattoo to feel itchy, to scab, or to peel. As uncomfortable as it may be, do not touch it at all. You can gently rub a thin layer of ointment to cool it down, or put a paper towel soaked in cold water over it, to minimize the discomfort.
The important thing is that you don’t panic. These are telltale signs that your skin is well on its way to recovery, so it’s best to leave it be. If you scratch or pick at it, then you’ll only make it worse by breaking the skin and opening the wounds again.
These aftercare tips are simple enough to follow. Heed these advice so you can look forward to showing off your brand new tattoo all healed and looking good as soon as possible.