How to Care for Your New Tattoo

How to Care for Your New Tattoo

A friend of mine decided to get a tattoo the size of his head in Thailand on our there, and as I watched his face through the whole 5 hours, I could not figure for the life of me why he would do it. But I admit that tattoos have their own dark beauty. Ingrained in your skin, these pictures represent a real passion for skin art (or a really bad decision). Caring for your tattoo starts with choosing the right tattoo artist. Pick the one you feel you can rely on the most. He should be using disinfected tools these instruments are going to penetrate your skin, and if not cleaned properly, can cause nasty infections and unspeakable diseases. Pick your design carefully (it’s on for life), and take the plunge.

Once the tattoo is finished, the only thing on your mind would be the hours of mind numbing pain that you just went through just to implant that picture you liked so much a few hours ago into your skin. A good tattoo artist will educate you on keeping your tattoo healthy, and tape a piece of soft tissue or cellophane over fresh tattoo. Be advised that if the tattoo artist uses cellophane to dress your tattoo, blood will come leaking out to stain your shirt. If you still can walk after the ordeal, head to your local pharmacy and purchase a mild disinfectant (preferably chlorohexadane antiseptic solution or similar), some A D ointment, sterile cotton balls (normal ones will do as well, but these are safer), and proceed home.

Do not take a shower. Wash your hands of any dirt, and then disinfect your hands with the disinfectant you purchased. Make sure that your hands, down to your nails and hand webs, are clean before you begin. Then begin cleaning your tattoo gently with the mild disinfectant and cotton. Clean off the tattoo as gently as possible, as excessive force would stunt the healing process, or even damage, your tattoo. If you can’t reach your tattoo (because its on your back and you are not an orang utan), ask a friend for help, but make sure that he disinfects his hands as well.

During the first few days of getting the tattoo, things to avoid are showers, soaps, body lotions and scents. All these will irritate the tattoo and may cause the tattoo to get inflamed. A sore tattoo might not heal properly. Instead, constantly apply the A D ointment. If you can’t find A D ointment at the pharmacy, ask the pharmacist for other similar products. The ointment will keep the tattoo moist and healthy, quickening the healing process. Before applying a new layer of ointment, gently wipe off the previous layer of ointment with a cotton ball soaked with the disinfectant solution, and then carefully apply the new layer. After applying constantly for three to four days, you can stop using the ointment and use an unscented body lotion instead. However, be aware that scabbing might form and scratching the scabs might damage the tattoo. Instead apply the A D ointment or some calamine lotion to relieve the itch, and let the scab fall off naturally.

Most tattoos will heal in about a week. While tattoo care is initially tedious, a healthy tattoo is worth the effort.

Comments are closed.