As soon as you leave the tattoo artist’s salon his or her work is completed and you have to take over responsibility for the care of your tattoo. If this is a first tattoo you will naturally feel a little nervous but by following his/her advice you should not have any problems. The aim is for the tattoo to heal completely with a result that pleases you and will give you pleasure for a long time to come.
Simple Rules to Follow
Your new tattoo will be bandaged when you first leave and you may be advised to leave it on for a few hours. When the big moment comes to remove it, it’s best to be prepared with warm, (not hot water), a soft cloth and maybe a trusted friend! And importantly you should be in a hygienic room.
Gently wet the bandage with the warm water as this will help the bandage to be removed without any friction. Once it is removed, carefully wash the tattooed area with soapy water, rinse and pat dry with the soft cloth. Some tattoo artists recommend allowing the tattoo to be exposed for a few minutes before applying any ointment.
Healing the Tattoo
Your tattoo artist will have supplied or advised you on the necessary products to care for your tattoo. Usually you will need an anti bacterial lotion which should be applied immediately, for example, Tattoo Goo, or Helix Gold. You will apply this morning and night to keep the skin moistened to assist healing.
It could be that you have been advised not to have a tattoo during the hottest part of the year, especially if you live in a hot climate. The reason for this is simple as heat and intense light will cause you discomfort. Salt water and sand getting onto your tattoo is bad news too as it will sting so keep away from the sea! In fact, keeping water away from the tattoo for at least three or four days is essential.
Resuming a Normal Hygiene Routine
Taking a shower or having a bath for the first few days may be a little tricky as it’s best not to wet the tattoo too much. You should inspect your tattoo as you continue to clean it with warm, soapy water and if there is discomfort or excessive irritation, consult your tattoo artist or seek medical advice. Scabbing will begin within three or four days and when it does it’s essential not to pick or scratch the scabs! If you do it can result in ink removal and cause more irritation. At this stage the tattoo will look cloudy. This is called ‘onion skin’ and is a perfectly normal part of the healing process. As the skin returns to normal, the tattoo will become clear and bright.
Shaving a New Tattoo
The golden rule is not to shave until the skin is completely healed and you are confident that a razor will do no harm. The cleaning and creaming procedure will be the same as for a hairless area.
Following the above, simple routine will ensure a satisfying end result and you will be able to display your latest work of art within a short time. Enjoy!