Now that you have your work of art it often comes to mind of how to care for it to maximize the lifetime of your art. There are a few simple things to keep in mind as well as each tattoo is unique as the one that wears it and this is not intended to substitute as medical advice but is rather ideas gathered from years of our experience with our clients.
Short term basics: Tips for the initial healing period
- Keep your new tattoo covered for at least one to three hours after completion. This is for a couple of reasons you do not want to ruin clothes but more importantly you have an open surface on your skin that may bleed or even seep.
- As with life wash your hands before touching your tattoo each time before you touch it until you are completely healed. For your tattoo several times a day use a non-scented soap that is antibacterial soap. Most tattoos take two or three weeks to heal so you need to make sure that you take the time to stick with it until it is healed. While it is tempting to use things such as wash clothes or paper towels it is far to rough to use on the skin until it heals.
- For the first two or three days after getting your tattoo when you have washed it you will need to apply ointment for hydration. A&D or Aquaphor are both great inexpensive choices to accomplish this. Keep in mind a little goes a long way and it is not necessary to apply large amounts because this can and likely will harm your new tattoo.
- One the initial time period of two or three days has passed switch to non-scented lotion for the remainder of the healing time. Some suggestions include lotions such as Eucerin, Lubriderm, Curel, and Gold Bond but the important thing to keep in mind is that it needs to be unscented.
- Another thing that many people do not consider is that you will need to avoid restrictive clothing and sleeping on the tattoo as it will irritate the sensitive skin.
- While your new tattoo is healing you need to avoid large bodies of water and this includes the bath tub. Activities such as going to the gym or anything that can lead to excessive sweating is also not advised. Exposure to sun is also not something that is advised. All of the above activities need to be avoided for the two week healing process.
- Make sure to follow all guidelines are followed until the healing process is completed and keep in mind the two to three weeks is a suggestion as healing times will vary based on the individual.
- NEVER pick, peal or scratch any scabs or hard layers. The layers are a part of the healing process and removing them will change the color and damage skin.
Long term basics: Tips to keep your art beautiful for the long haul
- All tattoos will lighten after they are healed this is normal. To keep your color solid in the Summer make sure that you keep SPF 45 at the least on your tattoo and in may cities you can buy specific sunscreen for tattoos.
- While short term moisturizer is important it is also important to make sure that you do not forget to keep it hydrated. This is especially important for areas prone to drying such as hands, feet, and elbows.