The Tattoo Aftercare Routine: Step-by-Step Guide
Many people get excited about their first tattoo. Little do they know that right after they get it, their tattoo won’t look like the picture they saw on Pinterest. In reality, they will be left with a plastic wrap around a red sore skin and wound.
Tattoos need some time and effort before healing.
At The Tattoo Parlor
After the tattoo artist finishes tattooing, he will wash your tattoo with soap and lukewarm water. Some tattoo artists apply medical lotions before wrapping it up. Then he will place a certain plastic material to cover it in order to prevent infections from the air getting in contact with your recently opened wound.
We recommend that you stay in the parlor for at least one hour. Some people get dizzy after their first tattoo due to blood pressure related to the pain or the nervousness. That’s why it is important that you sit for one hour before you move
This is when the tattoo artist duty ends and yours starts.
What’s Next? The Basic Things To Do After You Go Home
The first thing you should do is wash your hands. Also, remember to always sanitize them before touching your tattoo. Keep the plastic for one day then remove it and only wash it with lukewarm water. Cold or warm water will irritate your skin. Wash it only with your hand and be very gentle. When you’re drying your tattoo make sure you use a paper towel. No towels and no toilet papers. Do not apply chemical lotions.
How Long Does It Take For A Tattoo To Heal?
The outer layer of the skin should typically take 2 to 3 weeks to heal. As a general rule, a tattoo can be classified into four distinct stages of healing, and the type of care you give to your tattoo varies slightly depending on which stage you are in.
The first stage lasts one to seven days. During this stage, you will notice redness, oozing, swelling, or a burning sensation as your body reacts to the wound.
You will likely experience itching and flaking at the second stage. Flaky skin isn’t something to be concerned about - it's a natural reaction, and the ink will remain intact, even if it somehow looks like it is coming off. Avoid scratching or picking at scabs, and use a moisturizer recommended by your tattoo artist or dermatologist to keep the skin around the tattoo hydrated and to ease the itching.
By the end of weeks 3-4, your tattoo should begin to dry out. If it does not and you notice that the redness persists, it could be a sign of an infected tattoo. Your tattoo may appear less vibrant than you expected, but that's because a layer of dry skin has been formed over it. This layer will exfoliate itself and your tattoo will be sooner revealed. However, keep resisting the urge to pick or scratch as it could cause scarring.
By the beginning of the second month and up to the sixth, itching and redness should have subsided by this point and your tattoo should be fully healed if you stick to your aftercare routine.
How To Take Care Of Your Tattoo? – The Aftercare Routine
Taking a shower
Just like we mentioned before, always use lukewarm water and your hands when you wash your tattoo. Wash it only with a special tattoo aftercare soap you get at the pharmacy. Take a quick shower instead of immersing yourself in the bathtub. Remember that you cannot swim until your tattoo completely heals.
Remember to stay hygiene
Clean your tattoo using sterile water at least 2-3 times a day and apply ointment to keep your skin fresh and hydrated. You can use vitamin A, D, and E oils but is crucial that you avoid scented lotions and chemical soaps.
Protect your tattoo while going outside
If you are going to be out in the sun, consider wearing loose clothing like long sleeves or pants to cover your tattoo. The sun can cause tattoos to fade, and fresh tattoos are especially sensitive to the sun. However, do not apply sunscreen until the tattoo has fully healed.
Don’t overcover your tattoo
Your tattoo needs to breathe. Once you remove the original plastic band that your tattoo artist wrapped around your tattoo do not rewrap it because it may cause a lack of oxygen. In fact, it is possible to cause scabbing and slower healing if you wrap it.
Don’t scratch. Seriously do not scratch!
Scratching your tattoo can lead to serious damage to both the skin and the tattoo. You will also have scabs and a peeling skin. Do not pull them off but let them fall naturally.
Never lay down on the side you have your tattoo. If you have an air conditioner in your room, use it. Heavy blankets or quilts are not friendly to newly drawn tattoos.
Signs Your Tattoo Isn’t Healing Properly
Symptoms of improper healing include:
- Fever or chills.
- Prolonged redness.
- Oozing fluid.
- Swollen, puffy skin.
- Severe itching or hives.
Aftercare Is The First Step Towards A Better Tattoo Experience
After getting a new tattoo, the outer layer of skin will usually heal within two to three weeks, but the healing process can take up to six months. For some time, following a few hygienic behaviors can speed up the curing process. A good aftercare routine includes not touching or scratching the tattooed area, daily cleaning, and ointment. The tattoo can be damaged by too much sun, water, or lotion. Aftercare should continue for at least a month long to reduce the risk of infection or other complications.
Remember, you don’t need to stress about the aftercare process, just follow the steps mentioned above and enjoy your tattoo experience!