Since tattooing involves piercing the skin, it is very important to do the proper new tattoo care steps. In doing so, it can prevent contamination thus preventing infection on the fresh tattoo. Contamination and improper new tattoo care can lead to a tattoo disaster.
1. Keep the bandage on.
It is a common practice of tattoo artist to cover the tattoo with bandage. This covering prevents contamination of the opened skin. The first new tattoo care step to do is leave the bandage on for sometime. Tattooing as said is piercing through the skin thus, you have a wound. The open wound when left uncovered might get contaminated with bacteria and leads to infection. Do not get too excited, you must leave the bandage on for at least two hours to give time for the wound to close a bit.
If the artist covered the wound with a saran wrap, some kind of plastic wrap, this should be removed at once. Plastic is not good for newly pierced skin, it prevents air circulation and can suffocate the wound.
2. Wash and treat the wound
It is ideal to wash the tattoo after removing the bandage. Washing is basically the next new tattoo care step to do. It is done to clean the area. Use a mild anti-bacterial or anti-microbial soap with lukewarm water to wash it. Satin and Provon are the usually recommended brands of soaps for cleaning tattoos. You may find some generic anti-microbial cleansers that are also better for washing the fresh tattoo. Washing gently takes away ointments, blood, and most especially plasma. Plasma causes scabs when left on the skin.
Do not use Neosporin as a cleansing solution. It is only ideal for treating wounds but not for new tattoo care. Allergic reactions may arise which causes little red bulges. When it subsides, it also takes out the ink on your tattoo and will create little dots on it.
After cleansing, pat the area dry with a clean towel or paper towel. Apply a very light ointment rich in vitamins A & D. If there is none, an anti-bacterial ointment can also be used i.e. Bacitracin.
Some special products and lotions are also available as one of you new tattoo care regimen such as Tattoo Goo or H2Ocean. This is actually optional but if you decide so, you have follow instructions of its use to the letter.
Keep cleaning the tattoos for 3-5 days, and then you can use ordinary lotion on it. It is important to use dye-free and fragrance-free lotions.
3. New tattoo care when taking a bath
It is all right to take a shower with your new tattoo. It is ok to get it wet but not submerge and soak it in water as in a tub. You have to avoid soaking it for 2 to 3 weeks at least to prevent serious damage on the tattoo. When soap or shampoo gets on the tattoo, you have to remove it immediately with water. No swimming either for at least 2 weeks for obvious reasons.
4. New tattoo care for scabs and peels
It is normal to experience a little scabbing for a few days after the tattoo is done but excess scabbing indicates a poorly done tattoo. As a new tattoo care, you can apply moist compress 2 to 3 times for about 5 minutes to soften the scabs. It will just come off when it dries up. Do not apply lotion or ointment on the scabs.
5. Never scratch when itchy
As part of the healing process, it is also normal to feel itchy as the tattoo wound heals. Never scratch and don’t pick on it when it is itchy. It will ruin the tattoo. Just pat or slap it when you feel the itchiness. It is just temporary.
6. New tattoo care to protect it from the sun
When your tattoo is completely healed, new tattoo care does not end there. You have to protect it from the sun’s UV rays. These rays can fade the tattoo and render it dull. Before going under the sun for a long time, use sun block lotion with SPF 30 or more.
Having a tattoo is exciting and yet very challenging. Do the described above and it can make you proud to show your tattoo for a long time.