Ignore the killjoys. If you want a tattoo, get one. Want several? Get them. Life’s too short to worry about what other people think or how they’ll react when they see your new body art.
That said, the quality of your design relies greatly on the skin care tips you practice in the days after you get your tattoo. Scarring, infections and the sun can all damage the tat you spent so much time (and a little pain) in getting. Minimize damage to your tattoo with these skin care tips for new tattoos to ensure your design is one you’ll be proud of after the session and for the rest of your life.
Clean Your Tattoo
Your tattoo is most vulnerable to germs and infections when it’s new. And an infection can ruin the ink and scar your tat in ways you really don’t want. Therefore, clean your tattoo with these tips in mind:
Wash Your Hands – Don’t touch your new tattoo without clean hands, as germs can trigger an infection, and you don’t want to go there.
Wash Your Tattoo – Clean your tattoo two to three times a day when it’s new. Your artist might recommend an anti-bacterial soap, but a bath or baby soap will also suffice.
Gently Apply Soap With Your Hands – Don’t apply soap with a washcloth. Lightly massage the soap onto your tat with your fingers in a circular motion.
Rinse the Soap With Running Water – Don’t remove soap with a washcloth (which can carry germs!). Rinse the soap with lukewarm running water instead. Rinse thoroughly.
Do Not Rub Your Fresh Tattoo (!) – Let it air dry, or if you like, place a paper towel on your tat for a minute to soak up the moisture, then gently remove.
Bandage Your Tattoo
Wear A Bandage – Your artist will cover your tattoo with a bandage to absorb the bleeding. However, some tattoos can “weep” fluid for several days. If it does, re-bandage your tat and have your doctor assess if it’s infected. If all is OK, take the bandage off and let your tat heal.
Don’t Pick At Scabs – One of the worst things you can do your new body art. Don’t pick away at the scabbing or you could scar your design.
Apply a Moisturizer – Skip the colored, scented lotions in the cosmetics aisle – they can affect your ink. Moisturize with a small amount of a bland, color-free and unscented lotion that you’d find in a health store.
Just a Dollop – A thick layer of moisturizer can alter your tat’s color. If your skin is greasy, pat it dry with a soft tissue.
Sun damage can age skin. That goes double for skin with a new tattoo. Ink makes the skin even more sensitive to the sun’s damaging rays, and it’s therefore important to practice these skin care tips for your tattoo, when it’s new and indefinitely.
Use Sunscreen – Use a broad spectrum sunscreen, and aim for SPF 50. That’s a step higher than the minimum recommendation of SPF 15. Protect your tat with a stronger product.
Wear a Light Garment – Cover your sunscreen-laden tattoo with a light garment.
Protect, Protect, Protect – Despite what you hear about tattoos being permanent, tattoos fade, especially with years of exposure to the sun. Protect your tattoo from the sun with the above skin care tips, and you minimize damage that the sun can do.