A tattoo is a form of body art and a way to make a statement with your personal style but that is not just the case ̶ it is also a medical procedure that may leave yourself vulnerable to scarring and infections. This is why the aftercare of your tattoo is the most important part which can help in the prevention of skin complications.
In this process, figuring out how to care for your skin and tattoo can be tricky since many tattoo artists does not really provide a clear instruction about a tattoo and skin care. Aftercare tattoo should not be taken lightly which is why you need to know how to take care of your skin and tattoo as best as possible. Here, we provide your ultimate guide to a healthy tattooed skin that would help you out.
Know What Tattoo Cover Your Artist Use
There are many different tattoo covers that different artists use to cover the fresh ink on your skin. In knowing what tattoo cover your artist used dictates how long you should leave it on. Dri-loc pads or plastic wraps are kept on for a short time, approximately 3-5 hours or a full day. However, if the artist used the Tegaderm, it should be kept on 3-5 days.
It is important to know your tattoo sealants which lock in the ink and protects your skin from leakage, scabbing and infections. Ask your tattoo artist some information about the care you need to know such as what they were using, how long you should leave it on, and if you should keep your tattoo wrapped at all times.
The 24 Hour Care
Caring for your tattoo starts after leaving your tattoo artist’s studio and should be taken as a serious responsibility. Your skin does not heal immediately thus the first few hours of having a tattoo should be treated with extra care.
After removing the bandage on your tattoo, wash thoroughly with warm water and a mild, unscented liquid soap and then pat dry with a paper towel. Apply a thin layer of product which would help your skin breathe; use a fragrance-free hand lotion or a tattoo goo to the point it barely looks moist.
What NOT to Do While It’s Healing
Since you should take extra precaution while your skin is healing, there are lists of things that you should not do while your skin is healing. Things like picking the scabs, which should not be done since it still might be connected to deeper skin layers. Just let it be since it would just fall off from your skin if it has already healed.
The most important rule of all is scratching your tattoo ̶ which is taboo when you get your tattoo since so many things can go wrong if you scratch it. Scratching your tattoo can cause scabbing areas of the skin which can lead to a longer time in healing and can cause permanent scarring. Not only this, but you could also invite bacteria through your fingernails while you were scratching your tattoo.
Keeping it Moisturized
Maintaining skin health after having a tattoo might be risky and complicated since having a tattoo might dry out your skin. Keeping your skin moisturized all the time after your skin has healed is really important. The skin heals around 4-6 weeks to completely heal, and one of the biggest mistakes you might make after getting your skin tattooed is letting it dry up.
Applying a thin layer of Vitamin A&D ointment should keep your skin from drying out. Spread it on your tattooed skin every two hours for the first three days and before you go to sleep. Do it three or four times a day from when the skin healed to its fourteenth day. In addition, when you need to do facial steaming with your while having tattoo on your face, do consider to use the best facial steamer to avoid infections.
A board-certified dermatologist, Dr. Marchbein has stated that tattoos create thousands of microscopic holes in the skin in order to deposit the tattoo pigment. This is why it is necessary to clean it regularly since having a tattoo is basically having fresh wounds that would invite various skin infections.
In cleaning your tattooed skin, it is most important for it to be properly cleaned by gently washing it twice a day with an unscented, fragrance-free liquid soap. Additionally, always make sure that your hands are clean before cleaning your tattoos.
Avoiding Activities and Water
Submerging your tattooed skin in the water for long until it is fully healed might lead to infection so it should be avoided to prevent bacteria from entering your skin. Also, keeping strenuous activities should be avoided since it can increase the body temperature which in result would swell the inflammation.
Keeping an Eye-out for Infections
Your body is your responsibility thus one of the best things you could do is to avoid infections which can be firstly avoided by making sure you get your tattoo to a reputable parlor. Another way is to be knowledgeable and familiar with signs of possible infection. Hongdam, a reputable tattoo artist stated that if there are any symptoms that look or feels concerning then it will not hurt visiting a dermatologist.
A board-certified dermatologist, Dr. Marchbein has informed typical symptoms of infection such as swelling, redness, pain at the tattoo area, pus, and fevers or chills. Additionally, lumps or bumps van be developed at the site of the tattoo. Note that these signs can be seen immediately or be delayed for months and needs an immediate action of medical care to prevent further spreading and complications.
Always Use Sunscreen
Applying sunscreen is one of the ultimate skin care tips especially if you have face tattoos, may it be tattooed or not, using sunscreen to protect your skin from the harsh UV rays of the sun is a must to prevent further damage. UV rays from the sun easily penetrate the skin’s layers and can really cause a lot of damage to the tattoo which would turn it into a blurry mess.
Remember that sunscreens should only be put on the tattoo site if it is fully healed. Also, it is recommended to use a sunscreen with at least an SPF 30 when out in the sun.
Healthy Eating and Living
Of course, tattooed or not, this is the best way of making your skin healthy. Having an active lifestyle and a balanced nutrition diet would unquestionably do wonders on your skin and body, and also with your tattoo. Know that when you gain excess weight or loss, your tattoo would be affected since it could stretch out or distort the tattoo.
Getting a tattoo should be planned ahead of time and be considered carefully, to an extent of inquiring your dermatologist about it to avoid future possibility of infections especially if you have certain allergies or skin issues beforehand. One should know that having a tattoo is a big responsibility since it would stick on your body for a lifetime, thus being knowledgeable would help.
Whatever your reason is for having a tattoo, should also be your resolution in going through the cumbersome process since you will be taking extra care of your skin which would definitely be affecting your health, activities, and money.