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While selecting the design of your tattoo and the studio for getting inked are very important decisions, tattoo aftercare is not something you should ignore either. Some people tend to take tattoo aftercare quite lightly and may end up with problems such as skin infections and inflammation.
The first and most important step in tattoo aftercare is to follow the specific aftercare instructions provided by your tattoo artist. It is important to understand that the recommendations given by each tattoo professional might be different; hence it would be naïve to blindly follow the aftercare instructions of your former tattooer. The directions given by your present tattoo artist will be specific to your tattoo and will help it heal faster and more efficiently.
The amount of time for which you need to keep the wrap or bandage on depends on the specific instructions of your tattoo professional. For instance, some may ask you to remove it after an hour, while others might recommend letting it stay for an entire day. It is best to trust your artist when it comes to deciding the time length for keeping the gauze/bandage on. Also, it is best to use top-rated products such as the CWI Medical Cohesive Bandages that ensure constant non-slip compression while still being flexible, porous and soft. This bandage is effective in protecting your tattoo and does not leave behind any residue.
Sterile Dukal Gauze Pads is another excellent support product for tattoo healing. These individually wrapped pads are made from 100 percent woven cotton. They are both versatile and highly absorbent.
Have you got yourself inked in a slightly intimate or unconventional area? Don’t worry. Dermarite’s DermaView Transparent Wound Dressing is perfect for you. It not only prevents bacterial contamination but also minimizes the chances of infection related to urine, feces and airborne bacteria. This transparent dressing has grids and allows for the assessment of wound healing progress. The DermaView Transparent Wound Dressing is perfect for awkward locations; it is gas permeable and waterproof.
Keeping your new tattoo clean is extremely important if you wish to retain its quality for an extended period of time. While tattoos are open wounds and therefore prone to infections, you can easily avoid this problem completely. Make sure that you always wash your new tattoo with absolutely clean hands. Also, never apply a new layer of ointment over an old one. Washing the tattoo and applying ointment are the only two times when you should touch your tattoo. Warn others to avoid touching the tattoo too, especially children, who might be curious to examine it up close.
It is best to use a high-quality product such as ‘Hibiclens Antiseptic Antimicrobial Skin Cleanser’ for cleaning your tattoo. This cleanser offers protection to your skin for almost 24 hours when first applied. The antimicrobial, antiseptic cleanser is gentle and effective in cleaning superficial wounds and the skin in general. The Hibiclens liquid soap is formulated with 4 percent CHG and leaves behind a CHG layer for extra protection, without any sticky residue.
The Hustle Helper Comfort Enhancing Foam Soap is another excellent cleansing product formulated especially for tattoo aftercare. This anti-microbial foaming soap does an excellent job at cleaning, soothing and maintaining a disinfected area and also enhances comfort for the user.
The next important step after cleaning the tattoo is the application of a moisturizer. And not just any moisturizer; you need to pick a special, medical skincare product such as the Hustle Butter Deluxe Tattoo Lubricant to ensure that the tattooed skin remains protected and hydrated. This lubricant is a 100 percent natural and organic product, an excellent vegan substitute for petroleum-based skincare products.
You can use this butter during and after the tattoo is inked. The Hustle Butter Deluxe Tattoo Lubricant is made from mango, papaya, Shea butter and cocoa and promotes the healing of new tattoos without removing the stencil or clogging tubes. It is also effective in minimizing swelling, bleeding and redness.
Why is it critical to use a fragrance-free lotion or moisturizer when caring for your tattoo? Well, the reason is that chemicals in the fragrance pose the risk of causing skin irritation and may even prevent optimal healing of the tattooed skin. And this might ultimately lead to scarring, which is absolutely undesirable. Hence, it is best to use high-quality, medical products that can be safely used on your inked skin and promote effective healing.
One of the common instructions given by all tattoo artists is to protect your tattoo from sun exposure for a minimum of two weeks. A sunburn could have numerous harmful effects on your new tattoo. Besides causing pain, it could lead to significant blistering and also interfere with the healing mechanism.
When you have crossed the two-week threshold, an all scabs have peeled off, start applying a good quality sunscreen each time you step out in the sun. The Safetec Sunscreen Lotion is one of the most highly acclaimed sunscreen products, designed especially for applying on tattooed skin. It is helpful in preventing sunburn and is particularly suitable for those with highly sensitive skin. The Safetec Sunscreen Lotion is available in a small and convenient size and will easily fit into your handbag. This PABA-free formula provides SPF 30 protection and can be safely used by both kids and adults.
For additional protection from the sun, you could also consider wearing clothes that can adequately cover the tattoo so that it does not receive direct sunlight. Remember, daily sun exposure could be a big hindrance when it comes to preserving a tattoo.
Besides protecting your tattoo from the sun, it is also advisable to avoid swimming during the healing time. While you can obviously take showers, it is best to avoid soaking the tattoo in water as it will increase the risk of infection.
In the final phase of recovery, you will see that almost all big flakes have fallen off and there are minimal or no scabs remaining. Some amount of dead skin may still be visible, but this will clear up pretty soon too. Continue to moisturize the tattooed skin, especially if it looks dull and dry.
By the end of two or three weeks, the outer skin layers would have likely healed. It could take up to 4 months for your lower skin layers to get completely healed. But in the third month, you will see that your tattoo starts looking vibrant and clear, as intended by the artist.
A tattoo isn’t just an artistic drawing on your skin, it reflects your unique, personal style. Also, getting inked is actually a medical process since it involves the insertion of a needle into your skin. Hence, anytime the skin is left open, there is a risk of infections and scarring. Good aftercare at home can help avoid such complications and allow for proper healing.
by Alicia Lam Taracido