Tattoos are becoming increasingly commonplace, with more and more people getting inked every day. However, getting a tattoo is only the first step. You need to care for your tattoo and follow certain steps to keep it looking fresh and new for longer. How should you take care of freshly inked tattoos? What are the ways to take care of tattoos once the skin has healed?
How to care for your tattoos
If you are planning to get inked, or have tattoos that have healed, keep the following tips in mind Experienced tattoo artists will know what it takes to keep a tattoo looking good for longer. Ask your tattoo artist about aftercare tips and ensure that you follow what he/she suggests.
What to do immediately after getting a tattoo
Leave the bandage on for at least a few hours after getting a tattoo. The minimum time is two hours, although the upper limit can be anything between four to six hours.
Use only lukewarm water and a mild soap to clean the tattooed area. Do not use hot water or harsh soaps to wash tattooed skin. Clean the skin using your hands and gently rub the area to remove traces of blood and dead skin.
Never rub down tattooed skin after washing. Do not use a loofah, a scrub or a rough washcloth to rub the area. It will peel off the tattooed skin and leave it prone to infections.
Apply a light ointment or cream on tattooed skin to help it heal faster. Use a light water-based ointment to help healing without clogging the skin. Avoid petroleum jelly and such other products as they may clog pores and cause breakouts.
You can slowly switch to a lotion or cream that is light and non-scented after a week or two. Make sure you carry the lotion with you when you go out.
Let the tattoo heal on its own, without scrubbing or peeling off hardened skin from the area. Keep cleaning the area gently few times a day.
Avoid heavy workouts and tight fitting clothes while the tattoo is healing as it may stress the skin, cause infections and fade the tattoo.
Long term care for tattoos
Use sunscreen especially on tattooed areas of the skin whenever you step into the sun, as exposure to harsh sunlight can fade the tattoo quickly.
Moisturize tattooed skin well on a daily basis to keep it from flaking, peeling and fading fast. It will reduce the need for frequent touchups.
Getting a permanent tattoo is a big decision, especially if it is your first one. Make sure that you are certain about getting inked. Take your time choosing the design so that you do not regret it later on, as it can be an expensive and painful affair to remove tattoos. Look around for design inspirations, make your own, or ask the tattoo artist to help you out. Taking your time will help you get a tattoo that you love.