7 Tips To Take Care Of Your Skin Post Tattoo

"My body is my journal, and my tattoos are my story", this quote by the famous Hollywood heartthrob Johnny Depp suggests that tatt...

"My body is my journal, and my tattoos are my story", this quote by the famous Hollywood heartthrob Johnny Depp suggests that tattoos are truly an extension of oneself. Tattoos are like a timeline. They are pieces of art that one collects over a period of time. Sometimes when you look at a particular tattoo, you are instantly reminded of that phase in your life when you got it and the reason behind getting that design inked on you forever. As a collector of ink, adorning your body with new designs becomes an addictive affair. Since it is with all long term commitment that one gets inked, this artwork too needs to be taken care of, especially when you are getting tattooed for the first time. The first 10–12 days post the tattoo session are the most crucial days as it decides the final look and appearance of your tattoo. It is during this period the skin stands a chance to get infected if not looked after properly. Hence great care should be taken during the healing process of your tattoo. So here are seven simple yet effective ways to take care of your skin as you step out of the tattoo studio with your brand new body art.

1. Allow The Bandage/Protective Dressing To Stay On For 2 Hours

Once the inking session is over, your artist will tape a bandage or a transparent cling-foil over the freshly made tattoo. This prevents the dust and other air-borne bacteria from settling down on the tattooed area, as it tends to be moist due to bleeding and slight discharge of ink. It is advisable to keep this protective covering on for at least 1-2 hours. Refrain from fidgeting with the bandage. Avoid taking a peek-a-boo at your tattoo. You will have enough time to admire and flaunt your newly acquired body art when it is completely healed.

2. Proper Removal Of The Bandage

Before taking off the dressing, your hands should be thoroughly washed, sanitized and dried with clean towel or tissue paper. Take great care while removing the bandage. Sometimes the protective covering tends to stick to the skin. Do not tug it or apply too much force. Try peeling off the bandage gently and carefully after running it under lukewarm water. But remember, never soak your tattoo! In the case of cling-foil dressing, the removal process is much easier.

3. Cleaning The Tattoo

Wash the tattoo gently with a mild, fragrance free soap and lukewarm water in order to remove the remnant of plasma, blood and ink. Use your fingertips to clean the tattooed area tenderly. Do not use a towel or loofah as they are likely to contain bacteria and can also feel harsh on the skin as it is sensitive at this point. If you are skeptical about which soap to use, read their ingredients list. In case alcohol is listed as the first few items in the list then avoid it. Organic soaps are appropriate for this purpose. During the healing process, washing your tattoo two times a day is sufficient. Once in the morning and once at night before bedtime. However applying soap every time is not necessary.

4. Let Your Tattoo Breathe

After every wash, pat your skin dry with tissue paper. Avoid rubbing the tattooed area as it might cause pain and irritation. Your tattoo needs to breath adequately in order to heal properly within a short period. Hence do not re-bandage the tattooed part after washing it every time. Let that part of skin be uncovered for 10-15 minutes before applying any ointment.

5. Choose The Right Ointment

Once your tattoo is dry, apply a thin layer of Calendula ointment which is easily available in any homeopathy pharmacy. Sometimes your tattoo artist can also provide vitamin E ointment with the after-care kit. But always remember to apply only a thin layer of the ointment. Carry out this routine only 4 times per day continuing up to 15 days from the day of your tattoo making. Afterwards you can switch to any light moisturizing lotion. Applying the correct ointment is important because the strong ones can have an adverse effect on your tattoo. Petroleum product like Vaseline is a big no as they are very thick in texture. Thus they tend to suffocate your skin by clogging up the pores which in turn delays the healing process and causes discoloration of your tattoo.

6. Do Not Pick The Scabs

From the second day, your tattoo will begin to dry out. Since a tattoo is like an open wound, the upper layer of your skin will soon become flaky as it heals and dries up. This phase is like an acid test for your tattoo. No matter what, do not pick the scabs. Let them flake away naturally. Your tattoo will feel itchy as it starts drying. Avoid the urge of scratching your skin at any cost. You will see black or colored flakes coming off, which is a part of a normal healing process. Do not try help the scabs peel off. Doing so will lead to losing the fine outlines of your design and can leave behind a scar. Let them flake way naturally. It is also advisable to wear loose (cotton or linen) clothes in order to avoid any kind of harsh rubbing on your tattoo.

7. Certain Activities/Things Should Be Avoided During Healing

It generally takes 2-3 weeks to heal completely. During this period, avoid swimming as the pool water may contain chlorine, dirt and bacteria which can infect your skin easily. Do not expose your tattoo to direct sunlight. Use of sunscreen is advised only when the tattoo has completely healed in order to retain its color and keep it from fading or blurring quickly. Resist yourself from touching your tattoo every now and then with unwashed fingers because tattoos are wounds and when wounds are touched with dirty hands, they can contract infections quickly. Refrain from doing exercises with weights and other vigorous activities in the gym because intense work out can cause the skin to stretch, thus putting a strain on your skin around the tattooed area. This may result in the cracking of the skin, swelling and irritation. Therefore go easy on your exercises for the first week.

Follow these simple post tattoo instructions and watch your body art heal smoothly within the few weeks. Happy Healing!

Image Source: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

Contributed By: Meghna Kar


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Post a Comment

  1. Wonderfully written Meghna,.....very useful tips! Do u have a tattoo btw?

  2. Thanks a lot Lavanya. Yes I have3 and some more waiting to be inked :)

  3. Lovely compilation Meghana...we are planning to get a couple tattoo nxt yr and this post is going to be a grt help:)

    1. Thank you Divya. Choose a good artist and follow the after-care instructions for a beautiful body art!

    2. Thank you Divya. Choose a good artist and follow the after-care instructions for a beautiful body art!

  4. i was thinking of getting one on my wrist.. lovely tips.. will definitely keep them in mind.. thanks a lot for the wonderful article Meghna.. :)

  5. Thank you Salomi :) I am glad you liked it.

  6. I am sure this article is going to help me a lot..!! Thanks a lot..!! :)


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