Alone in the dark ink



Tattoo Aftercare


After you take the tattoo plunge, proper tattoo aftercare is vital – so be sure to get instructions before you leave. Nowadays, as long as you go to a reputable and professional facility, getting a tattoo poses very little health risk. The horror stories you may have heard about tattoo allergies or infections belong mainly in the past. That doesn’t mean you don’t have to be careful, though – for maximum enjoyment and minimum grief, you need to follow certain tattoo aftercare instructions.

Protect Your New Tattoo From Sun and Water

A fresh tattoo

New tattoo aftercare is mainly a matter of keeping the tattoo protected. Right after you get the tattoo, it will probably be covered with a gauze pad and bandage. Keep this on for the first 2 hours or so, then remove it. While your skin is healing, make sure that there is nothing rubbing against the tattoo. Depending on where your tattoo is, this may or may not be a problem. For example, if you have a new tattoo on your ankle, you might need to avoid wearing socks while it heals. For a tattoo on your lower back, make sure that the waistband of your pants is loose enough so that it doesn’t rub.

Here’s another tattoo aftercare consideration - despite the fact that it’s the best time to show skin, summer may not be the optimal time to get a tattoo. New tattoos need to be protected from both sun and water. If you do go out in the sun, keep your tattoo covered, or slather it with sunscreen. Newly tattooed skin is too sensitive to be exposed to the summer sun unless it is protected, and sun exposure can also cause tattoos to fade before their time. Water is also a concern – sadly, after you get new tattoo, you need to avoid soaking it in water for about three weeks, and that means no swimming or water sports. Generally speaking, the tattoo doesn’t need to stay absolutely dry, but it shouldn’t soak – so a quick shower is okay, but soaking in the tub or going for a swim isn’t.

Prevent Tattoo Infection

Keep it clean

The risk of infection from a tattoo is nowhere near as high as it used to be, because the proper precautions are taken. Mainly this means that your skin will be sterilized before the tattooing starts, and most importantly, a new needle (not a ‘cleaned’ or ‘sanitized’ one) will be used. But in this day and age, any professional will be well aware of these precautions, so you probably have nothing to worry about. Still, an essential part of tattoo aftercare is checking for infection. Signs of infection include red, inflamed, puffy looking skin and tenderness. A tattoo that is healing properly should not be tender to the touch after the first couple of days. If it seems to be getting more sensitive rather than less, or if there are any other signs of infection, it may be time to get it checked by a health professional.

Dealing with a new tattoo isn’t difficult – it just requires a bit of care, and clear aftercare instructions. These steps will ensure that your tattoo is not a health risk, and that it will heal quickly. Because tattoo aftercare also involves using sunscreen and moisturizer, it can help ensure that your new tattoo won’t fade significantly for years to come.



The importance of tattoo aftercare

There is alot of conflicting information out there with regards to what is best for your new ink and general tattoo aftercare.
Tattoo aftercare is very important, the scabbing that will take place holds most of the color, so pull off the scab, and pull out the color!
Remember, tattoo aftercare is probably the most important part of getting your tattoo.
Most bad tattoos are because of bad tattoo aftercare.
At most studios, if you follow their tattoo aftercare program and still get a blotchy tattoo as the end result, they will then be liable for the touchups, but do it right the first time, and you will not have to go back.
Here are some guidelines to adhere to when you are nursing a healing tattoo.

TATTOO aftercare step by step

A step by step guide to tattoo aftercare

Gauze covering.
When your artist is finished with your tattoo, he/she will lightly clean it and cover it with, hopefully, an antibacterial gauze.
Leave this gauze on for at least 2-4 hours before removing it. It is there to keep all the nasties out of your "open wound" which, in essence, a new tattoo is.
If your artist covered your tattoo with saran wrap or plastic wrap,
remove it immediately! It is creating a warm, moist place for bacteria to breed and infection of the tattoo is a real possibility.

Use only colorless, unscented antibacterial soap. Dove face soap works the best for me, it is ¼ moisturizing liquid on top of it!
Make foam with your hands and lightly wash the surface of the tattoo, rinse i
t well but do not overly wet your tattoo. When you wash it for the first time, make sure that you wash off all excess blood, ink or ointment.
Use your hand to wash your tattoo and nothing else. Anything else will probably be too abrasive and damage the tattoo.
PAT dry,
*DO NOT RUB* use a clean towel, or preferably, a piece of kitchen tissue towel and pat dry.

Use a small amount of your chosen ointment and rub softly into the tattoo. Any kind of ointment that has A&D vitamins, Aloe Vera or Tea Tree oil in it is good for the healing process.
Do not use any of the antibiotic creams available, you could have an allergic reaction to it and ruin the end look of your tattoo.

Swimming and bathing
It is not recommended to get your tattoo too wet. Showering is great, in fact you need to wash your tattoo, as stated above, but soaking your new tattoo is defiantly a no-no.
Getting your tattoo too wet will result in the scabs coming loose too soon and lifting the color out of your tattoo.
Try and stay away from swimming and bathing for at least 2-3 weeks.

Itching and Scabs
Do not in any way scratch or pick at your tattoo. This WILL pull the color out and you will end up with a blotchy tattoo.

Leave the scabs to fall off naturally, keep it clean and moisturized with your choice of ointment.

Sun care
Never go out into the sun, especially with your new tattoo.
If you have been in the sun and you feel a tingling sensation in your tattoo, you know that there is damage being done to the color and the tattoo.
While your tattoo is healing keep it out of the sun at all times. I know the urge to show off your new tattoo is strong, but a few weeks will make all the difference between a stunning tattoo and a blotchy and faded one.
After your tattoo has healed always put sun block on your tattoo before your go into the sun or go swimming, this will protect the tattoo and the color and make sure your tattoo stays top notch for a long time