Getting a tattoo is one thing. To take care of it is something completely different.
Your own responsibility
If you do not take care of the tattoo, it can turn out blurry and uneven. A tattoo is actually not permanent before it’s healed. As an artist, we can give you a great tattoo, but as soon as you walk out the door it is your own responsibility to take the best care of it. And we expect you to actually do that.
There are many mistakes people make when they are newly tattooed. One of the most common mistakes is to lubricate the tattoo too much at a time, and not let the skin breathe. This can quickly lead to rashes and pimples, and possibly also an infection. Clean the tattoo often in thee beginning, and only moist with thin layers of ointment, when the tattoo appears dry.
A fresh tattoo is an open wound that will bleed and fluid for a couple of days, depending on the size of the tattoo. Small tattoos fluids less, bigger more. What is important to understand is that any liquid that comes out will become a crust if it dries. As long as the tattoo is wrapped, it is vacuum and it will not make a crust. The goal is to minimize crust to prevent loss of ink.
What you need for your tattoo
You need a soap and an cream, both made especially for fresh tattoos. Tattoo artists often recommend very different types for many reasons. We do not recommend creams like Helosan, Spenol or Vaseline. They are too thick and will clog your tattoo, and we do not want that to happen.
We recommend using an cream that is not oil-based, but rather water-based. The main difference is that oil-based leaves leave a sticky coating, which can quickly attract dirt and bacteria. A water-based, on the other hand, will absorb more quickly into the skin. We have both after care cream and soap in the studio that we recommend.
You also need to wrap the tattoo the first day, possibly 2 days if you have a lot of fluid. You can use plastic wrap if you do not have sensitive skin. Then you should use some form of compression. Then you will absorb the liquid away from the tattoo while protecting it from bacteria around you.
Before you go to bed the same evening
The same evening as the tattoo is made (right before you go to bed) you can remove the wrapping, wash thoroughly with a soap made especially for fresh tattoos and good with warm water so that you see the pores get completely free from blood and excess ink. Rinse well with water until you see that there is no more soap on the skin. Do not dry the tattoo, but leave some water left on the skin. Then massage a very thin layer of ointment with the water until it begins to absorb into the skin. Then put on new plastic wrap, or compression or the like that you have on overnight. Consider sleeping with a garment that keeps the wrapping in place all night long.
The first few days
Repeat washing, lubrication, massage and new wrapping for 1 to 2 days from when the tattoo was done 2 to 3 times a day, depending on how much fluid comes out from the pores. That is, if there is not so much fluids, you can quit wrapping after 1 day, while on larger tattoos or if you fluid a lot, you can continue to pack it for up to 2 days. Make sure that the wrapping is always clean, not too moist or that the tattoo is too dry. When you’re home, you can let the tattoo “air” for several hours without wrapping, as long as the tattoo is not exposed to bacteria from clothing, children, pets, etc.
Infections and Inflammations
Most infections occur because the aftercare is not done properly. It is both better and easier to take care of the fresh tattoo than to heal after an infection. Take your precautions by caring for the tattoo right from the start. Should the symptoms occur or you are hurting? Always consult a doctor for further treatment.
Good tips to avoid infections and inflammations:
– Always wash your hands before cleaning or touching the tattoo
– Sleep in clean bedding the first nights
– Use clean clothes
– Clean towels
– Do not expose your fresh tattoo to animals, children’s hands, etc.
Sun and bath
One of the things to avoid when you have a fresh tattoo is direct sunlight. As newly tattooed, hitting the beach or the solarium the first days are not very smart. The sun that hits the tattoo will burn you, make a crust and hurt. You should also not bathe, no matter what kind of water, neither in the sea, pool nor bathtub. Stick to showers. Tattooing does not benefit from soaking in water for more than a few minutes, and many bacteria thrive well in all kinds of water. The best thing to do is to keep your tattoo out of the sun for 4-6 weeks.
You can exercise your body after getting tattooed, apart from pool training. You can run, but pay attention to the tattoo. If you do a specific motion that hurts the area where the tattoo is, it’s a good idea to stay away from this movement. You can moisturize the tattoo just before the exercise, so it does not feel tight when moving around. Keep in mind that a fresh tattoo is an open wound and that there may be a lot of bacteria in the gym that can give you an infection, so wash the exercise equipment before and after use. You should also not sweat so much since the sweat can bring some of the ink out of the tattoo when its new.
How long should I moisturize my tattoo?
Average healing time is approximately 3-4weeks. It takes a little longer for legs, ankles and feet. Moisturize the tattoo only when needed. The skin will become more and more normal as it heals and you will have less and less need for cream. Remember that less cream is better than too much.