Oftentimes, when we’re on the path toward getting a new tattoo, the only thing on our mind is the final product: A truly awesome tattoo.
However, it’s good to be aware there are important steps you’ll need to take to care for the beautiful work of art you just placed on your body.
After all, tattoos aren’t necessarily cheap. They’re an investment of time and money, and they usually have some sort of emotional significance.
How disappointing it would be, then, to inadvertently damage your new tattoo.
Today, we’ll share some advice on what to avoid while your tattoo is still new, and what you can do to take care of it during the healing process.
What Not to Do While Your Tattoo Is In Its Healing Stages
Knowing what not to do during the healing process is just as important as knowing how to care for your new tattoo.
Here are some things to avoid during the early healing stages of body art.
Avoid Scratching, Picking, or Peeling Your Skin
Most of us have a hard time leaving our skin alone when it starts to do something out of the norm.
And there will be plenty of “out-of-the-norm” things happening during healing – things which will make you want to scratch, pick, or peel your skin.
At first, your skin will scab over, but leave the scab alone. This is a necessary part of the healing process.
Then, your skin will start to peel. Don’t pull at the skin, though. Doing so could remove some of the pigment, as well as cause further skin irritation.
Finally, it’s very common for skin to itch when it’s healing. However, disaster can strike if you scratch your skin. It’s not difficult for a wound to get infected, especially if we inadvertently scratch at it with not-so-clean hands.
Don’t Bathe or Swim for at Least 2 Weeks
Bodies of water – from swimming pools to your bathtub – can harbor bacteria. Immersing yourself and your tattoo in water is inviting infection.
If you can’t avoid immersion, make sure to thoroughly wash your tattoo with soap and water.
Keep Your New Ink Out of Direct Sunlight
There are two reasons why you need to shield your new work of art from the sun.
First, as your skin is healing, the sun’s rays can penetrate the tender skin around the tattoo causing burning, sensitivity, itching, and even blistering.
The second reason is, with repeated exposure, the sun can cause your tattoo to fade.
Don’t Rely Too Heavily on Skincare Products
Wounds need oxygen to heal.
If you slather a thick layer of lotion on your skin, you prevent oxygen from getting to the skin. This can slow the healing process. It can also cause the skin to bubble as it scabs.
Avoid Applying Certain Skincare Products
Petroleum-based products, like Vaseline, are very heavy. They can prevent oxygen from reaching the skin even if applied in a thin layer. It’s best to avoid them altogether.
You’ll also want to avoid soaps and lotions which contain alcohol, fragrances, or dyes. These can irritate the skin and prolong the healing process.
Steps You Can Take to Properly Care for Your Brand New Body Art
Here are a few ways to care for your new tattoo. Make sure to ask your artist for more detailed aftercare instructions.
Only Touch Your Tattoo with Clean Hands
Always wash your hands before you touch your tattoo. And avoid allowing anyone else to touch your tattoo.
Use Cool Water to Gently Clean Your Skin
Hot water opens the skin’s pores. This can actually lead to ink leakage.
Plus, hot water can also irritate skin which is healing and sensitive.
Always Be Gentle with Healing Skin
While your skin is healing, avoid shaving and exfoliating. Also avoid:
These can rub the skin raw and result in rashes and damage to the skin.
You Can Ensure the Awesomeness of Your Tattoo by Taking Good Care Of It Right From the Start
Tattoos aren’t cheap, and it takes time out of your schedule to get one which is a true work of art.
But in the end, it’s all totally worth it.
This is why we need to take precautions to care for our brand new tattoos in the proper manner. Doing so will ensure your tattoo looks great now and into the future.
If you have any questions about aftercare and what to avoid, don’t hesitate to talk to your tattoo artist.
We want you to enjoy your body art and reduce your risk of infection, irritation, pain, or loss of color vibrancy.
When you come into our tattoo shop, we’ll take the time to give you all of the information you need. But we also welcome any questions you may have on the topic of caring for your tattoo.