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Tattoo Aftercare

tattoo aftercare A good tattoo artist will take the time to teach you how to care for your new tattoo. Experts know how important the aftercare is to keep your tattoo healthy. Once the artist has finished the tattoo, he will wipe it down, rinse it, and apply a coat of ointment and a bandage.

When your artwork is complete, the artist should then tell you how to take care of your new tattoo. Good tattoo artists will give you a printed sheet that goes into detail on how to take care of it. If the artist doesn't give you detailed instructions, no need to worry, because it's actually a simple task; as long as you know the basics of what you should and should not do.

First, keep the original protective covering on as long as you can. Don't take this to the extreme and leave it on for days. What we mean is that if you can wait until the following morning and remove it prior to showering, that would be great.

When you first get home with your new tattoo, you should never hop right in the shower. The next time you do take a shower you want to cleanse it with light soap and water, applying lightly with the tips of the fingers or the hand. Do not scrub or use any exfoliating soaps. Before you touch the tattoo or clean it, you should always make sure that your hands are clean. If you keep your hands clean, you won’t have to worry about an infection. Upon leaving the shower, pat dry (again no rubbing) and apply your protection once the skin is dry.

Many tattoo shops sell a tattoo goo of some sort. H2Ocean and others may be fine, but they are not necessary. For each of my nine tattoos I have used nothing but Curel Fragrance Free (about $4 at your local drugstore). Avoid scented lotions because sometimes scented products can irritate the skin and make the skin tender. Many artists also recommend a tube of A&D ointment. A&D ointment is meant to assist in the care of any abrasion which a tattoo is. A&D will keep your tattoo clean and shiny, but should usually only be used for the first day. Typically, your tattoo artist has applied enough upon finishing the tattoo that no additional is needed. Leaving the bandages on for the new few hours or even overnight will suffice for the coat of healing ointment. All that should be needed after any bandages are removed is the Curel. The moisture will alleviate much of the itching and keep the skin moist.

Again, never rub the area too hard, or you could damage the healing process. Applying the lotion with your hand and lightly working the lotion all over with do the trick. The newest Curel product line has a 24 hour time release formula that works really well. You will notice that the area stays moist the entire day. However, I still reapply the lotion lightly over the course of the day whenever convenient. Applying after the morning shower, sometimes midday, and before bed will definitely keep the tattoo in good shape. This should be only a light covering.

After 5 – 6 days, you could quit using the lotion, but judge by the condition of the tattoo. You want to avoid body lotions that have scents, as they can easily irritate the tender skin that resides under your tattoo.

After 9-14 days, you can stop using anything - your tattoo should be healed. Some tattoos, after they have healed, may leave a scab in some areas. If your tattoo has a scab, you should be careful and never pick at it. If you aren’t careful, you could end up damaging your design. The best thing to do is you have a scab is to leave it alone. If you feel A&D ointment may help because if doesn’t look healed, first contact your artist.

For longevity remember to keep your tattoo protected with sunscreen anytime it may be exposed in the outdoors. If you are often outdoors or your tattoo is on an area that is always exposed, such as the forearm, look for a daily lotion that has an inherent SPF. This will provide some level of protection alwasy while keeping the skin moisterized.

You have spent good money for your tattoo, with less than $10 you can ensure it heals properly and looks its best. Taking care of your tattoo now will keep it healthy and infection free in the long run. If you follow the above advice on how to take care of your tattoo – you won’t have anything to worry about.

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