Are you planning to get inked, right now? If yes, sorting the aftercare becomes all the more important— even more than the design aspects of the same. But why is it so? Well, while tattooing using ink and machines depends on the artist and is often handled at the moment, aftercare strategies are spread out over weeks and months. And the quality of tattoo aftercare seals the fate of your design— in terms of color and healing quotient.
Also, aftercare of a tattoo is essential if you do not want the design— color or all-black— to fade within a few weeks. Yes, every tattoo would fade a bit over time but a full-fledged aftercare strategy would only help you extend the period.
Now that we have established the importance of tattoo aftercare, here are some of the best yet underrated strategies to get started, right away. And it is advisable to keep the products and ideas handy before planning to get a tattoo made, on any part of the body.
Covering the Tattoo
Covering up the tattoo is arguably the first aftercare strategy that you must put into action. This approach starts right at the point when the artist finishes with the tattoo and covers the area with a thin layer of ointment, an antibiotic preferably. That is the point when you wrap the concerned region with a plastic wrap or a bandage of sorts.
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This form of coverage is expected to stay put for at least a few hours post-tattooing. You can expect this approach to help absorb any kind of residual ink or additional fluid that would otherwise start leaking without a wrap holding it back.
Wash the Tattoo, Gently
Once you remove the wrap or bandage, you are required to wash the surface gently enough. However, before doing that, it is necessary to clean your hands with soap and water. Also, the tattoo surface needs to be cleaned with fragrance-free soap in addition to warm water. And once done, you are advised to pat the surface dry and apply some organic moisturizer on the same— not too much as the skin surface would need to breathe.
Get the Clothing Right
Mostly underrated, getting the choice of clothing right is important after getting inked. First of all, you must refrain from using body-hugging clothes. In simple words, loose does it after a tattoo. Also, if you have plans of going out in the open, sun-protective garments, especially the ones with full sleeves are desired.
Keep Sun at a Fair Distance
And even though sun-protective clothing is fine, you should initially stay away from the glare, as the UV rays aren’t quite sympathetic towards the tattoo ink. And even if you absolutely need to go out in the open, you can consider being generous with the sunscreen, preferably the one with high SPF. If you plan to apply the same on the tattoo, ensure that the ingredients are natural.
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Avoid Picking the Tattoo
Over time, your tattoo with start drying up. You will notice dry skin with scabs surrounding the surface. And trust me, you would be tempted to pick those. However, unlike any other standard cut or bruise that lets you pick away, for tattoos, it is best advised not to pick on the scabs as that way you would just be pulling out the ink and welcoming a scar. Yes, flaking comes naturally but applying cream, ointment, and moisturizer can help.
Moisturize at least Two Times a Day
If you want to ensure that the tattoo heals quicker and maintains its sheen longer, it is important to go heavy on the moisturizer. Barring the first few days when the tattoo needs some breathing space, it is a good habit to moisturize the concerned surface, at least twice. Tattooed skin is known to dry out quickly unless there is an infection. And that leads to excessing scabbing. Moisturizing the same aggressively and that too with skin-friendly products is a good way to keep the surface nourished and supple.
Drink Tons of Water
Good skin makes way for great tattoos. And how do you keep the skin good or rather great! By drinking loads of water. Keeping the body hydrated is a highly underrated yet tested aftercare strategy as it serves many purposes— including a better skin texture, improved ink absorption, and fewer instances of scabbing. And if you have done color packing on your skin, water intake becomes all the more important as it allows you to help with the color getting uniformly sequenced within the dermis.
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And that’s a wrap when it comes to the broader set of aftercare strategies. However, if you are not looking for a bird’s eye view into the aftercare strategies, you might want to look at the time-based approach to aftercare, which involves cleaning the surface over the first few days, applying moisturizer for the next few days, taking care of the redness by treating the scabs with respect for the first week or so, and eventually keeping a track of the swelling, if any and redness to make sure no infection is proliferating underneath the surface.
In the end, it is all about following a routine to ensure that the tattoo heals faster and lasts longer.