After all the excitement, anticipation, pain and sitting time you’ve finally got a tattoo which you have wanted and thought about so much.
Getting a tattoo can be painful and a stressful time, but by not taking the correct aftercare precautions can be even more painful and stressful and potentially ruin what you’ve waited so long for. If you want your tattoo to look the best and look exactly the same years from now you should take the time and the care to protect it.
Immediately after your tattoo has been completed for the day, your artist will wrap your new art in cling film to collect the blood and fresh ink from the tattoo rather than it being on your clothes, and also to add a bit of protection to your fresh ink from your clothing and to add a bit more protection towards infection in the initial stages of a completed tattoo.
Your tattoo artist will inform you for how long you will need to keep this cling film on for but generally it should be in place for at least a couple of hours , this time may vary based on the size of the tattoo and the location on your body.
A newly completed tattoo is susceptible to contracting an infection, even though this is rare the best prevention is the best remedy, hence why you must wash your tattoo several times a day with an antibacterial soap or lotion. Rinsing off the antibacterial soap with cold water helps close the pores which allow the tattoo to heal more quickly and reduce potential infection.
Keeping your tattoo clean is one of the best ways you can protect it from a potential infection. This should be carried out for at least two to three weeks or until the tattoo is healed on the outside. Washing your hands thoroughly before you clean your tattoo is also advisable as it too can be a source of contamination.
The tattoo should be adequately hydrated and this is achieved by using a good ointment, lotion or moisturiser, your artist will make suggestions to what would be suitable to use.
This hydration should be applied on the tattoo after washing, but you must wait for the tattoo to dry naturally first, using a course towel or rag can pull the colour out of you tattoo. A thin layer of lotion should be applied to the tattoo and the area surrounding it once dried.
Tight clothing should also be avoided for a few weeks after your tattoo has been completed, tight clothes can increase the risk of ink loss and damage to the surface of your skin causing your skin to scab, and your tight clothing can remove the scab unintentionally. Avoid sleeping on the side of your tattoo as much as possible as it is likely to delay the healing process and could cause scuffs to your new ink while you’re sleeping.
Protecting you ink from water
While your tattoo is fresh you must avoid going into water such as the sea, lakes or even swimming pools. You should avoid submerging your tattoo into water for a long period of time. Taking a long and hot shower is also likely to disrupt the healing process and hence must be avoided. Excessive exposure to sweat and sunlight should also be avoided for the first couple of weeks.
Scabbing is a natural and effective way of your skin healing, scabs should not be peeled off, picked at or scratched. Picking them off can remove the colour from your tattoo and cause damage to the skin leaving your new tattoo patchy therefore requiring your ink to be touched up.
Once the healing process is coming to completion the tattoo will start to brighten up. This means that the new layers of skin are growing back and the tattoo is being accepted without complications by your body.
To ensure the colours of your tattoo don’t fade, it is important that you protect it from sunlight by applying sunscreen lotion each time your tattoo is exposed to direct sunlight.
Keeping your tattoos moisturised helps the tattoo retain its colour and makes it less prone to fading over the years.
If you follow the above advice your tattoos should maintain its true colour for many years to come, and although tattoo’s may need touch ups in many years to come, the inks we use are the latest grades of ink that are designed to display stronger colours for longer prolonging any future fading.