As opposed to only a few years ago, tattoos are now popping up on bodies everywhere you look. From full arm sleeves to tattoos on faces, the creativity is vast and growing. While some may regret their tattoo decisions, many others spend time, effort and money on them and taking care of them moving forward.
To many who have never had tattoos before, the feeling is strange and the fear of ruining the ink job is evident. Many will give you advice on how to take care of it after it is finished, but that advice ranges like the creative entities on bodies.
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Within the First 24 Hours
Upon receiving your first tattoo there are a few things to remember. Keep it covered until you are settled. Depending on where the tattoo is located on your body, you should remove whatever covering you have on it leaving the tattoo parlor about four to six hours after, letting it air out to start forming scabs. Some artists will tell you to keep it covered for at least 24 hours, but giving it air will allow it to start the healing process.
After you remove the “bandage” that can be anything from gauze to plastic rap and tape, make sure to rinse it with fragrance-free, antibiotic soap and pat dry it with a clean towel. Keep it clean and prevent any type of clothing from rubbing on the healing tattoo. If there is any friction with clothing, the skin will heal roughly and impair the look of it. Also, avoid clothing that could possibly stick to the tattoo as well.
Use moisturizer after washing it. Make sure the moisturizer is for extremely dry skin and unscented. Keeping it moisturized will help the healing process so apply it multiple times a day. Along with that, avoid the sun, avoid being submerged in water for long periods and keep it relatively dry during the healing process. The healing process itself takes a minimum of two weeks.
Know Your Artist
Make sure you know your artist and ask how they sterilize their equipment. They should be using a heat sterilization machine, or autoclave. If the needles they use for your tattoos are unclean, there is a risk of disease and infection. Make sure that your artist also wears gloves when working on your piece.
Also, make sure that the table or chair that you’re being tattooed on is sterilized and cleaned before you sit on it. Ask. There is nothing wrong with asking to prevent any health problems later.