You’re about to go in for your first tattoo, and you couldn’t be more excited (or terrified, if you’re being honest). Here are some helpful tips from Lionesse to maintain your tattoo, and help it heal in the best way possible. There are some things you should definitely do and not do while it’s healing, so be sure to listen up and implement these tips into your healing process. Tattoos generally take a full two – three weeks to heal completely, sometimes more or less, depending. So, it’s best to opt for these tips for about a month after receiving your tattoo to get the best end result.
Use A Thin Layer of Protection
You should follow the recommendation made by your tattoo artist, but the two most popular products used to allow a tattoo to heal are Aquaphor ointment and A&D ointment. Both of these ointments should be applied in a very thin layer to allow the tattoo to heal nicely. Don’t overuse the product, or the tattoo won’t be able to breathe and get proper air exposure for the scabbing process.
Keep It Clean
Most tattoo artists recommend cleansing the tattoo gently after the bandage has been removed with antibacterial soap. Be sure to be gentle, and always keep the area clean. Remember: a tattoo is an open wound to the skin, which will require a healing phase just the same as any other type of wound. Keeping it clean ensures for the best healing possibility without infection.
Don’t Pick The Scabs
Although it sounds pretty disturbing, a tattoo will undoubtedly scab over – as does any wound to the body – and when it does, as ugly as it may appear, do not remove the scabs by picking at them or rubbing them. Let them fall away naturally. You can damage the tattoo in doing so because the ink within the skin may be lifted away from the tattoo, damaging the tattoo as a whole in the process.
Chlorine water can cause exceptional damage to a fresh new tattoo. It is recommended not to soak the tattoo in any sort of water at all for the first two weeks after having gotten it. Showers, of course, are okay and recommended. Avoid swimming in any chlorinated pool, and avoid saltwater/beach trips as well, for the duration of the healing process.
Keeping your new tattoo out of the direct sunlight is a very good idea for the first two weeks of healing. Once you do make your way into the sun, you will want to be extra sure to use sunblock on your tattoo. UV rays are very damaging to the already damaged skin, and can also fade out the tattoo color – no matter the color tattoo you have.
Use Unscented Lotion
After the tattoo has healed most of the way and has gone through the scabbing and flaking process, you can safely begin using an unscented lotion on the tattoo to keep it moist. Keeping the tattoo moisturized will help the tattoo to heal completely, and also avoid excess scabbing. It will also help your tattoo to look fresh and new all the time.