Yes, a healthy tattoo is a thing but we often end up swaying away from the concept, either for saving a few quick bucks or getting inked, without due diligence. A permanent tattoo isn’t only about the best design replication or enduring ink quality. Instead, it is still a wound that cannot be allowed to be festered.
As tattooing involves penetrating the ink deep into the skin layers, it becomes all the more important to follow an effective aftercare routine, religiously. Much like any other wound, a permanent tattoo can get infected if you forego the strategies to keep it in proper shape. Also, a healthy tattoo is the one that dries quickly, doesn’t blow out, and hardly reddens— traits that are virtually impossible to achieve if you aren’t privy to the essential aftercare strategies.
Start following the Artist’s Advice
Tattoo-making isn’t always about following your gut. Although you are still in charge of your design, you must leave the technical and physical aspects to the experienced artists. A tattoo artist has the best understanding of your skin type and therefore, he or she can recommend the best ideas to help it heal better. Therefore, even if you plan on following this discussion to this letter, accommodate the exclusively curated aftercare strategies enlisted by the artist, once you are inked.
If you have been inked before, you would know that it is recommended to keep the tattoo covering intact for 2 to even 5 hours after the session. However, if you plan on keeping it healthier for long, it is recommended to wash the same after uncovering. It is better to use a non-irritant soap, something like the Carex, along with tepid water.
Look for Blowouts
What most amateurs fail to gauge about a freshly made tattoo is the tendency to blot and blow out. Although, if the concerned professional plans on using the best rotary pen and tattoo machine for the job, the ink penetration is expected to be uniform, with the design being less prone to blowouts.
Regardless, if you want the tattoo to look healthier and vivid for long, you must be able to identify the blowout symptoms i.e. excessive ink seeping and an unexpected lightness of the color. In case any of the mentioned indications show up, revisit the artist and get the same reworked!
Use a Moisturizing Cream with Care
Any discerning individual with a few tattoos to show would realize the value of an unscented moisturizer. Regardless of how old the ink is, a fresh tattoo needs to be layered with a coating of creams like Bepanthen, which have no artificial compounds and irritants to negatively impact the health of the tattoo.
However, once you apply the cream, you can either choose to cover the area or leave it to dry further, as recommended by the artist.
Keep the Design as Dry as Possible
Doesn’t the concept of dryness contradict the initial pointer about washing the tattoo clean? Not exactly, as washing the tattoo, a few hours after getting inked is to get rid of the additional blood, residual ink, and even the transparent fluids that seep through. However, the more generic purview is to avoid water contact for at least 15 to even 30 days, depending on how the tattoo is healing.
It is necessary to keep the surface dry and clean by letting go of immersive bathing sessions. Also, covering the same with gauze is advisable at times if you feel that the clothing might rub against the tattoo.
Avoid Sunlight Exposure
Getting a new tattoo doesn’t mean that you need to restrict yourself indoors for a month or so. While you can always go out in the open, direct exposure to sunlight is something that we would recommend against.
Plus, it is necessary to understand that colorful tattoos are prone to fading off if exposed to sunlight before they have healed completely. While restricting exposure is a great approach, if you still need to travel, a high SPF sunscreen is what you must consider.
To be honest, there is nothing better than eating right when it comes to healing the tattoo and ensuring that your overall experience remains healthier, throughout. While it is always advisable to cut down the alcohol consumption to nil, you must concentrate on adding green veggies, fruits, and items with higher protein count to speed up healing.
Different tattoos heal differently. Also, the ink quality, body type, and other factors are responsible for the design to heal at a specific rate. Therefore, as a person who got inked recently, it is necessary to be patient with the healing process. You must keep following the strategies to the T and wait till every instance of redness, swelling, and pain subsides in time.
Also, it is common knowledge that smaller lines heal faster as compared to massive tattoos that involve coloring and shading.
It is common for you to experience an unbearable itch, surrounding the tattooed area. However, like any other wound, tattoos also produce flakes and scabs while drying, which is the main reason for the itchy feel. But then, you must maintain restraint and ensure not to pick at the scabs, as it might cause the ink to fade away in time.
A good way is to lap the area instead of itching frantically. Plus, if you want to avoid the formation of patches on the adjoining skin surface, itching is the last thing to consider. In most cases, the itch is expected to subside within a fortnight.
But then, if the itch persists along with continued bleeding, swelling, and redness, it might be time for expert medical assistance.
It is always advisable to visit the tattoo parlor, once every two months, to get the surface, ink sustenance, and color intensity checked. Plus, if you have allergy-prone skin, visits to the artist become all the more important.
Each of the 10 strategies needs to be followed diligently, not necessarily in the same order, if you want to ensure better health for your tattoo. What’s important in this regard is to maintain the shape and color of the design for a long time, and that too without falling prey to infections. Therefore, while most of these strategies are expected to help maintain tattooing sanity, nothing beats the credibility quotient that needs to be prioritized before selecting a parlor and the corresponding tattoo artist.