The A To Z Of Tattoo Aftercare

Over the years, the demand for getting tattoos has increased tremendously. Studies show that over 145 million Americans alone have tattoos. Even though tattoos highlight your swaggering personality, it is crucial to look at their aftercare. The outer layer of the skin is called the epidermis. The epidermis breaks apart when a tattoo is pierced into your skin using a needle. The epidermis is responsible for defending our body against infections, germs, and dirt. As our skin experiences cuts, we step on a nail or get a tattoo. Our body becomes vulnerable to infections. Moreover, tattoo aftercare also enhances the final product.

Tattoo Aftercare instructions

The healing process and tattoo aftercare instructions depend on the size of your tattoo and the intricate details of the tattoo design. There is also a difference in healing according to skin type, diet, hydration (how much water you consume), and previous sun or skin injury. Because everyone is unique, your tattoo artist is the best person to talk to about your skin type.

Discuss your skincare routine and the medical history of your skin with your tattoo artist. The artist chooses a range of creams, lotions, gels, soaps, and oils to aid the healing process. Ointments influence the microbiomes present in the skin and moisturize it too. The ingredients in the lotions shouldn’t cause any allergic reactions. That is why it is necessary to tell your tattoo artist everything.

Tattoo aftercare: Tattoo care first 48 hours-

tattoo aftercare

Immediate action to be taken- 

After making the tattoo, the artist will cover the area with moisturizer or tattoo jelly. Then the tattoo artist will apply a bandage over it as the first step of tattoo aftercare. The artist will cover your tattoo with a plastic bandage. It defends your skin against sunlight, bacteria, and cloth rubbing. Do not remove it in a public place. It will be prone to infection. Go to a safe space and remove it. A bandage locks the hydration and gas produced by the body against the tattoo, i.e., the swollen area. On removing the band-aid, you might see a mixture of plasma, blood, and extra ink from the tattoo. Wash your skin with warm water and hypoallergenic soap. Afterward, use a paper towel to pat the area dry. Then the swollen area of the skin should be allowed to dry up for an hour. Apply a thin layer of aftercare cream. The tattooed area must be kept open for ventilation. 

On the second to third day-

On the second day, you will notice that the tattoo has become dull. It is a sign of the healing process. Once the skin has healed, the colors will reach their prime. Regular washing and applying thin layers of recommended creams is advisory. Scabs might appear around the swollen area. Redness and heat around the wound are also quite possible. Applying lotions 4–5 times a day will treat the skin. Overapplying the creams can clog the pores and cause excess moisturization. Continue your skincare routine normally. Occasionally, ink might seem to come off from the tattooed area. But wipe it with a clean towel. Scabs are simply the skin’s defense mechanism. It is not a sign of being unhygienic. Drinking lots of water is also advised. It will keep your skin hydrated.

On the fourth day, the swollen area will begin losing its redness. Do not pluck the scabs during this period. Picking the scabs will expose the wound to infection. It might also leave permanent scars and alter the design. In the event of a sore infection of the tattoo wound, consult your tattoo artist. Clean your hands before touching the tattoo. It will spread bacteria and germs. If you experience itching, apply a towel-wrapped ice pack. Apply a hot compress for less than 3 seconds. It can also provide significant relief. If most of your scabs have fallen off, Soak the area in water. It will aid in clearing up the remaining scabs. If you experience unusual pain, talk to your tattoo artist or dermatologist. They will mostly recommend NSAIDs or other such medications. Light exercise for about 20 minutes can also provide relief from inflammation.

Tattoo Aftercare– Process of healing

By the second week, almost all the scabs would have shed. The tattoo healing process would have been nearly finished. However, you must keep applying the lotions and creams. The outer layer would be dry and would require hydration. By the third week, the wound will be healed. You would find the colors of the tattoo returning to all their glory. 

Tattoo Aftercare: Things to avoid

Tattoo Aftercare: Things to avoid

The outer layer of the skin would have healed within a month. But the inner layer would still require more time. So, the aftercare should continue for at least a few months. Additionally, you must make sure to stay away from the following things- 

  • Avoid direct sunlight on the tattooed area for at least a week. Sun’s light fades the pigmentation of the tattoo. After 2–3 weeks, you can expose your skin to direct sunlight. Application of a sunscreen lotion with SPF 45 is mandatory. It minimizes sun damage, which leads to tattoo fading.
  • Don’t use soaps and lotions with fragrances and chemicals. It might not irritate the skin. But it will irritate the wound.
  • Stay away from swimming or submerging the tattoo for at least two weeks.
  • Touching or scratching the tattoo should be avoided.
  • Avoid wearing clothes that can cause extreme rubbing to the tattooed area. 
  • Do not pull the scabs. Scar tissue might form.

Moisturizers for tattoo aftercare 

Your tattoo artist might recommend several lotions, oils, creams, etc. The recommendation list includes the following-

  • Coconut oil
  • Pure Shea butter or Cocoa butter
  • Alcohol-free healing ointments (Curel and Eucerin)       

Tattoo aftercare also depends on the location of the tattoo. A tattoo on your chest will have a different aftercare routine than a thigh tattoo. But the key to a crisp tattoo is continuous moisturizing. Keeping the area clean and dry will ensure fast and thorough tattoo healing


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