Getting a tattoo is one of the most popular trends that people have been following this decade. A tattoo is not only a work of art, but it stands for what you believe in or something very close to your heart and ideals. You will spend a lot of time thinking about the best design, decide the position, and other aspects. If you want your tattoo to be satisfactory and stay with you for a long period of time, you will need to put in a significant amount of effort, the right decision, and money to get it done.
Once the tattoo is done, you will need to follow the right aftercare steps. You must keep in mind that a new tattoo is a fresh wound that needs time to heal. Usually, 3 – 4 weeks is the minimum it takes for a decently sized tattoo to recover from the trauma. Bigger tattoos can be more difficult to manage and take a longer time to recover. During this time, you will have a great number of responsibilities to manage.
Tattoo aftercare is essential in maintaining the tattoo and ensuring that it does not fade away or gets contracted with any kind of infection. In today’s guide, we will disclose some very important tattoo aftercare tips for you.
Overview of The Stages of Tattoo Healing
Before we check out some excellent tips regarding tattoo aftercare, you must have a fair idea about the many stages of tattoo healing. This will help you to realize the actual time that a tattoo needs to heal properly. Here is an overview of all the stages of tattoo healing.
- Stage 1 – this is the first 6 days of getting a new tattoo. In these first few days, you will experience serious redness, swelling, and plasma oozing out of the new tattoo. In some cases, people can also see slight scabbing. You have to be extra careful while dealing with the tattoo these few days. The new tattoo will be very sensitive during this time and you must avoid exposing it to direct sunlight or water. Don’t use a tattoo sunscreen right now.
- Stage 2 – the second stage starts as the first week of healing is finished. During this time, the tattoo will itch and may develop scabs as well. Don’t pick the scabs under any condition. Scratching or picking the scabs can seriously hurt the tattoo and skin. If you see scabs developing around the area, it means the skin is healing.
- Stage 3 – between the third and fourth week, the tattoo will heal quite a lot. However, it has not yet fully healed and you have to be cautious about it. The tattoo may look cloudy because the tattoo colors and design will become more prominent. The deeper layers of your skin are going to take more time to heal completely. Keep the tattoo clean and fresh at all times. You can use a tattoo sunscreen during this time.
- Stage 4 – the first three stages of the tattoo healing process are the most important. In the 4th stage, which is well over 30+ days, you still need to care about your tattoo. This is because the underlying layers of the tattoo are healing even now. Keep using good quality tattoo aftercare cream and lotions to moisturize the area. Even now, whenever possible don’t expose the tattoo to direct sunlight.
These are the 4 prominent stages of tattoo healing that you must know about. Taking good care of your tattoo throughout all these stages will ensure that it is in great shape. Any negligence or serious mistake can damage the tattoo more than you can imagine. So, you have to be extra careful while dealing with it.
Why Tattoo Aftercare Is Important?
The amount of effort you put into getting a new tattoo, more effort is required to maintain it. Getting a permanent tattoo is no joke and must only be done if you are ready to deal with all the necessary aftercare that is required. Tattoo aftercare is important because of many reasons. Check them out in this list –
- Avoid Any Infection – getting a new tattoo means that your skin is getting damaged. Bacteria can easily affect this area, which is like an open wound if you don’t take good care of it. Good tattoo aftercare will help you to keep the bacteria and skin irritation away.
- Immediate Repair – after you have got yourself inked, you have to let the skin repair itself. Right? The best way to do so is by following good aftercare. Keeping away bacteria and other external factors can help the skin repair itself quicker than ever. When your skin receives immediate repair it can easily avoid getting infected.
- Long Term Care – taking care of a permanent tattoo means long term care. To avoid the tattoo from fading and help it to maintain a solid shape, you have to let it heal properly. Avoid bringing the tattoo to direct sunlight, water, and any chemical. This will only ensure a good quality tattoo that is going to last for a long time.
Day-By-Day Detailed Tattoo Aftercare Tips
As you can see from the above segment that the whole process of tattoo healing can take a minimum of 30 days. Each and every day must be given the same importance so that the tattoo remains in a solid shape. Good aftercare also avoids any kind of infection or skin disease. Take a look at these day-by-day aftercare tips –
#Day 1 – the very first you get yourself inked, your tattoo is overly sensitive and you have to deal with it very carefully. Once the tattoo is made, your tattoo artist will wrap it with a thin film to protect it from dust and dirt. Once you come back home, remove this film as instructed by the artist. Always follow the recommendation of your tattoo artist because he/she knows the right time when it will be alright to remove this thin film.
As soon as the film is removed, you have to thoroughly clean this area of all the plasma and blood that have oozed out. First, clean your hands with soap, or else it can be a very unhygienic practice to touch the tattoo with dirty hands. Use lukewarm water and mild antibacterial soap to clean the tattoo. Don’t rub or scratch the tattoo. Gently lather the soap and pat against the tattoo and wash away the soap.
Use a clean and soft towel to pat the tattooed area dry. Once the tattooed area is cleaned carefully, use a mild tattoo ointment to keep the skin hydrated and moisturized. For the rest of this day, your tattoo can look sore and the redness may persist for a long time.
#Day 2-4 – during the next few days, the redness around the tattooed area can still be present. A little swelling is normal during these few days. In some cases, the soreness tends to remain for more than 4 days. You will see that the tattoo is still oozing out a significant amount of plasma, blood, or ink. Don’t worry, this is the skin’s natural way of pushing out any dead cells or extra ink. But, you must keep in mind that if the tattoo remains to be sore and red after 4 days, you would want to contact your tattoo artist once.
Sleeping will be quite uncomfortable during this time, especially depending on the size and placement of your tattoo. So, you have to adjust yourself to find a comfortable position. You cannot use a tattoo sunscreen or other lotion that has any chemical in it. All of that can drastically damage the tattoo. Cover the tattoo with a loose cloth when going out, to protect it at all costs. Wear loose clothes to avoid scratching against the surface and prevent any kind of damage.
#Days 5-7 – during this time, you will see that the tattoo is starting to develop scabs. This is the indicator that tells you that the skin is healing the wound naturally. The intensity of the scabs can differ from person to person. Don’t forget to wash the tattoo after every day or two, and keep the area clean at all times. As the tattoo starts to form scabs, you must never pick the scabs under any circumstances. This can lead to serious problems in and around the tattooed area. In some cases, even the overall design of the tattoo can be significantly ruined.
Picking a scab can lead to a chance of ink coming out. This can totally ruin the appearance of the tattoo. So, let the scabs fall off naturally, and don’t pick them by yourself. The development of these scabs is normal. But, if you experience pain and the scabs are harder than they should be, contact a skin specialist.
#Days 8-14 – you are almost halfway through the overall tattoo healing process. These are the days which a lot of people hate to undergo because of the serious itchiness and irritation. The tattooed area is still healing from the trauma during this stage. As the scabs start to fall off, you will experience dreadful itching throughout the day. When the scabs and dry skin start to peel, your tattoo will heal better. But, the skin will turn very dry. That is why the itching intensifies even more. In order to get relief from the itching, you can use a good quality tattoo aftercare cream. This will keep the skin nourished and reduce itchiness. Add good fruits and vegetables to your diet in order to let the skin replenish and rejuvenate. Eating healthy and good foods can help your tattoo to heal quicker and more efficiently.
You must avoid swimming and other intense sporting activities even now. The chemical from the pool or your body sweat can affect the tattoo in a very serious manner. Avoid using a tattoo sunscreen right now and wait for a few more days before you can use it.
#Days 15-30 – the last stage of the healing process is when your tattoo has majorly healed. Apart from a few odd flaky skin, most of the skin has peeled off and made way for a new layer of skin. The tattoo should no longer be swollen and there must not be any redness. However, the tattoo may still look dull and scaly which will require moisturizing 1-2 times a day. This is mainly because of the presence of a thin layer of dead skin that covers the tattooed area even now. It will take a few more days for these cells to fall off. Let them come off naturally and don’t pick them by yourself.
At this point, you must keep in mind that even though the top layer has completely healed, the underlying layers of the skin will need more time. During this time you can use a tattoo sunscreen to protect the tattoo from harmful UV rays. Keep your tattoo clean at all times and moisturize it frequently. Even though the risk of it getting infected is very less, you must never take any risk when dealing with a tattoo.
So, this is a step by step aftercare guide that you can follow when dealing with a new tattoo. Make sure to check all the details we have shared in this segment and get an in-depth idea of how to take care of your tattoo properly.
Final Words – you must never forget how much time, money, and effort you have invested in getting a new tattoo. So, why would you want all of that to go to waste? Rather, if you are careful and follow some important tips, you can ensure a solid permanent tattoo forever. We have discussed about the healing process and tips thoroughly, which will allow you to get the best tattoo aftercare experience always. We hope you enjoy a fantastic new tattoo soon!