Aftercare Essentials For Your First Tattoo

Posted on: 16 November 2015

For the uninitiated, there are a host of different factors that lie in wait to deform and disfigure your first tattoo. Unfortunately, even with the best artist in the world working on you, it's impossible to ensure your tattoo will heal properly without good aftercare practices. Knowing what you need to do to care for your first tattoo will ensure that it still looks clear and crisp ten years after the needle stops buzzing.

Be Ready Beforehand

Being prepared for your first tattoo will go a long way toward ensuring it retains the same qualities for years. Make sure you have some unscented hand lotion on hand, and generic anti-inflammatory medicine to help take the edge off. The lotion will help prevent your tattoo from drying out after the initial healing period and a couple ibuprofen or acetaminophen will stop it from throbbing.

Take a shower just before you go in for your tattoo, and thoroughly wash and shave the area about to be tattooed. Even if you don't have dark or coarse hair in the area, even fine hair can affect the final outcome. Most importantly, there are a few good times to reschedule your appointment, such as recent injuries or sunburns, both of which will make the experience harder to bear. A tattoo on a sunburn also will end up having its color spread due to the swelling of the skin.

Don't Treat it Like a Wound

Sensible medical care would recommend immediately cleaning the affected area and keeping it covered with a bandage, but this can actually do more harm to the ink than you might expect. Once any initial bleeding has ceased, remove any bandage or dressing and let the tattoo breathe for a few hours so that the skin can begin recovering. After the skin has dried somewhat, use a thin coat of oil based ointment, such as generic A&D vitamin ointment, to protect it from infection and promote healing.

It's important to keep the site of your new tattoo clean, but don't use harsh soaps or abrasives shower scrubs. Gentle liquid soap and light rinsing will work just fine, both to avoid irritating the skin and to avoid dislodging any scabs that might have formed initially. If scabs do develop, don't pick at them, as dislodging them can pull ink out of your skin and prematurely fade your tattoo.

Getting your first tattoo can make anyone anxious, especially knowing that, whatever the result is, you'll have to live with it for the rest of your life. Make sure you do your part to ensure that the final result looks as good as possible once it's healed. For more preparatory and aftercare tips, contact a tattoo parlor.

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