So, you’ve just gotten a brand-new tattoo that you are itching (probably literally) to show to the world. But hold your horses!
Before you start parading your fresh ink around town, there’s something important you need to do – take care of your healing tattoo.
While being patient can be difficult, this isn’t something you want to mess up. Otherwise, you could end up with a botched masterpiece.
Here are some tips to help you ensure that your tattoo heals properly and looks amazing for years to come.
Proper and Gentle Cleaning
Your tattoo artist has probably given you specific instructions on how to clean your tattoo, but just in case you are not sure, here is what you need to know. You need to gently wash your tattoo with mild, fragrance-free soap and lukewarm water. To dry it, pat it with a clean towel – do not rub. Avoid using harsh cleansers or scrubbing your tattoo, as this can irritate the skin, cause damage, and even affect your tattoo. Remember, you’re dealing with a fresh wound here, so treat it with care.
Keep on Top of Moisturizing
Once your tattoo is clean, it’s time to moisturize. Keeping your tattoo well-hydrated is crucial for the healing process, so don’t skip this step. Use a fragrance-free, non-petroleum-based moisturizer or a specialized tattoo aftercare product recommended by your tattoo artist. Apply a thin layer of moisturizer to your tattoo and gently massage it into the skin. Don’t overdo it – you don’t want to suffocate your tattoo with too much product. Just keep it moisturized enough to prevent dryness and cracking.
Resist the Urge to Pick
Speaking of cracking, let’s talk about scabs. One of life’s hardest challenges for some people is to not pick scabs, and if you can relate to that, you need to be prepared. It’s normal for your tattoo to form a thin scab as it heals, but whatever you do, resist the temptation to pick at it. Picking at scabs can lead to scarring and color loss, which is the last thing you want for your tattoo. Let the scab fall off naturally on its own (if you can), and in the meantime, avoid activities that may cause excessive sweating, such as intense workouts or saunas. Sweating can make your scab moist and prolong the healing process.
Keep Sun Exposure Limited
Another thing to keep in mind is sun exposure. Your healing tattoo is extra sensitive to sunlight, so make sure to protect it from harmful UV rays. Avoid direct sun exposure as much as you can, especially during the first few weeks of healing. If you are going to go outside, just be sure to cover your tattoo with clothing or use broad-spectrum sunscreen with a high SPF. Sunburn can not only cause pain and discomfort but also fade and damage your tattoo. A little sun protection goes a long way in preserving the vibrancy of your ink and will also keep your skin healthy.