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How To Take Care Of A New Tattoo

What Should I Wear As My Tattoo Heals

How To Treat A New Tattoo: Healing Process/Aftercare DAY 0 ( FRESH )

It’s a good idea to avoid tight clothing around the tattooed area. Things like waist bands and bra straps can rub and irritate the new tattoo, causing more trauma and stopping it from healing properly. Your tattoo artist will recommend sticking to loose fitting clothes until the tattoo heals completely.

Wash The Tattoo Carefully

Yes, you read that right. It is important to gently wash your tattoo to remove the dead skin and even the bacterial buildup. However, you must wash the tattoo with an antibacterial soap to keep infections and itching at bay. And it isnt enough to just wash the tattoo as you need to periodically clean up the adjacent area as well.

However, keep in mind that you should not wash your tattoo immediately after getting inked. The initial bandage must be kept as it is for hours, and only then should you remove it and properly wash the tattoo with antibacterial soap and lukewarm water.

Experts Recommended Best Tattoo Cleanser for Better Healing

However, too much ointment isnt good as it might then clog the pores and cause skin irritation. Only a thin layer needs to be applied to work on the dead skin and keep the skin moisturized for hours at once.

How To Take Care Of A New Tattoo

If youre asking yourself how to take care of a new tattoo, here are some pointers. For best results, follow the instructions that your tattoo artist gives you. They may have tips and tricks that apply to a specific color, area of the body, or ink type.

Aside from this, make sure to follow these dos and donts.

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What To Expect After Getting A Tattoo

If this is your first tattoo, you may be wondering what to expect as you begin the healing process.

Keep in mind that a tattoo, although beautiful, is an open wound. During the tattooing process, your skin experiences trauma and depending on placement, overall size, and your skins sensitivity, healing time will vary from person to person.

Its not uncommon for your new tattoo to be sore or sensitive to the touch, swollen, red, irritated looking, or even bruised in some cases. Again, this is going to depend on the location of the tattoo and the individual’s skin. You can usually expect the irritation to the skin to subside after 3 to 5 days. In some cases, it may take up to a week for your tattoo to stop looking so angry. In the unlikely event that you dont follow these aftercare instructions and the swelling, redness, or irritation spreads, your tattoo becomes hot to the touch, or you notice pus leaking from the area, seek medical attention. Youve got yourself an infection.

You will most likely experience some scabbing and or skin peeling during the healing process. Do NOT pick at the scabs or dead skin. Doing so can damage the tattoo by removing ink and creating a faded look within the areas you picked. No one wants a new tattoo to look uneven or washed out, so again DO NOT PICK!

What Should You Not Do After A Tattoo

How To Take Care of a New Tattoo?
  • Drink alcohol excessively. Ghinko advises to not drink heavily before or after a tattoo. This is because alcohol thins your blood, which could cause you to bleed more than you normally would during the tattooing and healing process.
  • Go swimming. “When a fresh tattoo is exposed to a pool or lake … you can cause irritation and infections,” says Ghinko. Avoid swimming for two to four weeks post-tattoo.
  • Sunbathe. For the first month after your tattoo, avoid sun exposure to prevent fading and color distortion.
  • Over-moisturize. Some hydration is essential, but according to Ghinko, it’s also important to let your skin breathe while it’s healing.
  • Scratch. Tattoos tend to itch as they heal, but resist the urge to scratch which can irritate or tear the skin. Instead, Ghinko says to lightly slap it.

Also Check: What Soap Should I Use To Clean My Tattoo

Ink Rejection Or Allergy

At any stage in the healing process, the body may reject an ink color. If the body is allergic to an ink, a raised and painful rash may form on the skin.

To avoid ink rejection, some tattoo artists will do an allergy test with the color in question by applying a small amount to the skin. If it causes a reaction, it is not safe to use.

Ink allergies may occur because tattoo ink colors contain many different substances. For example, black ink contains carbon, and red ink contains mercury sulfide.

Anyone experiencing a rash on or around a tattoo should visit a doctor, who can identify and treat the rash. The person may also wish to contact their tattoo artist.

Each tattoo artist is likely to have a different recommendation for what moisturizer someone should use. Common recommendations include:

  • alcohol-free healing ointments, such as Eucerin or Curel

Tattoos are a lifelong commitment and require some special care to keep them looking good for many years to come.

How Long Does It Take For A Tattoo To Heal

After getting a tattoo, the outer layer of skin will typically heal within 2 to 3 weeks. While it may look and feel healed, and you may be tempted to slow down on the aftercare, it can take as long as 6 months for the skin below a tattoo to truly heal.

Skin around larger tattoos takes longer to recover and certain factors, like picking at the scabs, not moisturizing, forgoing SPF, or using a lotion with alcohol may slow the process.

Generally speaking, the stages of tattoo healing can be divided into four distinct stages, and the care for your tattoo changes slightly depending on the stage.

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Symptoms To Be Aware Of With Your New Tattoo Include:

Some symptoms might raise concerns when it comes to your new tattoo. You dont have to be worried about every single signal your body emits, but a few of them are worth talking about here.

If youve noticed a sudden outbreak of pimples around your tattoo, chances are youve over moisturized. Dial back on the oil/lotion and try to maintain a moisture level even with the rest of your body.

Professional tattoo artists do everything possible to ensure safe tattooing practices. However, they are not medical professionals. Contact your doctor immediately if the following symptoms arise when youve gotten a new tattoo:

  • Severe pain or swelling
  • Prolonged oozing of plasma with or without color
  • Thick, hard scabs that are bleeding red blood

So, there you have it. By following this aftercare advice your brand new tattoo will soon mature into a phenomenally healed tattoo. Admittedly this is a task, but considering that youre going to have that same tattoo for the rest of your life, what does it actually mean that you have to pay close attention to the aftercare for a couple of weeks? Good luck!

Cover image via

How To Care For Your New Tattoo

How to Take Care of Your New Tattoo

Technically, a new tattoo is a wound, says Joshua Zeichner, MD, a board-certified dermatologist at Mount Sinai. In order to heal your skin, you must keep the area clean and moisturized in order to protect against infection.

Here are the steps you should follow after walking out of the tattoo shop, according to Zeichner and Elliot Love, DO, board-certified dermatologist at the Dermatology Group of the Carolinas:

  • Your artist will cover the tattoo with a bandage and tell you how long it should stay on. Love personally recommends leaving the bandage on for 24 hours.
  • After removing the bandage, gently clean the area with antibacterial soap and water. Never scrub a new tattoo with a washcloth or any other abrasive material.
  • Next, moisturize the tattoo with a thick oil-based moisturizer such as Vaseline or Aquaphor. Love says this keeps the tattoo moist and prevents scabbing. Apply this moisturizer two or three times throughout the day.
  • Repeat steps two and three every day for the next week.

    After the first week, Zeichner says you can switch from your heavier moisturizer to a lighter fragrance-free moisturizer but you should still be applying it twice a day.

    “During the next several weeks, the tattoo itself may appear healed on the outside, but the deeper skin layers are continuing to repair themselves. Continue to moisturize on the outside, and take care not to traumatize the skin,” says Zeichner.

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    Cover It And Keep Your Hands Off

    After you get the tattoo and check out the final result, the first thing your tattoo artist will do is put a clean, clear bandage on it. According to Thompson, this seals it, which is important for keeping that newly sensitized area clean and protected from bacteria. “It’s a breathable, waterproof bandage, which usually stays on for about two days,” he says. “You can take it off in the shower or to wash the tattoobut definitely don’t touch your new tattoo with dirty hands.” This is important, as touching your tattoo right away could easily lead to infection.

    Orit Markowitz, M.D., a dermatologist and associate professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai, agrees. She says it’s important to recognize that a new tattoo is a wide-open wound. Because of this, just the act of getting one triggers your immune system to produce white blood cells to protect against potential infection, meaning your body is already going into overdrive to keep the bad stuff out.

    “Any time the skin is woundedwhich is the case with tattoo treatmentthe recommendation is to keep it covered and moist to help with wound healing and ward off bacterial infection,” she tells us. So while we know it may be tempting to touchespecially at firstdon’t do it unless your hands are completely clean.

    Can You Get A Fake Tan After Getting A New Tattoo

    The question Can you get a fake tan after getting a new tattoo is actually very common.

    Heres the answer: Drop the idea of getting a fake tan after getting some fresh ink. Getting a fake tan may lead to infection of a new tattoo, which will make the process of your skin recovery more difficult. Tattoo aftercare products are specially designed to give your fresh ink nutrients and moisturized. Fake tans zap your skin dry.

    Read Also: How Many Treatments Does It Take To Remove A Tattoo

    What Cant I Do After Getting A New Tattoo

    Here’s a short list of things you shouldn’t do after your appointment:

    • No baths, saunas, or swimming pools for two weeks.
    • No working out for at least five days.
    • Don’t sleep with a pet that sheds hair or is prone to licking near the tattoo.
    • Stay out of direct sunlight to avoid fading.

    If you’re wondering how long you should keep a tattoo out of the sun, the short answer is…well, forever.

    ” really does change the way the tattoos look. And if you’re cool with that, that’s cool with me,” explains Mariah. “You should really know that going into it. I want it to be shielded from the sun. So sometimes, if girls get arm tattoos, I have them wrap a little bandana on their arm.”

    She also adds that she’s not the biggest fan of using SPF because you don’t know what chemicals are in the mix and how they can affect the healing process. “I really worry about any not sterile cream going into that new tattoo,” she says.

    Choose According To The Tattoo Type

    New Tattoo Aftercare Guide and Product Info

    Despite tattoo artists showing the way, most tattoo fanatics do not understand the importance of choosing aftercare products according to the type of tattoo. For instance, if you are dealing with pure blacks, your primary concern is to keep a tab on the excess ink oozing out. And while washing the exposed area is still essential, you might want to support it with a herbal moisturizer at least two times a day.

    For shades, it is essential to wash the tattoo with warm/moderately hot water to prevent infection. However, the frequency of the wash might vary depending on the extent of the open wound, medically reviewed info, if needed, and obviously the tattoo size.

    Bigger tattoos, black or with colors bright, require a lot of attention for the first few nights. And while washing the skin surface is still important, you need to go generous on the moisturizer for the first few days. Color tattoos fade quickly and require greater regulation. Therefore, you should always see a doctor if the pain lasts till the fourth day, as the tattoo might need a different form of aftercare.

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    When To See A Doctor

    Tattoo care is simple once the process is understood. However, there are still times when a doctor may be needed.

    Infection is the most common reason to see a doctor after a tattoo. If a person does not care for it properly, a tattoo can become infected with bacteria.

    An infected tattoo will be warm, inflamed, and painful to the touch. The skin may also ooze pus or have a rash.

    Blood-borne infections can occur if the tattoo artist used dirty needles or ink. These infections can include:

    What Does Tattooing Do To The Skin

    First, lets take a look at why tattooing is painful and why it requires so much healing time. Tattooing involves puncturing the surface of the skin with a special needle however, what you may not know is that tattooing penetrates more than just the first layer of skin. In fact, tattooing is most effective and crisp when the tattoo needle accurately penetrates the second layer of the skin, the dermis. The first, outer layer of the skin is a poor medium due to the fact that cells are replaced every 4-6 weeks.

    Furthermore, the lower layer of the skin, the hypodermis is made of oily, fatty tissue. Tattooing into this layer tends to produce lines that soften and blur as the ink mixes with the oily extracellular matrix. Blurring due to this is more likely in areas that have a thin dermis layer like the lower leg.

    Since foreign substances are being introduced into the second layer of skin, you can expect an inflammatory response from the immune system. This is simply caused by white blood cells being called to the tattoo site. When white blood cells arrive at the tattoo site, they engulf or phagocytize the ink particles however, they are unable to break them down like they are other biological particles. These white blood cells stay at the site of the tattoo, holding onto the ink particles until they die.

    For all of these reasons, it can take upwards of 4-6 weeks for your tattoo to completely heal and look as crisp and permanent as it will look for the rest of your life .

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    Why Do You Need To Use A Tattoo Sunscreen

    Its highly recommended to use a Tattoo Sunscreen that is designed by professionals who are in the tattoo industry. Inkeeze has created the best tattoo sunscreen on the market due to our love of tattoos and understanding of the tattoo recovery process. The main difference between a tattoo sunscreen and any other sunscreen is the texture of the cream, and nutrients in the sunscreen. Tattoo Sunscreen is light weighted, smells great and has quality that not only helps the cream to protect skin from the UV rays but also makes tattoos vibrant.

    Keep Your Tattoo Clean

    Tattoo Aftercare | Tattoo Healing | How To Take Care Of A New Tattoo
    • Youll need to ensure that your tattoo is kept as clean as possible. Theres no way around it, a fresh tattoo is an open wound and you need to bear that in mind when looking after it. Whilst we take responsibility for the piece of art, tattoo aftercare is 100% your responsibility and cleanliness matters. We recommend short showers until your skin has fully healed.

    Also Check: Can You Tattoo Over A Removed Tattoo

    Know Some Fading May Happen Especially With Thin

    Ideally, your tattoo will remain as vibrant as it was the day you got it, but a bit of fading can happen. Fading may be due to the depth at which the pigment was deposited during the tattoo placement , Dr. Marchbein says.

    That’s certainly the case with dainty tattoos. “Due to the nature of a fine line tattoo, there’s a higher chance of fading compared to that of a bold line tattoo,” Evan says. “This is because the thin needle doesn’t penetrate the tissues as it would with a bold needle.” If you do want a dainty tattoo, he recommends finding an artist who is experienced with fine line work for the best possible results.

    Some fading, on dainty or bold tattoos, can also be attributed to nature. Tattoos are on your skin, and skin changes, Evan says. Good work doesnt fade that much, but there could be some lines or spots that are missing ink, as well as fading that comes with time.” To help minimize fading, Evan says to make sure you keep your new tattoo moisturized and use SPF when you’re out in the sun.

    How Long Does It Take A Tattoo To Heal

    So, how long does it take a tattoo to heal? As mentioned above, it can take 4-6 weeks for the tattoo to be truly finalized, and most tattoo artists will tell you not to have additional work done on the same tattoo for about 6 weeks. However, your upper layers of skin will heal before this point: in about 2-3 weeks, you will feel that your tattoo wound has completely healed keep in mind, at this point, that there may still be some healing occurring under the surface.

    If you notice that swelling and drainage have not reduced or gone away after 5-7 days, talk to your doctor right away fresh tattoos can get infected.

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