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How to Care for a New Tattoo

Tattoos need constant aftercare so as to protect the area from infection and abrasion. The fact is that tattoos, no matter how attractive they may be, are skin wounds that require healing. Unlike other wounds, the main objective is to allow the ink to permanently settle into the skin, which ideally takes around 4-6 weeks, depending on the size of the tattoo as well as the skin's characteristics. Some people with overtly sensitive skin sometimes experience pus formation, excessive scabbing or scars, while some find that their tattoo takes longer than usual to heal. Nonetheless, there are certain basic requisites that need to be followed in order to have a perfectly healed tattoo. This article will explain how to care for a new tattoo in simple steps.

How to Prevent a New Tattoo from Scabbing

Safety First
  • The first step is to ensure that you get your tattoo done from a reputed tattoo artist. Keep inquiring about the sterility of the tattoo needle, machine, ink quality and lotions being used during the tattoo making session.
  • This will be your first step towards making sure that you and your tattoo remain safe.
  • As soon as the tattoo artist is done finishing your tattoo, allow him to let it air dry for 10 minutes.
  • After air drying, he should apply the first protective coat of anti-bacterial and anti-septic tattoo cream. The cream must be gently massaged into the raw area.
  • Ask your tattoo artist to use an ABD bandage as these allow certain levels of ventilation and are good absorbents, which will help keep the area sanitized.
  • You may get a tetanus infection done either before or soon after the tattoo, so as to protect yourself from any infections as a result of the skin punctures.
First Few Days
  • The first day all you need to do is to simply ensure that you keep the bandage intact for at least 2 hours straight. Which implies that you are not supposed to fiddle with the bandage, and you are not suppose to try and remove it so as to sneak a peek. The reason being that the medication will come off along with the bandage, which would increase the chances of exposure and infection.
  • While removing the bandage, you are supposed to apply oil around the edges. Try not to use water if possible. If you must, try using a bit of steam, which will cause the bandage to loosen out after about 10 minutes. Try applying steam to every edge that you deal with.
  • After the bandage has been removed, you should wash it immediately under running water along with any antibacterial liquid soap. Pat the area dry with a paper napkin or let it air dry. Once the area dries, apply a thin uniform coat of tattoo cream.
  • From then on, you are required to wash the area 3-4 times a day, everyday, until the tattoo heals completely. Repeat the procedure so as to insure that the tattoo remains well lubricated, which helps speed up the healing process.
Skin Peeling

After the first week, you will begin to notice that the skin on the tattoo is beginning to harden and gradually peel. This scabbing of tattoos is a natural phenomenon and must occur so as to allow the wound to dry off and fall. The ink remains intact and scabbing does not harm the contours of the tattoo. You should not try to pull the skin off, and instead allow the dried skin to fall off on its own. Any attempts at pulling at the dry skin may cause fresh wounds and delay the healing. Most importantly it may cause certain patches to be a bit lighter than the others, which will look uneven and unattractive as a whole. No matter how much your tattoo itches, you are not supposed to scratch it. In case its unbearable, try to trace a finger over the tattoo gently, without letting the area get rubbed in the process.

Precautions from Water and Sun

You need not protect your tattoo from water while bathing, however, you must not let the tattoo be exposed to water for too long. Do not let your tattoo soak too much water, therefore you must avoid bathtubs and saunas until the area completely heals. As far as sunlight is concerned, remember to desist from using sunscreen lotions or sunblocks on the tattoo, instead coat the area with the tattoo cream or gel and that would suffice.

Tattoos do not need much looking after. All that you need to do while caring for a new tattoo is to keep the area free from dust, grime, infection and dryness. Follow the above mentioned rules and your tattoo shall heal within 2-3 weeks. Hopefully this article on how to care for a new tattoo has been informative and useful.

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