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Tattoo After-care

Updated: Jan 11, 2022

1) Listen to your artist - The healing of a tattoo is most crucial for it to look like a million bucks. So however tired you are, listen carefully and follow your tattoo artists’ instructions only. Every tattoo artist will have a slightly different take on the best way to care for a new tattoo. DO NOT FOLLOW ADVICE DOLED OUT BY GOOGLE, BF, GF, BEST FRIEND, UNCLE, AUNTY. Are they tattoo artists? Think of your tattoo as having a warranty; if you don't follow the artist's instructions, you might void the warranty, and he or she won't give you free touch-ups.

Remember: tattoo artists want your tattoo to heal correctly and look good just as much as you do, so they wouldn't give you any poor advice.

2) Remove the cover after an hour – Once your tattoo is done, we will wrap your tattoo to protect it from any air borne bacteria. After you reach home or an hour later, whichever is earlier, you need to remove your wrap gently. Use lukewarm water and a mild soap like dove or baby wash to clean your tattoo. Use your fingers only, to wash the tattoo gently, removing all traces of blood, plasma, or leaked ink.

3) Do NOT keep your wrap for longer than 2 hours.

4) Pat dry – Use a clean napkin or paper towel to DAB dry your tattoo. Do not rub or wipe your tattoo under any circumstance.

5) Let it DRY – Once all the water is absorbed with the paper towel, let your tattoo air dry, for at least 20-30mins. Do NOT use a ‘hair-dryer’, ‘hand-dryer’ or any other such devices to hasten the process, unless you want to kill your tattoo!

6) Use the moisturizer (starting 4th day following your tattoo completion) – Once your tattoo is completely dry (it should be winter dry), take an optimum amount of the suggested moisturizer and gently massage it in circular motion, till it completely absorbs into your tattoo. Make sure to apply only a very thin layer. It's very important that you don't apply too much ointment, or else you'll suffocate the tattoo and encourage the growth of bacteria.

7) Continue to moisturize your tattoo, at minimum, twice a day until the scab is gone - The initial healing of the tattoo will take up to two weeks. During this time, you can expect the tattoo to start peeling or flaking, in a similar way to sunburn. Some colored skin may come away as the tattoo peels, but this is entirely normal.

8) Avoid soaking the tattoo - Until your tattoo is fully healed, you should avoid swimming in a pool, in the sea, or even soaking in the bathtub. There are two reasons for this. Firstly, exposing your tattoo to too much water may draw ink out of your skin and damage the tattoos appearance. Secondly, the water in swimming pools, the sea, and the bathtub may be carrying dirt, bacteria, chemicals and other impurities that could cause your tattoo to become infected.

9) NEVER touch your healing tattoo with a dirty hand. Don’t let others also touch your tattoo till it heals completely. They can see your tattoo with their eyes. Nobody needs to touch it please.

10) Don't use petroleum-based products, such as Vaseline, as these are too heavy and may clog the pores, causing breakouts on the tattoo. They also draw the ink from the tattoo to the surface of the skin, causing the tattoo to fade before it's even fully healed.

11) Do NOT scratch your tattoo - Dry, scabbing or peeling skin can become very itchy, but scratching at your tattoo may also cause scabs to fall off. You can relieve itching by slapping the tattoo with the flat of your hand, or by rubbing in a little lotion.

12) Do NOT pick at your peeling scabs - After the skin peels, your tattoo will look glassy and feel tight. It may also have cloudy or white patches of skin that you will be tempted to peel off, but try to resist. This is referred to as "onion skin" and will fall off by itself within a couple of weeks.

13) Keep sending a picture of your tattoo to us, every day if possible so we can monitor the healing of your tattoo and to watch for any signs of infection.

14) Do not expose your new tattoo to direct sunlight. Sunlight is the worst enemy of new tattoos. The harsh rays of the sun may cause your skin to blister and bleach some of the colors from your tattoo. For this reason, it is best to keep your tattoo covered and away from the sun for at least 3 to 4 weeks, until the initial healing is complete.

15) Avoid tight-fitting clothes - As your tattoo heals, it will seep plasma and excess ink, which may cause the clothing to stick to the tattoo. The clothing will then be painful to remove and may rip off any freshly formed scabs.

16) Avoid working out - Intense workouts or other physical activity will cause the skin to crack and become irritated, prolonging the tattoos healing process. For this reason, you should avoid unnecessary workouts for at least a few days after getting a new tattoo. If you work in a job that involves physical activity, such as construction or dance, you may want to consider having your new tattoo done on a Friday, so it will have the whole weekend to heal before your go back to work.

17) Don't shave/wax, the tattoo until it's fully healed. If you shave around it, don't let the shaving cream or hair irritate or infect the tattoo.

18) Don't wash your new tattoo with hot water. Hot water opens up skin pores and will likely hurt your sensitive skin.

19) If you have taken proper care of your new tattoo, you can expect your tattoo to be healed and your skin to have fully regenerated in about four to six weeks.

20) After the healing process is done still apply moisturizer regularly, especially if you have a coloured tattoo to enhance and protect the color.

Esha Varpe

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