Getting your first tattoo is a very exciting and emotional moment. If you have already picked a tattoo design that you love, and you have booked yourself an appointment in the tattoo studio, you probably search for some tips and tricks on the healing process in order to be emotionally prepared. Well, you are in the right place!
In the beginning, the tattoo is considered as a wound until it heals. The healing process usually takes about 10 days. But if you take into account the below-mentioned tips, you will shorten the healing time to 7 days.
Taking proper care of your tattoo is essential because this way you will protect it from any infections, growth of harmful bacteria, redness, and pain.
Of course, many factors have an impact on the healing process, which we will take a closer look at. In this article, you will find practical advice on how to take care of your new tattoo, no matter if it’s your first one or not. Those Do’s are based on personal experience, professional tattooist opinions, and scientific research.
Now let’s get started!
Table of Contents
What to do?
Wash the tattoo
Many people claim that washing your tattoo is a “No-no” because it will slow down the healing process. However, if you think about it, cleaning your tattoo is essential in order to get rid of harmful bacteria, germs, sweat, dirt, etc. This way, you will successfully prevent any infections and skin inflammations, which can be very unpleasant (including swelling, puss, blood, redness).
Luckily, by washing your tattoo with lukewarm water at least 2 times a day (morning and evening), you reduce the risk of getting an infection by 99%.
Use antibacterial soap
To effectively clean your tattoo area, you need not only water but also soap. And not any kind of soap, but antibacterial. This way, you will be sure that all germs and harmful microorganisms will be removed effectively, and your skin will be cleansed and protected. The brand of the soap, which you will choose does not matter. I, personally, used Safeguard Vitamin E Antibacterial soap, and I was super satisfied with it. It is very affordable and effective; it foams well, does not cause dryness or irritation to my extremely sensitive skin.
Buy antibacterial wet wipes
You probably realized that bacteria and germs are your worst enemy when your tattoo is still “fresh.”
We know that sometimes, it is just impossible to wash your tattoo. You may be at work, in school, somewhere out, at a party, or in a million other places. Well, we got your back.
The best thing to do is to buy a package of antibacterial wet wipes. Pay attention to the label and choose a type that is suitable for babies. This way, you ensure that they will be gentle to your skin and will not contain any harsh ingredients, which irritate your tattoo area.
Whenever you feel that you need to wash your tattoo, simply use the wet wipes to cleanse the area. They are a great alternative for when you are busy. However, keep in mind that substituting washing for wet wipes is a big mistake that will slow the healing process. The reason for this is the fact that soap and water clean and refresh your skin much more effectively in the long run, removing all the bacteria. In comparison, the antibacterial wipes will eliminate 90% of the bacteria and will protect your tattooed area until the next washing.
Keeping your tattoo area moisturized is crucial for its quick and proper healing. It is essential to put ointment immediately after you wash and dry the skin, and after you use wet wipes to clean the area. Just keep in mind that the tattoo should not be dry.
It should always have a thin layer of ointment or moisturizing product on. This contributes to quicker skin cell regeneration. By boosting the production of new cells and getting rid of the damaged ones, the epidermis (top skin layer) heals faster.
Another thing to pay attention to is overusing ointment. It is important not to put a thick layer, because too much moisture is a prerequisite for bacteria and germs growth. By applying just a small amount of your moisturizing product, you ensure an optimal level of nourishment.
When you choose a moisturizing product for your tattoo, avoid products with the following ingredients:
- Alcohols. They dry the skin and make it feel tight. Besides, it can cause allergic reactions, such as redness swelling and cracking.
- Formaldehyde. It is one of the most well-known skin irritators. It can lead to rash, extreme itchiness, and swelling.
- Mineral oil. This ingredient can cause inflammation, and at the same time, the skin doesn’t absorb it. The mineral oil doesn’t moisturize but just sits on the skin surface.
The best type of products you can choose are cosmetics for babies. They surely don’t contain any aggressive ingredients, perfumes, or additives and gently interact with your skin. I can recommend the products of the brand Bepanthen. I have been using the ointment and the cream to treat my unhealed tattoos, and I have always been very satisfied with them.
Wear oversized clothes
If your new tattoo is in an area, usually covered by your clothes (e.g., chest, back, ribs, arms, thighs, etc.), try to wear wide, oversized clothes until the area begins to peel. This way, you will ensure that the skin can breathe and as a result, heal quickly.
Tell us what products do/did you use to treat your new tattoo! Are you satisfied with them? What is your experience?