What You Should Know About Tattoo Aftercare
As a licensed tattoo artist, I do everything I can to make sure that the entire tattoo process is clean and sterile. After that, it’s up to the client to adhere to the procedures of tattoo aftercare.
After each session, a tattoo is bandaged appropriately and aftercare instructions are given out and verbally reviewed. Not adhering to these specific tattoo aftercare instructions can lead to a poorly healed tattoo. This is can be frustrating for both client and artist.
I ask every one of my clients to perform a few basic steps to maximize the chances of healing perfectly. Some of these steps include keeping it clean, keeping it out of the sun, only getting it wet when washing it, applying the correct amount of lotion, and being careful around pets. Over the last 12 years, I have found that a few of these steps need a more in-depth discussion.
Diet and overall health affect how tattoos heal. If your diet is poor, your skin tends to suffer. Skin is the first outward indication of physical health. Tattoos suffer without the right fuel to heal quickly. Staying hydrated and eating a well-balanced diet is very important.
Exercising to the point of breaking a sweat is completely fine after getting a new tattoo. Although it’s important to realize that despite the best efforts of patrons and staff, gym equipment can harbor bacteria that can lead to an infection. It’s best to keep your tattoo covered when working out and showering immediately afterward.
Over-lotioning a tattoo can cause some real problems as well. My aftercare instructions include applying a very thin amount of A & D lotion once a day. Applying too thick of an amount or applying multiple times a day seems to lead to poorer healing tattoos. Over-saturating a healing tattoo with lotion keeps the skin mealy and soggy. The skin needs to be protected from the environment, but still able to breathe.
Pet dander is another factor that can poorly affect the tattoo aftercare healing process. No one wants to admit that their beloved pet step through urine, roll in smelly spots of grass, and rarely wipe after going to the bathroom outside. Pets bring inside an invisible layer of bacteria and dander each time they step back in your home. These germs can lead to a serious skin infection if your tattoo becomes coated in these microscopic flecks. I always recommend at least changing your sheets and attempting to keep pets out of your bed while your tattoo is healing at the bare minimum.
Tattoo aftercare can seem a bit over the top, but it really is the most crucial step in the whole tattoo process. For an experienced tattoo artist, they’ve seen thousands of customers with a myriad of different skin types and health-related circumstances. They’ve seen their work return after healing and have developed a tattoo aftercare process that suits their style of tattooing.
These tattoo aftercare instructions should be taken seriously if a perfectly healed tattoo is what you are seeking. If you’re interested in getting a tattoo, check out our other blogs about the processes we follow or schedule an appointment with us today!