From cats and butterflies to meaningful quotations, a tattoo serves as a lasting stamp on your body and a rather powerful means of self-expression. That’s why for most girls, the decision to get inked is not one they take lightly. Even after settling on a design and visiting a tattoo artist, you are far from done. Here are some tips to help you care for your brand spanking new tat!
1. Cover it up.
We know you can’t wait to Instagram your new body art but resist the urge to remove the bandage too soon. Depending on the size and design, keep your tattoo bandaged for not less than two, but definitely not more than eight hours. Make sure that the bandage is held by a surgical tape and not scotch or masking tape. Don’t expose it to the sun because it could affect the color and the healing process.
2. Keep it clean.
Much like any other wound, it’s best to keep your new tattoo clean and disinfected with an antibacterial, alcohol-free soap. Don’t wash with hot water! The temperature opens your pores and that can affect the color of the ink. Go for lukewarm or cold water instead to keep the pores closed. Opt for showers over baths and don’t scrub the tattooed area with a loofah.
3. Let it heal.
Hurry the healing process along by applying unscented anti-bacterial ointments or virgin coconut oil, if you want to go organic and natural. VCO doesn’t only moisturize, it also has anti-inflammatory benefits. Avoid touching your fresh tattoo. Peeling the skin and picking at the scabs are definite no-nos.
Apply some ointment or oil at least two to three times a day. You can switch to a regular unscented lotion after three to five days or when the top layer of the skin starts peeling off. It takes about two weeks for your new tattoo to heal completely and four to six weeks for your skin to fully generate. Until then, keep it moisturized.
5. Don’t sleep on it.
Never sleep on your new tattoo. If your new tattoo is on your back, try sleeping on your tummy for a few nights. It’s also best to leave your tattoo exposed. You might want to consider wearing loose clothing or—depending on where and how big your tattoo is—foregoing any clothing altogether.
6. Watch out for infections.
If you see any sign of infection, don’t hesitate to consult a doctor. Don’t wait for it to get worse. Some signs to watch out for include a red or bluish tinge, excessive scabbing, and puffiness in and around the inked area.
We hope you find these tips helpful. Got a new tat? We’d love to see it! Tag us on Instagram @iamClaireph.