A tattoo is a form of body modification where a design is made by inserting ink, dyes and pigments into the dermis layer of the skin to change the pigment. The art of making a tattoo is known as tattooing. Tattoo’s fall under three broad categories and they are symbolic, pictorial and purely decorative. Here are a few tips and aftercare methods that one should use to maintain their tattoos.
Tattoo aftercare begins in the tattoo shop itself. The tattoo artist will apply a thin layer of gel or moisturizer over the tattooed area. After applying the moisturizer, the artist will then cover the area with a bandage or plastic wrap. It is necessary that the bandage should stay at least a few hours after the tattooing process. It is done to protect the skin from sunlight, bacteria and clothing.
After keeping the bandage for at least 5 hours one should wash the tattooed area with soap that won’t cause irritation and warm water using fingers. You will see ink oozing out of the area. However, there is nothing to be concern about. The ink that will ooze out is the excess fluid. After washing dap, the area and make it completely dry. Apply moisturiser again but do not cover the area.
In the beginning, the area of the body that has a tattoo might feel warm to touch and have a reddish appearance. The colours of the tattoo will look bright. However, the tattoo will become less vibrant as the days passes by. One should avoid putting the tattooed area in water or getting the tattoo too wet during the first 3-6 weeks, except while washing it. Someone who is sitting in an air-conditioned office all day may only need to wash the tattoo once a day. But someone who is working in a hot or dirty environment and sweating may need to wash the tattoo every few hours. The redness and mild swelling go away after the first week. Scabs will often form in the first few days, and ink may still come up through the skin and need to be washed away. It is important not to pick the scabs or scratch the skin.
When the second week begins the scabs tends to flake off. It is necessary for a person to be gentle while washing as it may damage the tattoo. The skin will feel itchy however one should avoid scratching it. Apply additional moisturiser if required. Use a cool moisturiser to get rid of the itchy feeling.
The final stage is slow and requires a lot of patience. By this week all the larger scabs will have flaked and fallen away. However, there is a possibility that small scabs and bits of dead skin may appear, but they will all clear up slowly. The area will be dry so make sure you keep applying moisturiser. Protect the tattoo from the sun for better effect. All the irritation and redness should be gone by this time. If not please opt for medical advice. Moisturizing regularly in the months following the tattoo will help keep it looking bright and clear. Protecting the tattoo from the sun with clothing while it is healing, and applying sunscreen after it has healed, is especially important in the first few months.