Once you’ve made up your mind to get a tattoo, and end up getting inked, the after-care process is the real deal. How you take care of your tattoo over the period of those four weeks, when it is healing is going to make all the difference to how your tattoo actually looks. Here are five most basic things that you should always keep in mind during the healing process for your tattoo.
1. Listen to your tattoo artist
Get a detailed list of things you should do and shouldn’t do, from your tattoo artist and no one else once you get inked. When you have the list of dos and don’ts, follow them religiously. In case of any doubt, make sure to reach out and consult him before you do anything on your own.
2. And not to your friends
As is the case with everything else, you will have access to a lot of free and unsolicited advice from your friends (who may or may not have tattoos) about how to take care of your tattoo. Do yourself a favour by not heeding any of the advice. When it comes to after care information, trust and listen to only your tattoo artist. If there is some advice that makes sense to you, before you actually go ahead and follow it, consult your tattoo artist first.
3. Shield your tattoo from the sun
A tattoo typically takes about 2 – 4 weeks to heal, depending on the size, quality and your skin type. During the healing process, the ink is still fresh and yet to merge with your skin. Protect your tattoo from direct sunlight during this period as it is highly likely that sun exposure will lighten your tattoo.
4. DO NOT scratch it
The golden rule for tattoo after care. Remember that a tattoo is nothing but a wound. When a wound begins to heal, it forms scabs. It is only natural for the wound to itch when it starts healing. And even though you may have to give it everything you’ve got, resist from scratching your tattoo. When you pick or scratch the scabs, light patches will form all over the tattoo. Keep the ointment/ oil/ powder (whatever your tattoo artist recommends you to use), handy, and dab it on every now and then for some relief. At times it is very difficult to keep from picking at it, but remember, in two weeks’ time, when your tattoo will have healed, you don’t want to face the disappointment of seeing light patches on your beautiful tattoo.
5. Do not over-do the after-care
Over doing the after-care process won’t help your tattoo heal faster, on the contrary, it might just worsen it. If your tattoo artist has asked you to use the ointment just twice, avoid using it more than that without consulting him/ her. Similarly, if at all you have been prescribed oral anti-biotics or any other medicine for it to heal faster (which is usually not required at all), consume only the prescribed dosage.
Just four weeks of mindful care and healing with leave you with a beautiful tattoo for life. So make sure you do a good job of it!
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