When art meets skin, there are a lot of unique considerations you must factor in. Tattooing is an incredible method of self-expression, but it is not without its complications. The artist has their work cut out for them since they need to understand etching, shading, and plenty of medical information to achieve an outstanding result. However, it’s mostly up to you to ensure your skin can recover.
Read on to discover what you need to know about tattoo aftercare.
The Need for Aftercare
It’s a little gross to think about, but receiving a tattoo is like enduring a wound. Your body will try to heal the tattooed skin, so you need to plan your aftercare in a way that addresses your body’s natural responses to injury. Without proper aftercare, your body may affect the look of your tattoo during the healing process, whether it’s the loss of ink or the build-up of scar tissue.
The First 24 Hours One of the biggest questions that people ask is, “How long should you keep a tattoo wrapped in plastic?” While there is certainly more to the story, the simple answer is that you should leave the plastic wrap on your tattoo for up to 24 hours before replacing it. The plastic wrap acts as a second skin, and it tricks your body into not scabbing over your tattoo.
The First Few Days
Let your tattoo breathe for a little while after you remove the plastic wrap and begin the cleaning process. All you need is a little antibacterial soap and lukewarm to warm water. Wash your tattoo and pat the area dry. Remember to avoid soaking your tattoo for extended periods, itching it, or disturbing any flaking skin.
The Next Two Weeks
Your artist will likely have non-fragranced lotions, ointments, and solutions that they prefer, and you should follow their guidelines. They know the best ways to care for their work. If this isn’t your first rodeo and you have tattoos that healed well in the past, consider which aftercare steps you took that worked for your skin.
Now that you understand what you need to know about tattoo aftercare, take care of your skin and get ready to enjoy your beautiful new tattoo! If any aspect of the ongoing healing process concerns you, contact your artist or a local clinic to determine the next steps for keeping your skin healthy and your new ink looking its best.