Getting a new tattoo involves breaking the skin surface so there is always a potential risk for infection to occur afterwards.
Your tattoo should be treated as a wound initially and it is important that this advice is followed so that the infection risk can be minimized/avoided.
Minimizing Infection Risk Guidance Tips:
- Your new tattoo will consist of an area of tiny skin breaks, caused by the tattooing needles, so it should be kept covered afterwards for at least an hour or two using the sterile, non-adherent dressing, applied by your artist. This bandage is only intended to get you home without the treated area catching on clothing, or being exposed to the dusty air. The dressing will also help to stop any bleeding/fluid oozing, but should be removed before it dries on the treated area.
- Once opened you need to clean the tattoo nicely with normal water and by creating lather of the soap/handwash. Please note do not rub the soap on the tattoo. Clean the blood stains nicely otherwise those stains would grow into a wound. After letting it to dry by itself apply the cream recommended by the artist. This is only for the first day.
- Next day onward the healing process will begin.
- If possible, shower rather than bathe whilst the tattoo is healing so that unnecessary water exposure is prevented and do not rub the tattoo too much. Avoid sea water, swimming in the pool chlorine water. Sea water is salty and pool water contains chlorine which can cause you infection. Once cleaned apply the anti-septic cream. Treat this as your daily procedure for next two weeks.
- Do not use skin products on the treated area that have not been recommended by your artist or are not intended for open wound healing. You may apply moisturizing cream 2-3 times a day to assist healing and prevent skin cracking, but avoid petroleum based creams (eg-Vasline) as they may affect the color of the treated area. There is generally no need to use any other skin creams/antiseptic products and you should not share skin products with others. Use only antiseptic cream recommended by the artist.
- After approximately two weeks, any scabbing should have gone and been replaced with new, intact skin. The area should be completely healed in a further 20-25 days.
- Avoid swimming, sun beds and sun bathing until your new tattoo is fully healed, as direct sunlight/chlorine can interact with tattoo dye pigments causing skin irritation and inflammation.
- Try to wear loose, cotton clothing to minimize rubbing and irritation to a new tattoo site.
- Always keep a new tattoo covered and protected if working in a dirty/dusty/oily environment.
- If you have any problems/queries, contact your artist initially. He/she will refer you onto your General Physician if there are signs of adverse reaction/infection.
- Avoid unnecessary touching, scratching or picking of the new tattoo site to reduce the risk of introducing infection.
- Always wash and dry your hands before and after handling a new tattoo site.
- Many people get confused when they clean their tattoo the dead skin gets washed off, it’s not the tattoo ink but the dead skin. So you need not worry.
- Follow aftercare procedure strictly for 25days, don’t be in a hurry!!!
- Read the procedure carefully. All the answers to your questions are in the aftercare itself! Still confused than contact your artist.