We are happy to tell you it is extremely easy as well as extremely important to perform aftercare to guarantee colourful, clear and consistent results in your new tattoo. The most important idea to remember is that tattoos need to breathe as they heal. Applying too much ointment, moisturizer or getting them wet for prolonged periods of time almost guarantee that your tattoo will blur or lose colour. Tattoo aftercare begins the day that the tattoo is done. Within 4 hours (preferably 1 hour), remove the bandage, wash it, apply ointment and then, to complete tattoo aftercare, bandage it again. A new tattoo can be easily irritated by the material of your clothes, so it is best to keep it covered when it is at it's most vulnerable.
When washing a tattoo use a mild antibacterial liquid soap, gently rub the area with your fingertips only. Make sure that all or nearly all traces of blood are removed to prevent scabbing. For the best tattoo aftercare, wash the area two to three times a day. If the tattoo resides on a hand or foot, then wash it three to four times a day since that area is more prone to bacteria and dirt. After washing and rinsing, pat the area dry with a soft towel. Allow the tattoo to air dry for about twenty minutes. The area may feel tight but that is perfectly natural. Next, apply a small amount of ointment to the tattoo. Remember that the tattoo needs to breathe, so apply only a small amount and let it soak into the skin. If the area appears too shiny, then you can dab off the excess ointment. Too much or too little ointment will cause the tattoo to scab, which you do not want to happen.
Within 3 or 4 days of starting tattoo aftercare the skin will begin to flake, which is not only normal, but desirable. During this time, begin applying a high grade lotion instead of the ointment. While flaking, tattoos also tend to itch a bit. Do not pull off the flakes, rub, pick or scratch the tattoo. Doing any of these will cause damage to the fragile skin and may cause blotchiness in colour. Occasionally during tattoo aftercare, despite even the best aftercare rituals, scabs will form. This is sometimes unavoidable if a lot of work is concentrated on a small area. Don't be alarmed by this as if left alone they will heal perfectly, just be careful not to knock or peel off the scab.
This aftercare will be completed when the tattoo is healed, after several weeks (depending on the extent and position of your tattoo). Although the skin may have healed you should not expose it to all the same weathering conditions as if it were normal skin. It is important for best results to be sure to keep your tattoo out of the sun and limit exposure to water. Obviously these two factors are not avoidable and in normal circumstances they should have little effect, but for example sun burn can have very negative consequences for you tattoo. Simply bear in mind anything that can be bad for normal skin can be very bad for your tattoo. Following these simple steps will almost certainly guarantee a clean tattoo that will be admired for years to come.
Jon M Taylor is the founder of Blue Banana Ltd. Although Blue Banana is an alternative clothing company we pride ourselves on also giving valuable information to our customers on the things which they are most interested in. Now we have such a vast amount of information available we thought we should share it with the rest of the World Wide Web.