After getting a tattoo it is very important to take care of the skin, not only to avoid a possible infection, but also to ensure that the design is well defined and the colors remain for many years.
Therefore, tattoo care should start right after leaving the tattoo parlor and remain with you for a lifetime.
Tattoo care: What to do on the first day
After getting a tattoo, the skin is badly bruised and, therefore, there is a high risk of infection, since bacteria and viruses can reach the body more easily. So, right from the moment you leave the tattoo parlor, it is important to keep your skin protected with a piece of cellophane or firm plastic, for at least 4 hours. But this time can vary according to each tattoo, and you should always receive guidance from the tattoo artist.
Then, the plastic must be removed to avoid creating a humid and warm environment where bacteria can multiply more easily. On this day it is also important to wash the tattoo and apply a healing cream, to stimulate faster skin recovery. See the care you must take when tattooing to avoid an infection.
Although there are some habits that can be done to reduce the risk of infection, there are also others that should be avoided in the first 4 weeks to ensure better healing, such as:
- Do not remove the cones that start to form in the first 4 days after the tattoo, as they may still be connected to deeper layers of the skin, where the ink is still lodging;
- Do not scratch the tattoo, as it can aggravate skin irritation and promote the appearance of an infection due to the presence of bacteria under the nails;
- Do not immerse the tattoo in water, especially in public places such as swimming pools or beaches, as most bacteria develop in the water, increasing the risk of infection;
- Avoid sunbathing, because UV rays cause inflammation of the skin and may end up displacing the ink layers of the tattoo, in addition to delaying healing;
- Avoid using excessive cream on the tattoo, especially creams with oil, as they create a barrier that prevents the skin from breathing and healing properly;
- Do not wear clothes that are too tight, as it prevents the skin from breathing and may also end up pulling the skin cones that help in healing.
- In addition, it is also important to be careful about returning to physical activities, because the production of sweat may end up displacing the ink that has not yet settled into the deeper layers of the skin, in addition to being a place with a lot of dirt, which can end up increasing the risk of infection. Therefore, the return to the gym or physical exercise should be postponed for at least 1 week.
Watch the following video and check out what to eat so that your tattoo will heal properly and look perfect:
How to wash the tattoo
The first wash of the tattoo is very important to ensure proper healing and prevent the development of an infection, as it helps to remove the remains of blood and dead cells. However, before washing the tattoo area it is very important to wash your hands to remove most bacteria and prevent them from getting on the tattooed skin.
Then, running water should be applied over the tattoo care area, rubbing lightly with your fingers, avoiding using a sponge or some type of cloth and, only afterwards, apply a mild antibacterial soap on the skin. Ideally, the water should be warm without causing water vapor, as heat can lead to the opening of the skin pores, facilitating the entry of bacteria and allowing the ink to move inside the skin.
Finally, the skin should be dried well, using disposable paper towels or allowed to dry in the open air, as conventional towels, in addition to having a greater number of bacteria, can also be rough on the skin, causing irritation.
How to reduce swelling and redness
Swelling of the skin and redness are very common in the first days after getting a tattoo due to the trauma caused by the tattoo machine, however, it is a natural healing process and, therefore, should not be a cause for alarm.
The best way to reduce these symptoms more quickly is to keep your skin very clean and dry, in addition to applying a healing ointment several times a day, such as Nebacetin or Bepantol Derma, for example. See other options for healing ointments.