Tattoo aftercare – some things to think about
Lanolin based products? The risks of standing water? See our tattoo aftercare tips. Take especial care with areas that get a lot of use, like finger tattoos…
Tattoos are individual to the person getting them – that goes for the design, the choice of artist, what aftercare they use and the way each tattoo heals differently. This is important to remember when you come to the healing process of your tattoo.
The instructions from your tattoo artist will come from years of personal experience so do follow them to make sure you have the best tattoo possible. With that being said,what works for one person doesn’t always work for someone else. Never be afraid to ask questions! Your tattoo artist would much rather you get in touch than worry silently to yourself and – if there is something wrong – end up ruining your new tattoo.
One of the most important things to remember is that a tattoo is an open wound.
Like all open wounds, it must be kept clean and care must be taken to avoid cross contamination. That means make sure you have cleaned your hands before touching it, and you’ll clean it before applying any aftercare product.
Take care when around animals and children, they can do two things; scratch the tattoo and damage it while it’s healing. They might also infect the tattoo – a more serious risk. Animals and children typically like to get dirty and that dirt and anything within it can infect your tattoo.
The same goes for the environment around you. If it’s been raining, avoid standing water. You should also watch out for loose leaves etc. (this is for leg tattoos but the principle works for all placements).
This may all sound very dramatic, but it’s common sense for the most part. Think of your tattoo as an open wound, treat it with respect and you’ll be fine.
Remember ask, your artist for advice if you’re not sure!
Tattoo aftercare tips from Worcester Tattoo Studio
Due to a recent change in the ingredients in BEPANTHEN, we no longer recommend this as tattoo aftercare. There has been an increase in what is called lanolin ( derived from the oil in sheep wool) and can cause allergic reactions and general irritation. We have noted what we believe to be a couple of issues in the past month. We now suggest using PALMERS COCOA BUTTER FORMULA. It’s made from natural ingredients, available from most chemists and supermarkets and should to our knowledge and experience be safe to use. If you do experience any form of reaction do not panic and please contact us ASAP so we can advise on the best course of action. Always check the ingredients of your chosen aftercare products carefully for any allergies you may have.
Your tattoo will be wrapped upon leaving the studio. You can remove this after an hour, but first ensure you have washed your hands with anti bacterial soap (you must wash your hands every time you touch your tattoo while it’s healing) and that you are in a clean environment to do so. After removing the wrapping you must clean your tattoo. Wash the tattoo gently with warm soapy water, preferably a fragrance free soap. Pat dry with a clean towel and apply a very thin layer of your chosen aftercare product to the tattoo. There should be no visible excess aftercare product on the tattoo; it’s easier to apply small layers and add more rather than having to take the product off.
For the next two days, wash the tattoo and apply a thin layer of your chosen aftercare product to the tattoo 2-4 times a day, or whenever the tattoo feels dry or irritable.
After 10-14 days your tattoo should be healed. Everybody heals at different rates so it may take less time or in some cases it may take longer.
Things to avoid
DO NOT apply Vaseline to the tattoo whilst the area is healing; this may cause ink discolouration and prevents the area being able to breathe. Also avoid Aloe Vera on the tattoo, as this is a natural bleach and can lighten the tattoo while it’s healing. Finally, avoid any moisturisers or aftercare products that contain perfumes or alcohols, as this can cause irritation.
DO NOT submerge your tattoo for prolonged periods of time in hot water whilst the tattoo is healing (a tepid bath is fine, but showering is advised).
AVOID going swimming whilst the tattoo is healing as chlorine may affect the healing process.
DO NOT pick any of the scabbing on your tattoo as this will cause it to fade.
DO NOT expose a fresh or healed tattoo to prolonged sunlight the natural UV rays from the sun can degrade your tattoo over time. To avoid this we advise using the strongest SPF lotion possible when going out in the sun.
AVOID contact with animals and children where you have your tattoo. Both animals and children can carry all manner of germs from playing in dirty which can harm the healing process and in some cases lead to infection. If you are unsure of how to protect against this please ask.
Disclaimer: Worcester Tattoo Studio is here to ensure that you get the tattoo you want; this is from initial design consultation through to you having a fully healed tattoo.
These guidelines are based on a combination of vast professional experience, common sense, research and extensive personal experience. This not considered a substitute for medical advice from a doctor. If you suspect an infection, seek medical attention.
Main feature image tattoo art: Katie Wilson
In-page tattoo art: Kryss Valentine