Caring For Your New Tattoo Design

By: May Tan

Now that you've spent a lot of time, soul-searching, cash and many nerves on getting your special tattoo design needled and inked onto your skin, you need to be able to take care of it as it heals. Usually, new tattoo designs need at least 30 days to completely heal. Hopefully, you chose a tattoo parlor that uses clean needles, or infection is a distinct possibility. Many professional tattoo parlors are proud to show off their sterilization equipment. Dying from a new tattoo is practically unheard of in these modern times. Tattoo parlors are not regulated by the federal government, but are subject to both sate laws and their own profession's strict self-regulation.

Owie. Stingy.

A new tattoo design on your skin will hurt. This is normal. Everyone has a different threshold tolerance for pain, but you don't need to be completely stoic throughout the healing process. The worst stage is usually the first week. In that time, your new tattoo design will be very sore (duh), the skin will look swollen and may turn red. The new tattoo design might look distorted during this part of the healing process. It'll settle back to normal once the healing process is well under way.

During this time, you can wash your new tattooed area with soap and water. A mild, baby or an antibacterial soap is best. You're aiming to use as plain a soap as possible. Any heavily scented or moisturizing soap may have chemicals which will irritate your new tattoo even further. Gently PAT dry (not scrub) with a clean cloth or paper towel. After a wash, spread a thin layer of antibacterial ointment on the new tattoo. You should wash the new tattoo design at least 4 times a day.

Getting There

In the later healing stages, your new tattoo design will suddenly become very dry. The natural skin moisturizers just aren't there. You can use plain creams or lotions to ease the severe dryness and chapping. Again, you don't want to use any cream or lotion with heavy perfumes in them, as they can contain chemicals which may make your skin worse. There are commercial products available on tattoo specialty websites such as Tattoo Johnny that sells healing lotions.

You also want to protect your new tattoo design from getting too much sun as it heals. Too much sun can not only burn your skin, but can dry out the new tattoo too much and cause scarring which will, in the least, distort the tattoo's design.

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