The good news is that once your tattoo has time to properly settle and heal, you won’t have to do anything to take care of it except live your life the way you always have. However, until that happens, you have some care to provide. A new tattoo is dangerous because it can become easily infected if it is not carefully cared for. New tattoos dig into your flesh and cause flesh wounds. Your skin is opened up and ink is placed inside, which is a breeding ground for potential bacteria and germs.
Your tattoo artist will very carefully place a bandage over your tattoo once it is complete. This tattoo cover is designed to cover up your flesh wounds and provide you with protection from infection. The most important thing you can do to care for your new tattoo is not to mess with this bandage. Do not take it off. Do not open it up to show off your new tattoo to your friends. You’re going to have it forever, don’t let a few hours come between you and your health. The most important piece of advice your tattoo artist will provide is that you absolutely cannot take the bandage off or open it up for a minimum of two hours after it is placed on your skin. Once you take the bandage off, you must immediately wash your new tattoo. Use lukewarm water and an antibacterial soap designed to kill any airborne bacteria that have managed to work its way into your tattoo. Do not use any wash cloths or scrubs when you wash your tattoo. Use only your hand.
The care of a new tattoo is the same no matter where it is. However, there are some body parts that are a bit more difficult than others to care for. For example, if you choose to have a tattoo placed on your back, you’re going to have a more difficult time caring for it than you would if the tattoo were located somewhere you have easy access to. Your care rules will be the same for a tattoo located on your back. You will want to leave your bandage on for a minimum of two hours. Once you take it off, you will need to wash your back. However, you probably will not be able to wash your own back so you’re going to have to ask someone for some assistance.
A close friend or family member who is willing to wash your back for you is going to prove helpful. Do not allow this person to use a cloth or scrub on your back. This person should use only his or her bare hands – gloves are not a bad idea if others do not want to touch your raw skin – along with mild antibacterial soap and warm water. Your helper should wash your tattoo thoroughly. You might consider placing another cover on a back tattoo since your back is constantly rubbing against things such as the seat in your car, your bed, and your other household furniture. This is a good idea for a few days until the skin is no longer irritated and at risk for bleeding.
The best way to take care of a tattoo on your arm is much like taking care of a tattoo on any other part of your body. Once the tattoo has healed completely, you will not need to provide any sort of special care to this portion of your body. However, you will need to care for it until that point. It’s important that you do not remove the covering your tattoo artist places on your arm tattoo for a minimum of two hours. At that point, it’s important that you wash it very gently. This will require warm water, antibacterial soap, and your hand.
You might notice that your tattoo feels a bit slimy. This is plasma oozing from your skin. It’s important that you remove as much of this as possible with a gentle washing. Plasma can cause your skin to blister, which is not good for your tattoo. Once you have completed the washing phase of your new tattoo, you will need to dry it. It’s so important that you do not rub this area with a towel. Instead, you will want to use a fresh paper towel to very gently blot the area until the tattoo is completely dry. From this point forward you will want to recover the area with a fresh and secure bandage until it is time to wash it and repeat the process again.
Continue to rely on this gentle routine until your tattoo is completely healed and ready to be exposed to the world. It’s important that you do not forgo this routine as this is going to help you prevent infection from airborne bacteria. An infected tattoo is not something you want to have to deal with at any point in your life.
Sometimes, no matter how great a job you think you do in caring for your new tattoo until your skin heals, your tattoo becomes infected. It’s an unfortunate occurrence, but it does occasionally happen. If your tattoo becomes infected at any point, you will need to take special care of it. If your tattoo is emitting an unusual odor, it’s very red, you experience fever, or you notice any sort of discharge coming from your tattoo, it is likely infected. The first thing you should do if you notice or suspect that your tattoo is infected is go to see your tattoo artist. This person is trained to immediately recognize infection. He or she might provide you with some advice or have you make an appointment to see your doctor.
Once you see your tattoo artist and he or she confirms infection, go see your doctor. Your infection will likely require antibiotics that will kill the infection. Furthermore, you will want to confer with your doctor regarding topical treatments that will help to protect and prevent the infection from becoming worse. You will need to consult with your doctor as soon as possible, though it’s always a good idea to talk to your tattoo artist first. You will have to follow their instructions carefully to prevent further damage to your new tattoo and to keep your infection from becoming any worse.