There is always something new to learn, that is why we’ve assembled a collection of the best ways to take care of your tattoo! Who knows, you may be able to add a golden nugget into your tattoo healing process to ensure that you are taking the best possible care of your new ink!
Let’s dive right in!
1. Pay attention and listen to what your tattoo artist tells you. If you’ve done your research on who you’re getting your tattoo from and they provide you with a care sheet or advise you one what you need to do follow it. They’ve done this many times over and they will know what you need to do.
2. Don’t itch! When you itch or scratch at your tattoo you interrupt the healing process and can damage the tattoo for the long term. Generally, itching occurs once the tattoo has begun the peeling stage. During this time it is incredibly important to leave the scabbing/peeling skin alone. If you do end up picking or removing these skin fragments you risk pulling the color from your tattoo.
Wondering why tattoos tend to peel during the healing process?
3. Be prepared with the best tattoo aftercare products. Most of the time you hear about people winging their healing process. They know they should take it seriously but they either don’t have the right product, aren’t consistent in using it, and are generally irresponsible when it comes to providing quality care to their new tattoo. When you are prepared with the high quality products I’ve found that tattoos heal better and you’re even more motivated to use and apply them to get the most out of them!
One of the most efficient and effective tattoo care kits that I’ve used numerous times is the H2Ocean Aftercare Kit that provides an effective 3 step solution that you can apply to healing your tattoos.
4. Research your tattoo artist before getting your tattoo. Here is one of the biggest mistakes new tattoo enthusiast make. They don’t do thorough due diligence on who they’re getting their tattoo from to ensure that they not only get a great tattoo but it is done in a clean environment and healing instructions are given correctly. What might some forms of due diligence be?
- Utilizing social media to determine great artists (Research).
- Check out reviews on Google, Yelp, and Facebook.
- Review artist portfolios and follow up with their clients
- Choose an artist that tattoos with your specific style.
Their are plenty of other ways to vet out a tattoo artist. But the advice still stands, the best way to take care of a new tattoo starts before you get it.
5. Use a thin layer of ointment when you are going through the tattoo healing process. There were many times in the earliest stages of getting tattoos when I would envelope my tattoo in a sludge of ointment thinking that I was doing the right thing. Boy was I wrong with that one! You absolutely want to use the thinnest amount of ointment possible and rub it into the tattoo so as to not leave a thick layer of ointment covering the skin.
You will know when you are using too much because you are suffocating the skin and small pimples or a rash may begin to form. Don’t freak out if this happens, just understand that you need to clean the area carefully and monitor your ointment usage.
6. Try coconut oil! Throughout the tattoo healing process, an ointment will need to be used during the earlier stages. Many tattoo artists have spoken on the topic of using coconut oil as an ointment for its great moisturizing and healing capabilities.
7. Play hard but keep it clean. You can’t put your life on hold when you have a new tattoo. You have a body to take care of, friends that want to go out and do things, and sometimes adventure awaits and the outdoors are calling to you. It is completely fine to go out and do those things but you have to be aware that your tattoo is not healed and is subject to infection if it is not taken care of.
This is where the tattoo aftercare kits come into play, I don’t like carrying a bunch of stuff around when I am going to the gym or going camping, so I have a kit on hand in case I need to pack it for emergencies. They generally don’t take up that much space and it solves all your needs when it comes to tattoo aftercare.
8. Apparel and Shoe adjustments may need to be made. During the 1-4 weeks that your tattoo is healing you will need to ensure that you are not wearing tight clothing that may rub or constrict the tattoo on your skin.
A note on getting tattoos on your feet to best heal your tattoo. You will absolutely want to do everything you can to wear flip flops or go barefoot to allow the tattoo on your foot to heal. You may consider wrapping the tattoo in saran wrap to cover it and prevent irritation and from there put your sock and shoe on.
9. Use a high quality unscented lotion during the aftercare process. Once the tattoo has begun to peel and is on it’s way to its final stages of the healing process you will switch from utilizing a thin layer of tattoo ointment to a quality unscented lotion.
For a few recommendations on what has worked well for me in the past check out my article on the best lotions for tattoo aftercare. You will want to ensure you have a standard carrying size bottle of lotion so that you are able to bring it to work, school, and or any daily activity you may be doing to ensure that your tattoo does not dry out.
1o. Prepare for bed. When you get a fresh tattoo, it will weep bodily fluids the couple of days immediately after getting the tattoo. This is something you will want to be careful of when going to bed each night because your tattoo can stick to your bedsheets as you sleep. When you wake up it is easy to unconsciously pull the tattoo from the sheets, this is something you do not want to do.
Instead, prepare for sleep by:
- Laying a towel where your tattoo will be in bed so as to not get your sheets dirty
- Ensure that you clean the area thoroughly with antibacterial soap.
- From there apply a thin layer of ointment prior to going to bed, this should contain any bodily fluids that would have otherwise gotten all over the towel and sheets.
This is not an end all be all cure and it is likely that you will experience getting your sheets dirty from the blood and plasma that your body is producing to heal the tattoo. If you do happen to have your tattoo stick to the sheets/towel, take it to the bathroom without pulling and run luke warm water over the area until the sheet/towel loosens and falls away.
Use these 10 pointers to enhance and improve the way you get and heal your tattoo and let us know how you do!
Know something that can benefit the THP community? Let us know in the comments below!