A tattoo is much more than a piece of art embodied on the skin. It is also a wound that must be healed. The final result will depend on each person’s skin and also on subsequent care, which is key to preventing complications.
Most likely, the person who tattooed you gave you instructions on how to heal properly, and if so, it’s important that you follow them to the letter before following any other written instructions.
We leave you this guide so that you can consult any questions you have about the care that a tattoo needs in the first days.
How to take care of a tattoo the first days?
When you leave the studio you will wear a bandage, usually made of plastic wrap or a transparent film called dermalize. This bandage serves to protect the tattoo from bacteria, so leave it for a minimum of 2 hours and a maximum of 24.
Before handling the tattoo (washing it, moisturizing it, etc.) also wash your hands with soap and water. It is perhaps the best advice we can give you and a key step to avoid infections.
Wash the tattoo with lukewarm or cold water and neutral, fragrance-free soap. Pat the skin dry with a single-use towel or kitchen paper.
After washing it, do not cover it again with the initial bandage. Protect the skin with some special tattoo cream or ointment. Invest in a good one, since the final result of the tattoo artist’s work will depend on it. Apply only a thin layer, enough to cover the skin and keep it hydrated.
How many days do I have to put cream on the tattoo?
Ideally, you should apply the cream every time you wash your tattoo for the first 10-15 days after getting tattooed.
It is also highly recommended to use the cream regularly when the tattoo is already healed. It will help keep it pretty, that the colors (if you have them) look bright.
How many times do you have to wash the tattoo a day?
Wash it a couple or three times a day, following the instructions of the person who has tattooed you. If the tattoo is on the hand, wrist or foot, or another area that is more exposed to germs, you may have been advised to wash it more than three times a day.
What not to do after a tattoo?
Whether the tattoo is large or small, the care it needs is the same, don’t skip it!
Do not scratch yourself. While it is healing, it is normal for the skin to dry out, ooze ink, and scab over. The more color work you carry, or the thicker the stroke, the more likely this is to happen. You must let them dry and fall on their own, otherwise, you could be left with areas without pigment.
Avoid bathing and take short showers, and of course, avoid bathing in the sea.
Avoid sun exposure at all costs the first 15 days. You can use fabrics to cover the tattoo or not expose the area. When it has healed, you can expose it to the sun in a moderate way, always with a high protection factor suitable for tattoos.
Internal care is as important as external care. Getting a tattoo means subduing our immune system, so avoid excesses during the first weeks (alcohol, tobacco, strenuous activities, etc.).
Depending on your healing process, the area of the tattoo and the care you have given it, it will be healed in about 4 or 6 weeks.