It’s such a big deal to get your first tattoo. Thinking about what your tattoo is and about the longevity of its style is extremely important. It’s also extremely important to know about the aftercare of your tattoo. Tattoo artist Hongdam Kim recently spoke to Teen Vogue about the important of tattoo care and how to take care of your tattoo. It’s not just about the looks.
1. Talk About Your Allergies
Before you get the tattoo to make sure you are setting yourself up for success. Skin irritations often have to do with latex used but other allergies can be involved too because of metals sometimes used in tattoo ink. Sometimes you might have to avoid a color but better to be safe than sorry and let your artist know.
2. Talk About The Tattoo Covering
Different artists use different materials to cover your new ink. Whatever the artist decided to use will determine how long you will leave it on. Covers can stay on for either several hours or several days so make sure you ask your artist all about it. Also, ask if you should keep your tattoo wrapped at all times or only in certain circumstances (like the beach or pool).
3. Keep It Moisturized
Make sure to keep your fresh tattoo moisturized right after you get it and for some time after. If your tattoo dries up due to lack of moisture you can be in for a lot of pain in the future. You can apply Vitamin A&D ointment every two hours for the first several days. And then three or four times per day until the 14th day. Don’t mess with any scabs you might see.
4. Clean It Regularly
Tattoos are fresh wounds so make sure to be extra careful to prevent infection. Wash your tattoo with soapy water twice daily to avoid infection. Also, make sure your hands are clean and to be gentle on your skin (avoid scrubbing.)
5. Avoid Submersing Your Tattoo In Water
Water can lead to infection in a new tattoo, so avoid submerging it into water (like swimming or in a bath) until it is fully healed.
6. Keep An Eye Out For Possible Infections
Signs of an infection include redness, swelling, pain, pus and fevers or chills. Keep a look out for these signs and if you experience any of these signs call your doctor ASAP to determine what to do.
7. Keep Fading In Mind
Fine line tattoos especially will tend to fade. Fading if natural and only expected. To help minimize fading, make sure to keep your new tattoo moisturized and use SPF when you’re out in the sun.
8. Use SPF Frequently
During the first six weeks of your new tattoo keep it out of the sun. Try to keep it covered up after that, but if that is impossible then make sure to apply ample sunscreen, since your tattoo is vulnerable to damage.
9. Consider Touch-Ups
In the event of some fading, get a touch-up. Try to go to the same artist too so the artwork stays consistent.