Table of contents:
- What to do on the first day
- How to wash your tattoo
- How to reduce swelling and redness
- How to relieve itchy tattoo
- What care must be kept forever
- When to go to the hospital
After getting a tattoo it is very important to take care of the skin, not only to avoid a possible infection, but also to ensure that the design is well defined and the colors remain for many years.
In this way, tattoo care should begin right after leaving the tattoo parlor and continue for life.
What to do on the first day
After getting the tattoo, the skin is quite bruised and, therefore, there is a high risk of infection, as bacteria and viruses can more easily get inside the body. So, right from the moment you leave the tattoo parlor it is important to keep your skin protected with a piece of cellophane or firm plastic for at least 4 hours. But this time may vary according to each tattoo, and you should always receive guidance from the tattoo artist.
Next, the plastic should be removed to avoid creating a humid, warm environment where bacteria can multiply more easily. On this day it is also important to wash the tattoo and apply a healing cream to stimulate faster skin recovery. See the care you should have at the time of tattooing to avoid an infection.
What not to do in the first few days
Although there are some habits that can be done to reduce the risk of infection, there are also others that should be avoided in the first 4 weeks to ensure better healing, such as:
- Do not remove the crusts that begin to form in the first 4 days after the tattoo, as they may still be attached to deeper layers of the skin, where the ink is still forming housing;
- Do not scratch the tattoo, as it can aggravate skin irritation and promote an infection due to the presence of bacteria under the nails;
- Do not immerse the tattoo in water, especially in public places such as swimming pools or beaches, as most bacteria develop in the water, increasing the risk of infection;
- Avoid sunbathing, because UV rays cause inflammation of the skin and can end up displacing the layers of tattoo ink, in addition to delaying healing;
- Avoid applying too much cream on the tattoo, especially oil creams, as they create a barrier that prevents the skin from breathing and healing properly;
- Avoid foods that impair healing, such as pork, fried foods and sausages. Check out a list of foods you should avoid after getting a tattoo;
- Do not wear tight clothing, as it prevents the skin from breathing and can also end up pulling the skin crusts that help healing.
In addition, it is also important to be careful when returning to physical activities, because the production of sweat can end up displacing the ink that has not yet settled in the deeper layers of the skin, in addition to being a place with a lot of dirt, which can end up increasing the risk of infection. Therefore, returning to the gym or exercising should be postponed for at least 1 week.
Watch the following video and check out what to eat so that your tattoo heals properly and looks perfect:
How to wash your tattoo
The first wash of the tattoo is very important to ensure proper healing and prevent the development of an infection, as it helps to remove the remains of blood and dead cells. However, before washing the tattoo site, it is very important to wash your hands, to remove most of the bacteria and prevent them from reaching the tattooed skin.
Then, run water over the tattoo site, rubbing it lightly with your fingers, avoiding using a sponge or some kind of cloth, and only then apply a mild antibacterial soap to the skin. Ideally, the water should be lukewarm without causing water vapor, as the heat can lead to the skin pores opening, making it easier for bacteria to enter and allowing the ink to move inside the skin.
Finally, dry the skin well, using disposable paper towels or let it air dry, as conventional towels, in addition to having a greater number of bacteria, can also be rough on the skin, causing irritation..
How to reduce swelling and redness
Skin swelling and redness are very common in the first few days after getting the tattoo due to the trauma caused by the tattoo machine, however it is a natural healing process and therefore should not be cause for alarm.
The best way to reduce these symptoms more quickly is to always keep the skin clean and dry, in addition to applying a healing ointment such as Nebacetin or Bepantol Derma, for example, several times a day. See other options for healing ointments.
How to relieve itchy tattoo
After about 1 week it is natural for a constant itching sensation to appear at the tattoo site, which is caused by the appearance of scabs that make the skin drier and itchy. So, a good way to relieve itching is to moisturize the skin well, using a cream for extremely dry skin, such as Nivea or Vasenol, for example.
You should also avoid scratching the skin with your fingernails, even if the sensation is very intense, just tapping lightly to try to reduce the sensation. The scabs that are forming should not be removed either, as it is normal for them to fall off over time in a completely natural way. These peels can often be the color of the tattoo, but they don't mean the ink is coming off.
What care must be kept forever
The tattoo is usually healed after 1 or 2 months, but skin care should be maintained for life, especially to ensure that the tattoo design remains well defined and the color stays longer. So, some important cautions include:
- Apply a moisturizing cream every day;
- Apply sunscreen whenever the tattooed skin needs to be exposed to the sun;
- Avoid blows or cuts in the tattoo area;
- Drink about 2 liters of water a day.
In addition, having a he althy lifestyle and eating a balanced diet also helps to ensure the he alth of the skin and, therefore, allows the tattoo to always remain beautiful and well demarcated. Here's an example of a diet that helps maintain general he alth.
When to go to the hospital
In most cases, the tattoo heals easily and without major complications, however, it may be recommended to go to the hospital if symptoms such as:
- Skin with very intense redness;
- Bleeding tattoo;
- Swelling of the tattoo site;
- Severe pain at the tattoo site.
In addition, other more general symptoms such as a fever above 38º C or feeling tired can also indicate an infection and, if they arise, you should inform a general practitioner.