Guide for looking after your new tattoo! Or as we call it “Aftercare” 

 

  • Your tattoo artist will cover your tattoo with cling film. This is to stop dirt, germs and air coming into contact with your new tattoo. You should keep the tattoo covered with cling film until the next morning. If you want to remove the cling film and have a bath /shower/wash, this is fine, but you should apply a new piece of cling film afterwards. Ideally, you should keep the initial cling film on until the next day. 

  • When you remove the cling film the tattoo will appear to be “slimy” in appearance. This is in fact an extra layer of platelets excreted from your body to protect this new “wound”. Gently wash the area with warm water and an antibacterial soap, and pat the area dry with paper towel. You then need to use a healing cream to protect your tattoo. This should be applied at least six times per day or as many times as needed to stop the tattoo from becoming dry. Aftercare cream can be purchased from many pharmacies such as Boots, Superdrug or even the tattoo shop. Applying an aftercare cream minimizes scabbing of the tattoo. Only aftercare products specially formulated for the healing of tattoos are alright to use. Vaseline, Bepanthen or any petroleum based products should be avoided, as this restricts air from reaching the tattoo. Other harmful astringents and antiseptics such as TCP, Dettol and perfumed lotions should be avoided. Sudocrem is also inadvisable, as this is not easily absorbed into the skin. 

  • Your tattoo will soon begin to dry out and a scab will form if left un-creamed. Ideally, the scabbing needs to be kept minimal.

  • If the scabs are damaged your tattoo will lose pigment and may scar. Your aftercare cream will keep scabbing minimal and may prevent scabs forming at all, depending on your immune system. 

  • Do not soak your tattoo for a prolonged period of time. After bathing pat the area dry or allow to air dry. Rubbing and picking the tattoo will not only ruin the design, it will also scar your skin. 

  • Avoid exposing your tattoo to sun or sun-beds whilst it is healing. 

  • Be aware that tattoos can become infected. Avoid getting anything dirty on your tattoo while it is healing. Pets can cover your tattoo in hair, saliva etc so ensure your new tattoo is covered before handling any animals. If your tattoo does become dirty, wash it immediately with antibacterial soap, pat dry and apply the aftercare cream. 

  • A tattoo can take 1-2 months to completely heal. Although the scabbing will disappear (with correct aftercare) within a couple of weeks, the tattoo may still appear slightly faint, or the skin may appear shiny and taut for up to a month after. Keep applying your aftercare cream at least twice a day until the skin has fully healed. 

  • A touch up of the tattoo is free for 3 months of the tattoo date as long as the aftercare has been followed correctly, and is at the artist discretion should they feel it is necessary. However, please be aware this is NOT applicable to tattoos on the hands and fingers, due to the nature of the skin.

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