A tattoo is one of the most personal forms of self-expression, it is also essential to recognize that it is a medical procedure. The process of pushing tattoo ink underneath the skin opens the skin to infection. A client must understand the importance of aftercare after a tattoo to avoid scarring, infection, and other complications. A fresh tattoo takes approximately six weeks to heal completely, and during that time, freshly tattooed clients are encouraged to follow these steps.
Remove the Bandage and Wash with Antibacterial Soap Only
Once a tattoo has been completed, wrap the area with an antibacterial bandage and ask the client to keep the bandage on for the next few hours. After two to three hours, client should remove the bandage and wash the area with an unscented antibacterial soap. The plasma from the tattoo will be drawn to the skin’s surface during the first couple of hours post-tattoo completion and should be cleaned and allowed to breathe. It is good to advise the client to not clean the area too much as that can lead to dry skin and increased irritation. To clean the tattoo, use antibacterial, such as S8 Red Soap, to wash the area. It is important to emphasize that the client’s hands must also be cleaned before washing the fresh tattoo and they avoid using a fabric wash cloth. Once the area has been cleaned, allow to air dry for a least ten minutes.
Once the tattoo area has thoroughly dried, an aftercare can be applied to the area. S8 Tattoo Gel can be used after a tattoo as an aftercare alternative. Be sure to inform the client to not “over-medicate” the tattoo area by applying too much aftercare, as this can clog the skin’s pores and irritate the skin. Once a thin layer of aftercare has been applied to the area, the client should avoid wearing clothing that touch the tattoo area – for example, those who have just been tattooed on their upper arm should wear sleeveless shirts for 2-3 days after being tattooed.
Allow the Area to Breath
While most artists may recommend wrapping the tattooed area in plastic wrap the first night to protect the tattoo, the skin must be given time to breathe. During the first three to four days post-tattoo completion, it is essential that individuals wash the tattooed area 2-5 times and day and applying a light layer of ointment after each wash. After the first night, clients should allow their new tattoo time to breathe throughout the night.