So you just had your zodiac sign, a traditional Japanese dragon or the portrait of your furry pal inked on your skin. The next move you might want to do is have it shown to your friends. Don’t! Usually, a tattoo takes anywhere from 7 to 14 days to heal and look its best, depending on the size, placement and style. Right after getting tattooed, there are a few caring tips that you should follow rather than start showing off. They are the following:

 

Tip #1: Refrain From Removing the Bandage or Plastic Film Right Away

Your chosen tattoo artist will probably tell you when to remove the bandage or plastic film placed over the fresh tattoo. It is not a good idea to remove it right after stepping foot outside the tattoo shop because the area will continue to seep blood, bodily fluids and even ink, leaving a nasty stain on your clothing.

Generally speaking, it is safe to remove the bandage or plastic film 2 to 4 hours after getting tattooed. It’s not unlikely for the tattoo artist to instruct you to leave it in place for up to 6 hours, usually if you opted for a really large tattoo.

 

Tip #2: Wash Your Tattoo Several Times a Day

Keeping your fresh tattoo from being infected is of utmost importance. Once the bandage or plastic wrap is out, allow the tattoo to air dry for a couple of hours, and then wash it with unscented antibacterial soap and water to remove microbes and prevent an infection from striking.

You may wash your new tattoo several times a day, patting it dry with a clean towel each time. Also, refrain from touching your tattoo unnecessarily especially with dirty hands!

 

Tip #3: Apply Skin Ointment on the Tattoo to Keep It Hydrated

To accelerate the healing process, it’s a great idea to keep the tattooed area of your body properly hydrated. Using your favorite hand and body lotion is certainly a no-no! That’s because it contains ingredients that can ruin your brand new tattoo, such as fragrances, artificial coloring and alcohol.

What you need to rely on a tube of skin protecting ointment that can be easily purchased over the counter. It should be applied after washing and drying your tattoo. See to it that you gently massage the ointment until fully absorbed. Do this tattoo caring tip for up to 3 days.

 

Tip #4: Switch to Non-Scented Lotion Afterwards

Especially if your tattoo is a gigantic one, buying one tube of skin ointment after the other can leave a nasty dent on your budget. After 3 days of using an OTC skin protecting ointment, you may switch to lotion to keep the area hydrated.

However, it’s important to steer clear of anything that is scented to keep the fresh tattoo from being touched by harsh chemicals. Opt for the mildest unscented lotion that you can find on the market.

 

Tip #5: Never Make the Mistake of Picking or Scratching Your Brand New Tattoo

Some people say that tattoos tend to itch as they heal. If you encounter such, refrain from scratching at all costs. Not only will scratching ruin your brand new tattoo, but also damage the skin and put it at risk of getting infected. It is perfectly normal for a dry and rough protective crust to form over your tattoo. Never attempt to pick them, unless you want to end up with a nasty-looking tattoo. Keeping your tattoo clean and moisturized can help reduce itching and scabbing.

Similarly, avoid wearing tight-fitting clothes for up to a couple of weeks after getting a tattoo because the fabric may snag those scabs, damaging the tattoo and delaying the healing process.

 

Tip #6: Shield Your Tattoo From Unnecessary Sun Exposure

We all know that your skin should be protected from too much exposure to the sun. Skin that’s been recently tattooed is more susceptible to being damaged by the sun, and that’s why you should shield it from the sun for the first couple of weeks for a speedier healing and a great-looking tattoo afterwards.
Also, refrain from dipping into large bodies of water for up to a couple of weeks after getting the tattoo. Likewise, it’s a good idea to immediately hit the shower after ending up sweaty to prevent bacterial infection.

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