Finally, you’re getting the tattoo. But what’s next? How do you look after it and ensure it heals well and ends up looking as you imagined it should? Here are some things you should know.
Cleaning and Wrapping
Your tattooed area will have to be cleaned with mild soap, water and most-likely some type of antibacterial ointment. Next up is wrapping your tattoo, primarily to keep the area protected against bacteria and also helps to prevent rubbing.
Generally, it’s regarded safe for you to remove your wrapping after 2-3 hours as long as you’re able to clean your tattoo immediately after removal. After a couple of hours of wrapping your tattoo should have stopped oozing so heavily (although it will continue to ooze over the next couple of days).
Gently remove the wrap by undoing or carefully cutting through the medical tape used by your artist to stick the wrap to your skin. If your wrap is plastic, gently peel the material away from your skin, it shouldn’t stick at all. If you had a cloth bandage applied to your tattoo, very gently start to peel the material away from the skin. If you start to feel any pulling or sticking whatsoever, run some lukewarm water and pour it over the bandage until it’s soaked enough to be pulled away from the skin with ease.
The first wash
Before cleaning your tattoo, you will want to clean your hands thoroughly to kill any bacteria present. Then proceed to gently cup lukewarm water over the area, wetting the area with your palm and fingers.
Ensure the water is not hot as the heat/steam can open up the recently inked skin pores. Once the area is wet, rub a good amount of clear/fragrance free mild antibacterial soap over the area and try to get all of the gooey and dried bits of blood and ink off of the surface.
After a thorough but gentle cleanse of the area with soap, cup some more lukewarm water over the area to ensure that all remaining soap is washed away. Next, you can either let your tattoo air-dry or you can pat it dry with a paper towel.
Adding aftercare product
Once the area is completely dry you will want to very lightly rub in some sort of specialized ointment/lotion to moisturize the area and help with healing. You will only want a very thin layer to cover the tattoo - your skin needs to breathe in order to heal effectively and a heavy layer of lotion will prevent this from happening.
For more aftercare tips on tattoos, piercings and other body modifications, follow the WildKlass blog!