Proper Tattoo Aftercare

Proper tattoo aftercare is of paramount importance to help the tattooed skin heal properly. The tattooed area develops a protective layer of healing skin comprised of coagulated blood and white blood cells within 20 minutes of being inked by a tattoo machine. This protective layer is sufficient to naturally fight off most bacterial infections.

To clean the area, a hot/cold method should be used. Put a wad of steaming hot paper towels on the tattoo for 20-30 seconds. Take off the hot paper towels and place a wad of cold paper towels on the tattoo for another 20-30 seconds. This hot/cold method is a basic medical procedure for all light wounds and that is what the tattoo is, a very colorful wound. The heat serves to open up the pores of the skin, allowing them to be cleansed and the cold closes them back up again. This method of cleaning the tattoo is more effective than washing/bathing the area which could potentially cause some of the ink to “bleed out” from the tattoo.

There are some things that you should not do to tattooed skin as a measure of aftercare. Refrain from covering up the tattoo with a bandage or protective cover. Your skin needs oxygen in order to heal. If you must cover it, only apply the bandage very loosely so that the area is not constricted. Refrain from using healing ointments as these tend to just cover up the skin and prevent oxygen from reaching the tattoo. Refrain from washing the area as this may cause ink to “bleed out”

The healing process of the tattoo is almost as important as the tattooing process. As long as you take some simple aftercare measures, your tattoo will heal brilliantly.

By David H.