How to take care of a tattoo: our faqs on what to do
Q: How long does a tattoo take to heal?
A: The bigger and more intricate a tattoo design, the longer it takes to heal. If you judge only by appearance, a tattoo will appear to heal in two to three weeks. After a month, most of the peeling and scabs will be gone, although the tattooed skin looks a bit shiny.
For the skin underneath, however, you have to remember that the steps of tattooing are to create a wound in the skin and fill it with ink. That’s why at least these inner layers are needed four months to heal completely.
Q: Can I go to the beach with a new tattoo?
A: Yes, but try to limit sun exposure and avoid submerging it in water. For safety reasons and to keep your ink vibrant, apply plenty of sunscreen and drink plenty of fluids!
Q: What are the guidelines on what to do after getting a tattoo?
A: Leave your bandage on for at least an hour. After removing the bandage, wash the tattooed skin thoroughly with warm water and a mild, unscented soap. Make sure you dry it well and allow it to air dry for at least an hour after washing.
Apply a very thin layer of moisturizer or lotion, just enough to moisturize the area a little. Remember to wash your tattoo every day without overwhelming it, and use a moisturizer once or twice a day to help it heal.
Q: Will these guidelines change if my tattoo is on a certain part of the body or a certain size?
A: No! Wash, dry, moisturize. These basic rules apply regardless of the size of your tattoo or where it is on your body.
Take good care of your skin for your tattoo to heal faster
Anything that keeps your skin healthy will help your tattoo heal faster. Eat a balanced diet full of vitamins and minerals, drink plenty of water every day, and apply plenty of sunscreen, it’s that easy.
What about dry healing?
Some artists swear by dry healing, which means not using tattoo cream or moisturizer while your tattoo is healing. You have the right to wash it off from time to time, but absolutely no lotion or balm will be applied. While this seems like the perfectly natural way to heal your tattoo, it doesn’t solve the scab and itchy issues.
If you have sensitive skin that is easily irritated by most products, you can try this method. But for the average person who gets a tattoo, hydration is preferable, especially in hot climates like Australia. Heat can speed up the drying of the skin, so a good cream will keep your tattooed skin well hydrated.
Our top five tattoo care products
1. Emla Cream
Emla is a numbing cream that contains the pain relievers lidocaine and prilocaine. You can apply it before you get a tattoo, so that the process is not as painful. It should be applied at least one hour before your session.
Since it is glycerin based, it can make your skin a little slippery, so talk to your tattoo artist first before applying it. The pain relief it offers is especially useful for more complex tattoos or tattoos on sensitive areas full of nerves. You can buy it for $ 9.95 here.
2. Savlon antiseptic cream
Keeping a new tattoo clean is essential to prevent it from becoming infected. Savlon cream will keep bacteria away so that it can heal properly. It is soft and moisturizing, so it can keep your skin smooth too! You can buy Savlon here for $ 5.99
3. Bepanthen Nappy Care Ointment
This product is used to relieve diaper rash in babies, so in a way it makes sense that it helps reduce itching for post tattoo healing. Many tattoo artists swear by this emollient cream full of vitamins. As strange as it may sound to use Bepanthen, the tattoo peeling and itching will be stopped in their tracks with a touch of this. Buy Bepanthen here for $ 9.49.
4. Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Lotion with Vitamin E
It smells like chocolate because it’s full of cocoa butter, and it will help relieve the itchiness of dry, scarring tattoos. This cult product is known to be the perfect deep moisturizer. You only need a little to keep your tattoo from chipping and chipping. Get the bottle worth 1L for $ 15 here.
This over-the-counter ointment is a pretty thick moisturizer, so just spread a thin layer whenever your tattoo flakes or itches. It has no preservatives or fragrances, so it is good for sensitive skin. It’s used to help wounds heal faster, so it’s perfect for speeding up the tattoo healing process. Get the 50g tube for $ 14.95 here.
If you are unsure which of these recommended products to buy, or if you want to clarify other questions, always talk to your artist. They know all the tattoo aftercare guidelines and can give you their expert advice on how to help your tattoo heal. Hope this guide has given you a good idea of what to expect and what to do to take care of your new tattoo!