Tattoo care: what to do in the first days

After getting a tattoo it is very important to take care of the skin, not only to avoid a possible infection, but also to ensure that the design is well defined and the colors remain for many years.

Therefore, tattoo care should start right after leaving the tattoo parlor and remain with you for a lifetime.

What to do on the first day

After getting a tattoo, the skin is badly bruised and, therefore, there is a high risk of infection, since bacteria and viruses can reach the body more easily. So, right from the moment you leave the tattoo parlor, it is important to keep your skin protected with a piece of cellophane or plastic film, for at least 4 hours. But this time can vary according to each tattoo, and you should always receive guidance from the tattoo artist.

Then, the plastic should be removed to avoid creating a humid and hot environment where bacteria can multiply more easily. On this day it is also important to wash the tattoo and apply a healing cream, to stimulate faster skin recovery. See the care you should take when tattooing to avoid an infection .

What not to do in the first days

While there are some habits that can be done to reduce the risk of infection, there are also others that should be avoided in the first 4 weeks to ensure better healing, such as:

  • Do not remove the cones that start to form in the first 4 days after the tattoo, as they may still be connected to deeper layers of the skin, where the ink is still lodging;
  • Do not scratch the tattoo , as it can aggravate skin irritation and promote the appearance of an infection due to the presence of bacteria under the nails;
  • Do not immerse the tattoo in water , especially in public places such as swimming pools or beaches, as most bacteria develop in the water, increasing the risk of infection;
  • Avoid sunbathing , because UV rays cause inflammation of the skin and may end up displacing the ink layers of the tattoo, in addition to delaying healing;
  • Avoid using excessive cream on the tattoo, especially creams with oil, as they create a barrier that prevents the skin from breathing and healing properly;
  • Do not wear clothes that are too tight , as it prevents the skin from breathing and may also end up pulling the skin cones that help in healing.

In addition, it is also important to be careful about returning to physical activities, because the production of sweat may end up displacing the ink that has not yet settled in the deeper layers of the skin, in addition to being a place with a lot of dirt, which can end up increasing the risk of infection. Therefore, returning to the gym or physical exercise should be postponed for at least 1 week.

How to wash the tattoo

The first wash of the tattoo is very important to ensure proper healing and prevent the development of an infection, as it helps to remove the remains of blood and dead cells. However, before washing the tattoo site it is very important to wash your hands to remove most bacteria and prevent them from getting on the tattooed skin.

Then, running water should be applied over the tattoo area, rubbing lightly with your fingers, avoiding using a sponge or some type of cloth and, only afterwards, apply a mild antibacterial soap on the skin. Ideally, the water should be warm without causing water vapor, as heat can lead to the opening of the skin pores, facilitating the entry of bacteria and allowing the ink to move inside the skin.

Finally, the skin should be dried well, using disposable paper towels or allowed to dry in the open air, as conventional towels, in addition to having a greater number of bacteria, can also be rough for the skin, causing irritation.

How to reduce swelling and redness

Swelling of the skin and redness are very common in the first days after getting a tattoo due to the trauma caused by the tattoo machine, however, it is a natural healing process and, therefore, should not be a cause for alarm.

The best way to reduce these symptoms more quickly is to keep your skin very clean and dry, in addition to applying a healing ointment several times a day, such as Nebacetin or Bepantol Derma, for example. See other options for healing ointments .

How to relieve itchy tattoos

After about 1 week it is natural for a constant itchy sensation to appear at the tattoo site, which is caused by the appearance of the cones that dry and itchy skin. Thus, a good way to relieve itching is to moisturize your skin well, using a cream for extremely dry skin, such as Nivea or Vasenol, for example.

You should also avoid scratching the skin with your nails, even if the sensation is very intense, and you can only give a slight tap to try to reduce the sensation. The cones that are forming should also not be removed, as it is normal that they fall over time in a completely natural way. These peels can often be the color of the tattoo, but they do not mean that the ink is coming out.

What care should be maintained forever

The tattoo is usually healed after 1 or 2 months, but skin care should be maintained for a lifetime, especially to ensure that the tattoo design remains well defined and the color remains longer. Thus, some important precautions include:

  • Apply a moisturizer every day;
  • Apply sunscreen whenever the tattooed skin needs to be exposed to the sun;
  • Avoid bumps or cuts in the tattoo area;
  • Drink about 2 liters of water a day.

In addition, having a healthy lifestyle and eating a balanced diet also helps to ensure the health of the skin and, therefore, allows the tattoo to always remain beautiful and well demarcated. See an example of nutrition that helps maintain overall health .

When to go to the hospital

In most cases, the tattoo heals easily and without major complications, however, it may be recommended to go to the hospital if symptoms such as:

  • Skin with very intense redness;
  • Bleeding tattoo;
  • Swelling of the tattoo site;
  • Severe pain at the tattoo site.

In addition, other, more general symptoms such as fever above 38ยบ C or feeling tired can also indicate an infection and, if they arise, should be reported to a general practitioner.

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