Getting a tattoo is a big step in life that, once it's done, can't be undone without seeing a professional. If you've decided to get a tattoo and spent the money for your personal piece of "art," then you need to know how to take care of it properly.
By taking proper precautions, you can avoid infection and damaging your new tattoo. Here are 5+ after-tattoo care tips to help keep your tattoo looking nice and infection free.
1. Leave it. The first thing to do, according to WebMD, is be sure and leave the tattoo alone for the first 24 hours. The tattoo parlor should have covered that tattoo with a petroleum jelly and bandage or plastic wrap before you left. Leave it alone, even if you're tempted to peek.
2. Wash. Once the 24 hours is up, Medical News Today says to gently wash the tattoo. Be sure to use a hypo-allergenic cleanser that is fragrance-free.
3. Dry. Keep the tattoo dry. Healthline states that you should never rub it dry. Pat it. Throughout the healing process, keep the tattoo dry at all times. Don't submerge it in water. Bathing is fine, but soaking in a tub or going swimming is nixed until the tattoo is healed.
4. Moisturize. According to Cosmopolitan, moisturizing the tattoo is also extremely important. Be sure to choose a moisturizer that is gentle to the skin. Use it freely throughout the day.
5. Antibacterial ointment. To avoid infection and aid in moisturizing, WebMD recommends putting a thin layer of antibacterial ointment on the tattoo every day after washing it.
6. Clean hands. Every time you are going to touch the tattoo, Medical News Today says to make sure to thoroughly clean your hands. You don't want to risk spreading infection.
7. Protect. Another extremely important item, according to Cosmopolitan, is to protect your tattoo from exposure to the sun. Do not use sunscreen. Wear loose clothing whenever you are going to be out in the sun. Once the tattoo is fully healed, you don't have to worry about that any more.
Properly caring for your tattoo ensures that it will look good for years to come.