Aftercare is the stage at which you become responsible for the not only your own health and safety, but of the final outcome of the quality of your tattoo. A tattoo is a wound, it’s easy for people to lose sight of this obvious fact and not treat it with the care an attention they would otherwise. Your artist employs sterile equipment and materials for your safety, and understands that the key to having as much ink remain in the skin as possible is to do as little damage to the area whilst tattooing it in. Poor aftercare can result in further damage/trauma to the afflicted area and, as it regenerates, you can lose more of the ink than would be experienced normally. By following the instructions below, you will not only keep yourself safe, but experience a less painful, shorter healing period; and retain more of the ink.
During the process of caring for your new tattoo you will touch it from time-to-time. It is essential to thoroughly wash your hands before doing so as it is the single most important method of reducing infection. Wash your hands in warm water and liquid soap, always dry your hands thoroughly with a clean towel or disposible paper towel. This should remove most germs and prevent them being transferred to the affected area.
After your tattoo session
Upon completion of your tattoo, your artist will cover the area with non-adhesive dressing. A tattoo covering a large area may need to be covered with a sterile, non-adhesive dressing, This is to keep anything from coming into contact with the area for the first hour or so. During this period the area will like to ‘weep’ slightly. This is normal and just your body beginning its repairing process.
After the first hour in a clean area, ideally at home or somewhere you know to be clean, thoroughly wash your hands and remove the dressing immediately placing it in the bin. You will wash the area with lukewarm water with a mild soap rinsing the area afterwards. You only need to do this very gently.as it takes very little effort. You will then dry the area with a clean towel or using a disposable paper towel. Pat the area, don’t rub it as it will be uncomfortable and could result in further trauma. At this point you can apply the cream that you were advised by your artist. It is important to only use the cream that was recommended as we’re unable to advise on any creams we’re not personally familiar with. There are creams that can be surprisingly harmful.
To apply the cream, you will place a small amount onto the tip of a clean finger and gently rub it over the tattooed area. The key here is to use as little as possible as too much will prevent air from reaching your skin and can block pores, prolonging the healing process and increasing the risk of infection.
You will need to reapply the cream about 3 times per day for around 3-5 days, or until the area begins to flake. At this point the aim is to keep the area moisturized. You are now able to use your preferred skin moisturiser, we like coco butter for this stage but you can continue using your initial healing cream if you have nothing else available. Whilst healing, avoid allowing the skin in the area of the tattoo to stretch excessively as damage could result.
It will take 7 to 14 days for the tattoo to completely heal. It is vitally important during this period that you avoid swimming, sauna, sun exposure, applying chemicals or exposure to dust or debris. All of these present significant risk to you and are very easily avoided. If you have any questions or just want further advise that isn’t covered in this document please feel free to contact us by calling into the shop, phone or email us. We will respond as soon as we can.
Signs of infection
Whilst the risk of infection is very low providing you followed our instructions, it is important to know how to recognise the signs so you can seek early treatment. The signs of infection may include some or all of the following:
• Swelling and redness that increases around the wound.
• A severe burning and throbbing sensation round the site.
• Increased tenderness and increasingly painful to touch.
• An unusual discharge (yellow or green) with an offensive smell.
Contact us or seek medical attention immediately if you suffer from any of these or have any concerns regarding infection in your tattoo or if there are any signs of an allergic reaction to any of the products used.