A good tattoo has a decent lifespan if treated right. You are looking at about 10 years.
Of course, that is only the tattoo, you on the other hand will age in your own time and speed and that includes your skin so here we are talking about preserving the ink in your skin not your skin, that is a subject for a dermatologist.
Here are some guidelines on how to treat your tattoo so it will heal nicely and stay vibrant for as long as possible.
Right after the session you need to secure your tattoo. It is in essence a fresh wound. It is not deep, but it still is broken skin, reaching a depth that can lead to infection, so your first priority is to secure that area and make sure to give your skin the best chance at swift healing.
So that is why the first thing that your tattoo artist will do is wrap your fresh art in plastic. In essence it is ceran wrap. You should let it rest now for somewhere between a minimum of two hours to 6. Once it feels uncomfortable you can trust your feeling and take the peal off. Rinse the fresh ink with fresh running water of just room temperature or slightly below. Dry by gently patting it never rubbing and once it air dried use a little baby lotion, you know the allergen free and scent free stuff young mothers pick for their new born. Grab a bottle and use some to moisturize the area.
Don’t smother it and don’t rub it in just gently place some on top of your tattoo and enjoy the soothing feeling. I used to keep my lotion in the fridge which had a nice cooling side effect.
Since the tattoo in essence is fresh topical wound your body is doing overtime to heal it so the area will feel hot a swollen to the touch for quite some time and this cold lotion will feel glorious but don’t overdo it. Here less is more. The more you can leave your tattoo alone the better.
The rules are easy enough to remember, look but don’t touch!
Which is the next point that needs remembering. Fresh tattoos like solitude so you might want to pick a day for your session after which you can barricade yourself in for a day or two and walk around your home in all your naked glory. Okay not all but at least keep the fresh ink uncovered and let it breath. So that means no bumpy crowds or dust. Thus, the solitude.
Of course, you have to sleep at some point and here is where the opinions differ. Some suggest wrapping it for the night, most in fact are of this persuasion. I think clean cotton PJ’s and sheets are just fine and sleeping wrapped up like a burrito is a sure way to get me tossing and turning for a night.
Besides the wrapping and cooling there is more you can do this first day or two to help things along. Let’s not forget you are nursing a wound, so inflammation is what you are dealing with. You can even develop a little high temperature based on your overall health and the size of your tattoo it can be bothersome.
Do not, I repeat do not push the fever down, it is your friend it means your body is doing overtime to heal you, so what you need to do is assist it. Ibuprofen might do the trick but why use pills if nature has an answer. I recommend hot ginger tea and a good book to take your mind of things.
Congrats your tattoo is healing nicely and now you reached the itchy part. Here is the rub, don’t scratch!
And that is it. Rinse moisturize and don’t scratch.
For the rest it is a no-brainer,
- don’t take hot baths, showering only.
- Don’t go swimming not in the pool and definitively not in any kind of body of water.
- Go work out if you must but remember cleanliness is godliness so shower and change clothes as soon as possible. But lay of the soap, mild baby soap is okay but preferably you should stick to water for this first week.
By now your tattoo will have developed a nice scab and the itching will reach proportions that are hard to resist. Also at this stage the colors will look milky and faded. Not to worry, this will pass as the healing process continues.
Well remember this, the itching might bother you for a week or so and the scab will look ugly and tempt you to pick but this is temporary only, your tattoo on the other hand that is forever! So, if you want results the rules still apply. You can look but you can’t touch!
First three months
Congrats the topical side of your tattoo is healed. But you might have noticed that the colors are dull, and the lines are murky that is because the deep skin layers are still in the process of healing.
There is no need for special precautions or treatment all you need now is time.
Congrats that is it. Your tattoo is now healed. It is radiant and beautiful, and you want to keep it this way. Well stay out of the sun and treat yourself well.
Oh, and in another 6 months time you will be able to donate blood again.