THE IMPORTANCE OF TATTOO AFTERCARE
As tattoo enthusiasts and collectors, we often spend copious amounts of time researching artists and studios to find the best fit for the job, hunting down solid reference photos, and working hard in life to be able to afford high quality tattoos.
But what about once the tattoo is complete? If you want to have a piece that looks as good as it possibly can for many years to come, and if you don’t want the pain you endured or the money you spent to go to waste, then aftercare is something you should take very seriously.
Here are a few of the important factors that go into the reasoning behind the importance of utilizing proper aftercare.
HELP PREVENT INFECTION
As most know, fresh tattoos are open wounds that are inevitably susceptible to infection if you don’t take necessary precautions. Getting an infection on a fresh tattoo is just about the last thing you want to happen to your new work, and is easily avoidable if you take the aftercare seriously.
Your skin will be inflamed after the work is complete, but your artist should absolutely be sure that the new tattoo is covered properly with an adequate dressing immediately after the session is finished. This helps prevent any infections early on..
Please keep in mind that you should not keep cling films or dressings on for longer than recommended by your artist. It’s crucial to let your tattoo breathe as it heals, and keeping it covered excessively can cause skin suffocation, which also may lead to infection.
Opinions vary on how long dressings should be left on after a piece is complete, but most would agree that it should be somewhere between two to seven hours.
Continuing to care for your tattoo until it is fully healed is critical. Gently washing your new ink, applying a quality aftercare product like Elevated Aftercare, wearing clean clothing, using clean bedding, and other preventative measures will help reduce your chances of infection.
HELP SKIN HEAL
Efficiency is the name of the game when it comes to healing a tattoo, because as tattoo lovers, we of course don’t want to have to worry about the healing process any longer than need be. Proper products can do wonders in this regard.
Please keep in mind though, less is more when it comes to aftercare application. If you go overboard with it, it can actually work far more against you than for you. Overusing aftercare products can lead to pore clogging, rashes, and can prevent your tattoo from healing properly. Applying a very thin layer of a quality healing balm will help your tattoo heal its’ best. Elevated Aftercare Balm works fantastic for healing new tattoos.
STAY OUT OF THE SUN
Sunlight and tattoos are not a good combination. If you don’t protect your tattoos while you are in the sun your tattoos can fade, and your skin will be damaged. Leaving tattoos unprotected is a bad idea, especially when it comes to fresh tattoos.
When you get a fresh tattoo, most of us want to be outside and show it off. However, it is absolutely critical that your new work is protected from the sun. This new investment of yours will be with you for life, so it is in your very best interest to look after it, and give it the time, love, and care that it needs/deserves.
What can we do to protect our tattoos? When it is new it’s best to keep it out of the sun completely. If you have to go in the sun, be sure to limit your time to exposure and keep it covered with clean clothing. After your tattoo is completely healed, invest in a quality sunscreen to keep your ink safe in the sun. This will help keep your tattoo protected and looking its best for years to come.
BUILD GOOD HABITS
I’m a strong believer in “The Slight Edge” theory explained in the book with the same title by Jeff Olson. The idea that small behaviors and habits, even if just three or five minutes a day, can make all the difference in the world in the long run. Behaviors that are both easy to do, as well as those that are easy NOT to do, such as looking after your tattoos.
You may get away with neglecting your work for a certain period of time, but eventually it all catches up and it will be blatantly obvious that you didn’t take your aftercare seriously.
In my personal experience, there is a night and day differentiation between viewing a tattoo in person that is properly moisturized compared to a tattoo that has not been moisturized. The difference will absolutely show, which is why it is in your best interest to get in the routine of maintaining your tattoo.
It is a far better plan to get into a simple routine where you make tattoo aftercare a priority, than to neglect aftercare and have to live with a not-so-great tattoo. Do yourself a favor and take it seriously from the beginning. None of us want to get an infection, or have our tattoos look faded and old before they should. With a little effort and the right products, your ink will stay healthy and fresh for years to come.