In the eyes of your body, your new tattoo is a wound; and it will begin the healing process immediately after your session is completed; and adequate tattoo aftercare must be followed.
Because it is identified as a wound, and the pigments are identified as a foreign object, your body will attempt to remove the ink. This is one of the reasons why your new tattoo will lose some ink during and after it is healed.
Another reason why a tattoo may not heal as vibrantly is if you have not followed this strict aftercare regime during the healing process. It is not the responsibility of your artist to ensure that your tattoo heals nicely!
On average, a tattoo will take 2 – 3 weeks to heal properly. For candidates who have health conditions that can affect the immune system, such as diabetes, the healing process can take much longer and may also require medical assistance from a GP.
This is the strict after care regime that you should always follow for a fresh tattoo:
- Your artist should cover your tattoo immediately after your session with a tattoo dressing or a plastic cling wrap. This must stay on for a minimum of 30 minutes, but no longer than 2 hours. Once removed, do NOT reapply a cover to your tattoo.
- Do NOT soak your tattoo in water. This includes swimming pools, spas, and baths.
- Do NOT bathe the tattoo directly in the sun. The sun will cause further damage to the skin, and is also attracted to the tattoo ink. This can cause your tattoo to be faded once it finally heals.
- Do NOT pick or scratch your tattoo. It usually will become itchy and flaky as it heals (much like a burn). Try to find another way to distract yourself from these symptoms.
- Keep your tattoo clean using a mild, non-perfumed soap (such as a Dove bar). Do NOT use shower gels, highly scented washes or soaps that are abrasive on your tattoo.
- Do NOT use an antiseptic (soap or other type) on your tattoo. This can kill good bacteria and slow down the healing process.
- It is important NOT to over clean your tattoo, but always apply an aftercare cream/balm to your tattoo recently cleaned tattoo, with clean hands.
- Aftercare creams or balms will be recommended by your tattoo artist. Bepanthen is acceptable as last resort.
- Apply your tattoo aftercare cream/balm 2 – 3 times per day or when it appears too dry.
- Do NOT apply creams, lotions, perfume, aftershave or any other substance on your tattoo APART from your after care cream/balm.
- Do NOT cover your tattoo with close fitting material or with cling wrap for 2 – 3 weeks, as it needs to breathe.
- Always be careful of jewellery and other irritants that may affect your tattoo.
- Do not shave your tattoo or remove any hair until fully healed.
- Always be mindful of pets such as cats and dogs as they tend to want to lick your wounds.
Body Piercings and Micro Dermal Implants
Considering that a piercing or implant are foreign objects in the body, it is not uncommon for the pierced area to have redness. The trauma to the skin can also create redness in the area. Redness can sometimes last for months until the injury settles down.
- Clean your piercing 1 -2 times per day with warm, salty water (make this in your kitchen, do NOT use sea water).
- Do NOT apply lotions, creams, soaps or sprays to your piercing.
- Keep the original jewellery in the piercing until it is fully healed. This can take up to 12 weeks. Do NOT remove the jewellery until healed.
- Do NOT touch your jewellery or the piercing with your hands whilst it is healing. You can rotate it only when you are in the shower.
- You can secure your nose studs and other jewellery whilst you sleep using a Bandaid.