Are you wondering what should you not do after a tattoo? Read on to learn about common mistakes that can lead to poor healing and infection.
Getting a tattoo is a significant decision that involves permanent body art. Whether you’re getting a small symbol or a large intricate design, the process of getting a tattoo involves piercing your skin multiple times. After getting inked, it’s important to take care of your new tattoo to ensure proper healing and avoid any complications. In this article, we will discuss what you should not do after a tattoo to ensure that your tattoo heals correctly.
What to Avoid After Getting a Tattoo
After getting a tattoo, there are certain activities and behaviors that you should avoid. These include:
Removing the Bandage Too Soon
After getting a tattoo, your artist will cover it with a bandage or wrap to protect it from dirt and bacteria. It’s important to leave the bandage on for the recommended time, which is usually a few hours to a day. Removing the bandage too soon can expose your tattoo to bacteria, leading to an infection.
Touching the Tattoo with Dirty Hands
Your tattoo is essentially an open wound, and touching it with dirty hands can introduce bacteria and cause an infection. Before touching your tattoo, make sure to wash your hands with soap and water.
Scratching or Picking at the Tattoo
As your tattoo heals, it may become itchy or flaky. However, scratching or picking at your tattoo can cause the ink to come off and lead to scarring. If you experience itching, apply a fragrance-free lotion to help relieve the sensation.
Soaking the Tattoo
Avoid soaking your tattoo in water, including baths, hot tubs, and swimming pools, until it’s fully healed. Water can introduce bacteria to your tattoo, leading to an infection.
Wearing Tight Clothing
Wearing tight clothing over your tattoo can cause friction and irritation, which can lead to poor healing. Opt for loose-fitting clothing that won’t rub against your tattoo.
Exposing Your Tattoo to Sunlight
Direct sunlight can cause your tattoo to fade and dry out, making it more susceptible to infection. Cover your tattoo with clothing or use sunscreen with at least SPF 30 to protect it from the sun.
Additional Tips for Proper Tattoo Aftercare
In addition to avoiding certain activities after getting a tattoo, there are also a few things you can do to promote proper healing:
- Keep your tattoo clean: Gently wash your tattoo with lukewarm water and fragrance-free soap twice a day. Pat dry with a clean towel and avoid rubbing.
- Apply a thin layer of moisturizer: After washing your tattoo, apply a thin layer of fragrance-free moisturizer to keep the area hydrated.
- Avoid tight clothing: As mentioned earlier, tight clothing can cause friction and irritation, leading to poor healing. Opt for loose-fitting clothing that allows your tattoo to breathe.
- Avoid direct sunlight: In addition to covering your tattoo with clothing or sunscreen, try to avoid spending extended periods in direct sunlight, especially during peak hours.
- Avoid submerging your tattoo in water: This includes not only swimming pools but also baths and hot tubs. Avoid submerging your tattoo until it’s fully healed.
Signs of Infection to Watch Out For
Even if you take good care of yourself after surgery, it is still possible to get an infection. It’s important to keep an eye out for any signs of infection, which include:
- Increased pain, swelling, or redness around the tattoo
- Pus or discharge coming from the tattoo
- A fever or chills
- Swollen lymph nodes
If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s important to seek medical attention immediately. Infections can quickly worsen and even lead to serious health complications.
Can I exercise after getting a tattoo?
It’s best to avoid intense exercise for the first few days after getting a tattoo. Sweating can irritate the tattoo and introduce bacteria, leading to infection. After a few days, you can slowly ease back into your exercise routine.
Can I shower after getting a tattoo?
Yes, you can shower after getting a tattoo. However, avoid using hot water and harsh soaps, as they can dry out and irritate your tattoo. Use lukewarm water and a fragrance-free soap to gently clean your tattoo.
How long does it take for a tattoo to heal?
The healing process for a tattoo can take anywhere from 2-4 weeks. During this time, you should take care of your tattoo as instructed to make sure it heals properly.Use a mild, fragrance-free soap that your tattoo artist has recommended.
Can I use regular soap to clean my tattoo?
No, regular soap can be too harsh on your tattoo and cause irritation. Use a mild, fragrance-free soap that your tattoo artist has recommended.
When can I start working out again after getting a tattoo?
It’s best to wait at least a week before resuming any strenuous activity, and even longer if your tattoo is in an area that experiences a lot of movement.
Can I go in the ocean with a new tattoo?
It’s best to avoid submerging your tattoo in water, including oceans, until it’s fully healed.
Can I cover my tattoo with clothing or bandages?
Yes, it’s actually recommended to cover your tattoo with loose-fitting clothing or a bandage for the first few days after getting it.
Can I shave over my new tattoo?
To avoid irritation and infection, you shouldn’t shave over your tattoo until it’s fully healed.
Getting a tattoo is an exciting experience, but it’s important to take proper care of your new ink to ensure that it heals correctly. By not doing the things this article talks about, you can lower your risk of getting an infection and help your body heal properly. Follow the aftercare instructions given to you by your tattoo artist and see a doctor if you see any signs of infection or other problems.