Tattoos: Post-Session Care

Published: 27th April 2012
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Although you are eager to flaunt your new tattoo, don't remove that bandage just yet. You have to allow a few hours for the tattoo site to heal. You should remove the bandage only after at least 2 hours have elapsed since the session unless the wound has been covered with a clear plastic wrap, in which case you have to remove it almost immediately.

As your tattoo is at its most vulnerable soon after the session, you will need to protect it from airborne infections. You have to treat your tattoo like you would an injury as it is a skin wound after all. Keeping the area clean and dry should be your top priority for the next few weeks.

Keep a little warm water in a sterile basin and anti-bacterial and anti-microbial soap. Also keep the ointment prescribed by your tattoo artist ready. Use clean water to wash your hands thoroughly. Then cautiously remove the bandage and rinse the tattoo with the tepid water, and gently clean the wound with your bare hands. Do not scratch the wound with any rough material.

By just using your hands, scrape off the dried blood and plasma. Take a clean paper towel and dab the wound dry. Let the wound to air out for a few minutes and when it is completely dry, apply the ointment. Use an ointment with anti-bacterial properties and Vitamins A & D to help prevent any infection.

If you've got your tattoo on your leg, there is a chance that you might develop some fluid accumulation in your leg. Keep your leg elevated as much as possible to prevent and reduce the swelling. If you have dogs or cats, make sure they don't lick your tattoo to avoid risk of infection through the wound.

Avoid using peroxide or neosporin on the tattoo as it might react strongly with the pigment and make your skin look like polka dots. Don't forget to apply the ointment periodically after you clean and dry out the tattoo; you should also use a lotion in order to keep your skin soft.

For two weeks after the procedure, avoid swimming or using the bathtub, so that your wound will stay dry and heal quickly. Do not give in to the itch and try to peel off the scabs as it will fall off once the wound is completely healed.

You can make the scabs soft by dabbing the tattoo with a clean and damp towel. But make sure that you dab the area with a dry towel to dry out all moisture.

You might feel itchy but don't scrape the tattoo, instead apply a lotion if the skin peels around the tattoo. Just like any other wound, scratching a wound before it heals can lead to infection.

Don't expose the tattoo directly or indirectly to sunlight. You might be able to protect the tattoo with an effective sunscreen lotion but it would still be risky. You should also avoid shaving over the tattoo until it is fully healed.

If you have to go out in the sun, it might be advisable to use a soft muslin cloth to loosely wrap around the tattoo site. This will help keep the tattoo hidden from direct sunlight and at the same time allow circulation of air.

Note down your artist's advice on after care and make sure you follow the instructions. Friends and especially those who have got tattoos earlier may be eager to give you advice. But donít do anything that directly contradicts your tattoo artist's pointers.

Don't forget that your tattoo artist knows best as he has the experience and the knowledge.

For information on finding a good tattoo artist Melbourne and hygienic tattoo shops Melbourne, please visit

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