If you have just gotten a new tattoo, you may wonder what you need to do the first day to ensure that the site stays clean and free from infection. If so, use the following tips for taking care of your new tattoo during the first day.
Remove the Bandage as Instructed
At the tattoo parlor, your artist will apply a gauze bandage to the site to absorb any small amounts of blood. They should then tell you the exact time you need to take the bandage off, and you should follow this instruction closely.
If you take the bandage off too soon, the skin will not have had time to start building the scab, and you will still have blood seeping from the needle marks. Without the bandage on during the first few hours, not only will you have a mess on your clothes and anything you touch, but you leave the unprotected site open to infection.
However, if you leave the bandage on longer than instructed, the area will not be able to air out and dry. This could create an environment in which bacteria can grow and thrive, also increasing your risk of infection.
Wash the Tattoo with Plain Soap
After removing the bandage, you should wash the tattoo with soap and water to remove any residual blood, as well as kill any bacteria that may have already started to grow. However, you need to be careful when selecting your soap.
When choosing the soap you will use for the tattoo, pick one that has no lotions or fragrances. The chemicals found in these types of soaps could irritate skin that has been newly tattooed. Instead, choose a plain soap for the area.
Only Apply the Moisturizer Recommended by the Tattoo Artist
After washing the tattoo, apply a thin layer of moisturizer to the area. This helps calm the irritation and keeps the ink moist so that it does not fade.
However, you should only use a moisturizer that is recommended by your tattoo artist. They may tell you to put on an unscented lotion that contains an antibacterial to keep the area free from germs. Or, they may have a specific brand that they use which they know will moisturize the area without irritating the skin or pulling the color out.
Using the above tips the first day can help your tattoo heal during the days and weeks ahead. If you have any further questions about taking care of your healing tattoo, speak with the artist at the tattoo parlor to get their advice on helping the healing process along while maintaining the color and integrity of the tattoo.