How Tattoos Work


Caring for a New Tattoo

Taking care of a new tattoo can prevent health problems and protect the quality of the image. Most artists give clients a pamphlet that explains all the necessary procedures. Customers generally receive instructions to:

  • Remove the bandage one to two hours after completion.
  • Wash gently with cool or lukewarm water, using a mild antibacterial soap.
  • Pat dry. (Don't rub!)
  • Apply very thin coats of antibacterial ointment and work into the skin. Too much ointment can pull color out of the tattoo.
  • Avoid soaking the tattoo in water or letting the shower pound directly on it.
  • Avoid the sun, sea and swimming pool until healed.
  • Refrain from picking at scabs. They will fall off as the tattoo heals, usually in one to three weeks.
  • Use ice packs if swelling or redness occurs.
  • Call a doctor if you have even the slightest signs of infection.

For more information about tattoos and related topics, check out the links on the following page.

Related Articles

More Great Links

Sources

  • FDA/CFSAN: Tattoos and Permanent Make-Up http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/cos-204.html
  • Tattoo knowledge base http://www.tattooinfo.net/Scripts/default.asp
  • Mayo Clinic: Tattoos and Piercings http://www.mayoclinic.com/invoke.cfm?id=MC00020
  • Samoa: Tattoos http://www.samoa.co.uk/tattoos.html
  • U.S. Centers for Disease Control: CDC's Position on Tattooing and HCV Infection http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/diseases/hepatitis/c/tattoo.htm
  • The Vault: Tat Tactics: What Companies think of Your Tattoos http://www.thevault.com/nr/main_article_detail.jsp?article_id=5326114&ht_type=5
  • Scripps Howard News Service: A Marked Divide http://www.shns.com/shns/g_index2.cfm?action=detail&pk=TATTOO-POLL-07-22-03

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