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.
More Great Links
- 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