Now, I’ll happily admit that I’m no tattoo expert by any means, but having been tattooed five times, I do have a pretty good idea of what I’m doing. Since getting my flamingo arm tattoo at the end of last year I receive whopping amounts of emails asking me about my tattoo care process and whether things appear normal.
I’d just like to stress again that I’m no tattoo care professional, these are just my personal views, things I’ve learn through research and things that I have found work for me. Always, always ask your tattoo artist if you have any concerns or general questions on tattoo aftercare.
What kind of cream do I put on my tattoo?
Always ask your tattoo artist what they think you should use. I’ve been recommended baby oil in the past, another time I got vegan cream made by the artist himself.. but my favourite product was Aquaphor. It stopped my tattoo from getting too itchy and was incredibly soothing to put on.
My tattoo is really itchy.
Eep! We’ve all been there – it gets so, so itchy in the first week! Make sure you do not scratch. If you knock off your tattoo it risks damaging the colour. It’s painful wait, but will be so worth it – I promise!
Um, so my tattoo is peeling.
It’s all good, my friend! Peeling is all part of the healing process. My tattoos always peel – though I’ll admit I found it a little freaky when my flamingo (my only colour tattoo) started the process (see above). There’s something a little terrifying about seeing bits of bright pink coming off your arm! The important thing to remember is do not scratch/pull the skin. Let it fall off by itself or else you risk damaging the colour.
My tattoo has pimples on it! What the?!
Some parts of your body – such as your back and upper arms – produce more oil than others. You might have always gotten spots there, but they become a whole lot more obvious when they are presented against a tattoo backdrop. Make sure that you don’t squeeze the spots as both blackheads and whiteheads can draw the colour out of the tattoo – and in some cases leave it completely skin coloured! Invest in a good exfoliant and lightly exfoliate your body every few days.
When can I go for a swim?
Whatever you do, do NOT swim for at least SOMETHING weeks after getting a fresh tattoo. Some people say you can cover the tattoo in vaseline to protect it, but really, just don’t. The chlroinated water is extremely harmful to the tattoo and you also develop a way higher risk of getting an infection. Is one swim really worth messing up something that is gonna be with you the rest of your life? Come on, I think we all know the answer to this one!
What do I do on the first night?
Always, always ask your artist their recommendation. My first couple of tattoos, I was advised to take the wrapping off as soon as I got home – so it could air out. But when I got my flamingo done in Las Vegas, I had plans on the same night. I mentioned this to my artist and she recommended keeping the plastic wrap on then taking it off the next morning.
I think my tattoo looks infected, what should I do?
Go see your tattoo artist or a doctor as soon as possible!
If you enjoyed this post you might also like this post all about how to design a tattoo: my tattoo story!