When you get a new tattoo you must be aware that an unhealed tattoo is an open wound and therefore is susceptible to infection. Although not a common occurrence, there are associated risks with tattooing which include infection, scarring, allergic reaction, localized swelling , fall out and fading. This is only a caution. Only a very small amount of people are affected in this way. If properly cared for your tattoo will take approximately 2-3 weeks to heal. Healing time varies from person to person. Should you have any concerns about your new tattoo:
if it takes significantly longer to heal
if you have any queries or questions about it
if you notice any signs of infection in or around it
it is important that you contact your tattooist as soon as possible. For aftercare information in Chinese, Spanish, French, Italian or Polish please contact us.
In order to help ensure a rapid & full healing process for your tattoo, please follow the directions below fully & carefully for the entire duration of the healing process. These directions are somewhat generalised, for more detailed directions & advice or if you have any adverse reactions, you should contact your tattooist immediately.
- Leave the Clingfilm on for 4-12 hours.
- Wash your hands well then remove the Clingfilm.
- Immediately after removing Clingfilm, gently wash your tattoo using only your fingertips, (do not use a facecloth, sponge etc, until the tattoo has completely healed) with a good quality un-fragranced liquid soap and cool to lukewarm water (cool water is less likely to stimulate fresh bleeding). Rinse the area thoroughly.
- Allow the tattoo to dry naturally in the air (for about 10 minutes), or pat it dry with a fresh, clean towel – do not wipe or rub it dry.
- Apply a very light film of Easytattoo® TATTOO CREAM (or other aftercare product as recommended by your tattooist), rub it into the skin completely and pat away any excess remaining on the surface of the skin.
- Re-cover the tattoo with a new piece of Clingfilm.
- Wash and re-bandage the tattoo (using steps 2-6 above) 2 or 3 times daily for 4 days. (Always ensure that your hands are freshly washed when cleaning the tattoo)
- After the first 4 days you should stop covering the tattoo with Clingfilm and should stop using Easytattoo® TATTOO CREAM. Instead use a good quality fragrance-free moisturising lotion, such as E-45, five times daily. Apply a very light film of the lotion, rub it into the skin completely and pat away any excess remaining on the surface of the skin.
- You should continue to treat your new tattoo in this way for about 2-3 weeks, or until the tattoo has stopped flaking and is no longer dry and shiny.
- Applying an ice pack to the new tattoo helps to reduce swelling and inhibits the secretion of body fluids. These fluids can cause heavier scabbing, making further care more difficult.
In addition to aftercare, there are various factors which determine the healing time of individual tattoos. These include size & location of the tattoo, as well your diet, lifestyle & immune system and also irritations to the tattoo during the healing process. Problems with tattoos can be caused by:
- Aggravation due to tight clothing on the tattooed area
- Using aftercare products, cleansers or other skincare products not specifically recommended by your tattooist.
- Any contact with dirt, oil or grease and other irritants as well as unwashed hands, body fluids, make-up, false tan and some skin, hair and body products (for further advice or clarification, please ask your tattooist.
- Exposure to sun – keep the new tattoo covered for the duration of the healing time. Do not expose it to any sunlight for at least 3 weeks or until the tattoo has fully healed. Never apply sun block to an unhealed tattoo! Once your tattoo has healed fully, you should protect it from fading by always using UV protection, preferably a total sun block or minimum SPF30.
- Submersion or soaking in water can damage a new tattoo by causing the healing scab to soften and fall off prematurely, therefore you should avoid putting the tattoo in the water stream while showering and submerging it under the water while bathing until your tattoo has fully healed. For the same reason you avoid using saunas & steam rooms while your tattoo is healing.
- Swimming should be avoided for the reasons above and also because
- Chlorine in pools and hot tubs can cause severe irritation
- Lakes and rivers may harbour germs and bacteria which can infect and damage your tattoo
- The abrasive qualities of salt water can also damage your tattoo by causing premature flaking of the healing scab.
- Cardiovascular, aerobic or other vigorous exercise that causes profuse sweating has the same effect as soaking your tattoo in water and for this reason you should take some time off this type of exercise while the tattoo heals.
- Tight clothing can cause excessive friction that may irritate the healing tattoo and/or cause the scab to flake off prematurely, therefore while your tattoo is healing you should always wear loose clothing on the area allowing the tattoo breath and avoiding irritation.
- Never pick at or scratch the new tattoo, this will damage it. If the tattoo itches apply a light layer of the lotion or cream recommended by your tattooist
By using the appropriate aftercare products, keeping irritants such as those described above to a minimum & fully following the aftercare instructions below until your new tattoo has fully healed, you will ensure the best possible healing environment for your tattoo.