It goes without saying that getting a new tattoo is always exciting and a wonderful experience. Even though the process involves pain and lot of patience, the end result is always satisfying. After months of planning and thinking, you will finally have your favorite tattoo. If this is your first tattoo, then the feeling is even more exciting. However, getting the new tattoo is only the half work done. Once you have got yourself inked, comes an intense aftercare routine that you have to follow everyday.
Tattoo aftercare is essential for the longevity and proper treatment of the tattoo. It needs to be kept in mind that a tattoo is a fresh wound that has been inflicted on the skin. So, you have to make sure that it heals properly. The average time it takes for a tattoo to heal is around 4 – 6 weeks. The overall time can vary depending on the size and intricacy of the tattoo. Failing to care for the tattoo properly can lead to skin infection, ink fading, bubbling and other problems. You would never want to face these harmful skin disorders, isn’t it?
Therefore, good aftercare is the best way to ensure right health and wellness of the tattoo. You have to follow some strict rules in order to prevent any kind of skin infection. That’s the last thing you would want to happen. In today’s blog, we are going to discuss in details about the right tattoo aftercare and few other tips.
Symptoms For Tattoo Infection
Identifying the symptoms for a tattoo infection will not be a difficult task. Getting a new tattoo always comes with the risk of an infection. Taking proper care and visiting a reputed tattoo parlor surely helps to reduce the risk. But, the risk of skin infection still prevails. Here are some important symptoms to look out for in order to identify a possible tattoo infection –
- Pus Draining – if you continually see pus draining out from the tattoo every other day, then there are high chances that the tattoo is infected. You would definitely want to book an appointment with the doctor or your tattoo artist. The first time you see pus coming out, you can wash it with an antibacterial soap and lukewarm water. It is normal for blood and plasma coming out of the tattoo in the initial days at times. But, if the same thing continues to happen everyday, it’s an infection.
- Severe Redness and Warmth – the very first day you come home after getting inked, the area around the tattoo will turn red. That’s absolutely normal. Due to the rigorous work that has been done on the skin, the area tends to turn red for the next couple of days. But, the redness will go away in 2-3 days. If you continue to see the skin to appear red and feels really warm, chances are that the skin is infected. It has taken such an appearance because of the inflammation that is under the skin.
- Drastic swelling – if the skin around the tattoo swells abnormally, then it is high time that you visit a doctor. Swelling of the skin is a common thing to witness when you get a tattoo. But, the swelling dissipates within 3-4 days. Any kind of swelling that lasts more than 4 days is never a good sign. You don’t need a doctor’s eye to identify an abnormal swelling on your skin.
- Bacteria or Fungal Infection – one of the most difficult conditions to tackle is a bacterial infection. Your tattoo will appear dull, frequent bleeding will take place and you are going to experience pain around the tattoo. All these are the indicators of a bacterial infection. Contact your doctor immediately in case of a bacterial or Fungal infection. At times, this kind of bacterial infection is accompanied by high fever and you will fall severely sick. Fungal infections can be identified by a red or white scale over the tattoo that does not heal even after 5-6 days of rest.
- Firm Bumps – this is often neglected by a lot of people, but firm bumps or granulomas can signify a very serious negative reaction of the dye with the skin. Firm bumps can also lead to itchy rashes that appear as a reaction to the allergies that are caused by the dye. Never neglect a firm bump because they can lead to very serious skin problems in the long run and can ruin the appearance of the entire tattoo.
So, these are the most common symptoms that you can identify in case your tattoo is suffering from an infection. In case you identify any one of the symptoms, make sure to contact a skin specialist or your tattoo artist immediately. Failure to treat an infection on the tattoo can lead to serious problems later on. The sooner your treat the disorder, the better it is for you.
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How To Prevent Tattoo Infection?
Even though the risk of getting a skin infection from a tattoo is always there, a few tips can help you prevent it. Here are the top tips that you have to follow to avoid an infection –
- Wash the tattoo well – the very first time you open the thin film around the tattoo after getting ink, you must wash it very thoroughly. You will see a lot of plasma and blood have oozed out of the tattoo the very first time. You need to make sure that the tattoo is clean and washed off all these plasma. Any kind of residue can lead to a serious skin infection in the coming weeks. Use an antibacterial soap and water to clean the tattoo carefully. Make use of a clean towel to dry the tattoo as well. Avoid using very hot water to wash it, use lukewarm water for the best result.
- Don’t scratch or pick it – you must avoid scratching or picking the tattoo. Never touch the fresh tattoo with your nails because they are dirty and a lot of germs reside there. These germs can infect the tattoo in a very serious way. During the first few weeks after getting inked you will face serious itchiness around the tattoo. But, you have to control the urge to scratch the tattoo and avoid touching it. Also, after a few days, as the tattoo starts to heal, scabs will start to appear on the tattoo. These scabs will come off on their own and you don’t need to pick them. Picking scabs from the tattoo can damage it in a drastic manner. So, let them come off naturally with time.
- Use a good moisturizer – with time your tattoo is going to heal everyday. It is essential that you keep the skin moisturized, especially the area around the tattoo. Use a premium and good quality moisturizer to keep the skin fresh and healthy at all times. There are several brands offering top quality moisturizers that allow the skin to remain moisturized throughout the day. Also, make sure that you clean the tattoo thoroughly before moisturizing.
- Visit a reputed tattoo parlor – one of the major reasons for a tattoo infection is a cheap tattoo service. Yes! Cheap tattoo parlors can be unhygienic and they don’t follow all the hygiene protocols. It’s absolutely crucial that you get a tattoo from a reputed parlor. Their services maybe on the higher side, but they always aim for the best quality and hygiene. They never compromise on the safety and hygiene of their customers. Reputed tattoo parlors use brand new and sterilized needles for inking. All their tools and equipment are regularly sanitized. All of that mitigates the risk of a potential infection that may affect the tattoo.
- Wear loose clothes – for the first few days, always wear loose clothes in order to prevent any scratching. Tight and uncomfortable clothes can be a potential threat to a new tattoo. If the skin will constantly scratch against the tattoo, it can get damaged. So it is always a good idea to wear loose clothes. Also, before going out make sure to cover your tattoo with a soft cloth in order to prevent direct sunlight from falling over it. The harmful UV rays of the sun can damage your tattoo. Let the tattoo heal for at least 15-20 days and then use a tattoo sunscreen.
- Avoid swimming and sports – yes! This is a very crucial thing to keep in mind. You cannot let any chemical come in contact with the new tattoo. You also need to avoid soaking the tattoo in water for 2 – 3 weeks. The chlorine in the pool can lead to a possible skin infection and damage the tattoo. When you play very intense sports like football, your body is going to sweat a lot. The sweat can also harm the tattoo more than you can imagine. So, it is always a good idea to avoid going for swimming, the gym and not engage yourself in intense sporting activities.
So, these are some of the best ways in which you can minimize the risk of a tattoo infection. Follow these steps and you will be in a better position to maintain a safe tattoo in the long run. Now, let’s check out some food items which will help your tattoo heal quickly.
Food Items That Helps To Heal Your Tattoo
Many people often neglect the fact that a good diet can actually help their tattoo heal quickly. There are certain food items which you can eat to let the tattoo heal naturally. Take a look –
- Oranges – oranges are a great source of Vitamin C that helps the body to heal from a wound. They can prove to be very helpful for the healing process. Oranges are also great for your skin and they promote the growth of new cells. Vitamin C protects the skin from any infection or potential damage.
- Chocolate – not only chocolates are delicious, but they are very healthy for your skin as well. Chocolates are rich in antioxidants and elements that are great for your skin. They promote a better blood flow and that helps the skin to recover from the fresh wound. It is even better if you can get hold of dark chocolate because they tend to offer better service to your skin.
- Broccoli – just like oranges, broccoli is a vital source of Vitamin C for the body. It can help your skin heal and rejuvenate in the best manner. Also, it has anti-inflammatory properties. That is why your skin can retain its natural glow and feels very smooth. All of that combined, your tattoo tends to heal in a better way in the long run.
- Garlic – garlic has a wide range of medicinal properties which help the skin to heal and boosts the immunity. Garlic can revamp your metabolism. This allows the body to fight the onset of any bacterial infection. Adding garlic to your diet can boost the entire healing process in the coming weeks.
These are some brilliant food items which you can add to your diet to heal your tattoo. All these items are easily available in the market and they benefit your skin in the best way.
Final Words – taking care of your tattoo is one of the most essential things you will be doing in your life. Any kind of negligence can be very harmful, which is more than you can imagine. Make sure to read our blog thoroughly and check out the tips that we have shared in order to take proper care of the new tattoo. It’s a difficult task but not impossible!