After getting a new tattoo the first thing we want to do is show it off, so it’s easy to forget the aftercare that’s needed for your new piece of body art and let’s be honest you’re going to be too busy staring at it to listen to the artists advice afterwards.
Every tattoo artist offers different tips on how to care for your new ink, but here’s a little bit of personal advice from someone with 10 tattoos and counting on how to keep your new ink fresh and the costs of doing so cheap! A necessity for me as a student who really can’t afford the tattoos I get in the first place.
First off, most places will wrap it in cling film after they’ve finished. Don’t be alarmed when all the excess fluids and blood start building up, this is normal! It will just stop anything from sticking to it. A word of warning though, if they even try to wrap it in tape or paper towels RUN and never go back to this place (that is not normal). The cling film will need to be taken off after about an hour or so, I usually just take it off when I return home from getting a new tattoo.
If you’re heading out afterwards, be careful to not lean on anything. Have a good night but remember that walls, bars, tables and eager fingers wanting to touch it (for some unknown reason) are all breeding grounds for germs and its essential you treat your new ink how you would an open wound.
Don’t bathe any new tattoo (I usually just stick the inked area out of the bath and shower for the following week), wash it but don’t scrub and don’t use ANY body wash, lotion or products on it for at least a couple of weeks.
Now, what to put on your new tattoo? The big question with hundreds of answers and recommendations from tattooists. Be wary with this as a lot of ‘professionals’ probably just want to sell you their own labelled products whether they are the best or not which can be extra pricey (I bought into this with my first tattoo and it was useless).
I will never use anything other than Bepanthen, which I stick on a couple of times a day until its healed. I’m not going mad using nappy cream, honestly, it’s a life saver. My current tattooist also says this is the best thing to use, plus at £3.35 for a tube at Superdrug you can’t complain.
Keep your new tattoos out of the sun, don’t pick your scabs and good luck sleeping!
Written by Michaela Violet