Proper Care of a New Tattoo

Proper care of a new tattoo is key to getting the results you want from your new skin art. The most important part of tattoo care is proper cleansing and sanitation. A dirty tattoo can easily become infected, causing the ink to bleed and fade. An infected tattoo results in a nasty and ugly looking piece of permanent art.

After you get a tattoo, your tattoo artist will place a bandage over it to help stop and absorb any bleeding. Depending on the exact size and style of the art, you need to keep the bandage on for several hours. When it's time to remove the bandage, do so very gently and carefully.

Once the bandage is removed, you need to clean the tattoo with warm water and an anti-bacterial soap, preferably one made specifically for new tattoo care. Never scrub the tattoo, but instead gently pat it with your fingers to help remove any dried blood. Rinse the area with clean water and carefully pat dry with a soft, clean towel.

Let your tattoo air-dry completely. Next, apply a small amount of tattoo aftercare lotion. Don't overdo the lotion, since too much will collect germs and possibly infect your tattoo. Apply the lotion without rubbing it in. Instead just gently pat the lotion over the area and let it sit.

You will need to repeat the cleansing and moisturizing steps at least three times a day until your tattoo has fully healed. Prevent potential infection by only using clean sheets, towels and clothes during the healing stage. As it heals, a tattoo can become irritated, itchy or begin to peel. This is a normal reaction as your skin begins to heal.

Never scratch or pick at the new tattoo, even if the itching is driving you crazy. Just scratching the area can irritate the tattoo and rip the skin. This will result in a badly marred and blotchy looking tattoo, making all the time and money you spent on the art a complete waste. 

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