Tattoos are an art form for the body that is becoming more acceptable every day in the society in which we live. Getting a tattoo means something different to everyone. Many want to think about this expression, and have it mean something to them. Others just walk in and get something slapped on without thinking anymore about it. One step in getting a tattoo is always the same no matter the meaning (or lack of meaning), and that is proper care. Proper care of your tattoo will keep infections away and allow you to enjoy the new addition to your appearance! Here are the steps to care for your tattoo so you can be a responsible rebel.
Step 1: Brainstorm
Have an idea in mind for the design of your tattoo. Get your thoughts down on paper so that you are better able to instruct the artist as to what you want. Flex your artistic skills, or find a picture to give the artist a clear vision. Here is an original idea I came up with before going to my appointment.
Step 2: Research
Research local tattoo parlors and visit the ones that stand out to you. Do not be afraid to ask questions. Choosing the right tattoo artist can be the difference between seeing your vision come to life, and showing up on “America’s Worst Tattoos.” Look through their artwork, read any available reviews, and choose the environment that puts you the most at ease. One should feel comfortable and relaxed when one walks into a certain parlor. The above parlor is my personal favorite.
Step 3: Clean Yourself
Cleanse your skin prior to going to the tattoo parlor. Being clean can help prevent any infection. Be sure to inform the artist of any allergies you may have.
Step 4: Final Idea
Allow the artist to make your vision come to life. Be sure to choose the right tattoo artist before making an appointment. An artist may improvise and put their own style into your idea, and you should be aware of their style prior to going under the needle. Also do not be afraid to voice your opinion after the artist’s initial drawing.
Step 5: Pain!
Sit back and enjoy receiving your tattoo! Feel free to ask questions during the process. It is important to feel comfortable throughout. Any care for the tattoo will be the responsibility of the artist.
Step 6: After Care Part One
Leave the saran wrap bandage (the artist will clean the area and provide this bandage) on for no more than two hours. After removal of this bandage, allow the wound to air freely for a few hours.
Step 7: After Care Part 2
Wash the affected area using gentle fragrance-free soap. Do NOT scrub or rub the area, but instead use your hands to gently lather the soap. Rinse with lukewarm water. Repeat this step every three to four hours during the first three days after getting your tattoo.
Step 8: After Care Part 3
As the tattoo begins to scab over, Do NOT pick the scabs or apply antibacterial ointment. Apply fragrance-free lotion (such as Lubriderm) to ease discomfort and moisten the affected area.
Step 9: After Care Part 4
The tattoo should be fully healed within two weeks, but until that time, there are some general rules that should be followed:
1. The tattoo should still be washed in the same manner discussed in the previous section. However, it no longer needs to be washed every 3 to 4 hours. It is acceptable to wash it in the morning and in the evening.
2. Lotion may be applied if the affected area feels dry from all the washing.
3. Continue to be gentle when putting on clothing or drying off after a shower or bath.
Step 10: Additional Information
Over time your tattoo will naturally begin to fade. The day you get your tattoo will be its most vibrant day. If your tattoo is in a place where sunlight will be hitting it try to never allow your tattoo to be exposed to direct sunlight. If you are going to be exposed to UV radiation in any way, be sure to apply a high-spf sunscreen at least every two hours during your time of exposure.
Step 11: Love Yourself!
Enjoy your new tattoo! With this expression permanently attached to you, be proud and show it off. Take a few selfies and be awesome in them, because you, my friend, have a new tattoo and have taken care of it.