These days, tattoos are not just reserved for sailors. Many of us (myself included) have gone under the needle (more than once), having made the decision and commitment to have designs permanently etched on our skin. However, no matter how good your tattoo artist is or how rad the design looks, it’s up to you to look after your fresh ink so that it looks good for the REST of your LIFE.
We cannot stress the importance of listening to your tattoo artist. It can be hard to concentrate when the adrenaline is rushing, but the advice they give you on how to look after what is, essentially, a flesh wound with ink in it is really important. They know what they’re talking about, so take it all in and be diligent in your aftercare routine.
A few days after getting a tattoo, the areas that have been inked will start to scab and peel. DON’T TOUCH them! Scabs form to prevent nasty bacteria entering wounds, so they should be left alone to protect the area. After a few days, they will fall off on their own – but speeding up this process could lead to permanent damage. Consider yourself warned!
If anything starts leaking, turning green or smelling funky, or you start to feel under the weather, get yourself to a GP. Most of the time, tattoos heal just fine if the aftercare instructions were followed properly, but all skin reacts differently to trauma and, when it comes to needles and ink, adverse reactions are possible.
Ask any tattoo artist and they will tell you: sun exposure is your ink’s worst enemy. Not only does a tattooed area of the body burn more easily, but even if you don’t get burnt, tattoos are prone to fading. When spending time outdoors, slather on that high-factor SPF – you’ll thank us later.