Like any other art piece, a tattoo is far from complete after the final injection of ink. Oil paints are varnished, pottery is fired, and a tattoo needs to heal properly. This last step is easily one of the most important yet also the most overlooked in the entire tattooing process. People never factor in the healing time. They’re often unaware that the tattoo isn’t complete when you leave your final session. The hardest part isn’t sitting in the chair, waiting for the tattoo artist to finish. No, the hardest part is giving the tattoo the time to heal. It’s tempting to show off a tattoo immediately, and you still can, to a certain extent, but not without taking all of the necessary precautions your artist recommends.
When I got my first tattoo, I was shocked by all the precautionary steps that followed. Movies and TV shows often make it seem as though the moment you leave the shop, your tattoo is complete and you can carry on with life as you did before. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Your skin has just been pierced thousands of times with little needles, it needs to heal, and you need to do your best to aid in this process. You need to keep the wound clean and care for it as you would any other injury. For the first few days, keep the tattoo covered. Clean the area with warm water and antibacterial soap, and replace the bandage as needed. Avoid scrubbing your newly tattooed skin and always pat dry instead of rubbing while the healing process is taking place. Your artist might recommend an ointment or cream, in which case only apply a thin layer when needed as using too much could encourage the growth of bacteria around the wound.
While your tattoo’s longevity is mainly determined by the skill of your artist as well as the inks and techniques used, the immediate aftercare can also affect its future quality. Without proper care, you will only cause the tattoo to fade and blur faster. Remember to stay vigilant in order to retain the best possible tattoo once the healing has finished. It would be a shame to lose all of that hard work and money when just a bit of care can help to ensure a perfect tattoo.