Once you have your new tattoo it is important that you provide it with the proper aftercare. Although your artist should provide you with an aftercare sheet the actual responsibility for preventing infection and worse rests firmly on your shoulders. Here are some of the cardinal sins of tattoo aftercare which should be avoided at all costs to prevent your tattoo experience turning into a potential nightmare.
Removing the bandage too soon. No doubt you will be under pressure from family and friends to show off you latest creation. Under no circumstances should the bandage be removed within the first 2 hours of the tattoo being completed. To prevent infection it is imperative that no bacteria is able to penetrate what is in effect an open wound.
Using abrasive wash clothes. You will need to wash the tattoo area after removing the bandage. Use lukewarm water and a liquid antibacterial soap. Do not use a washcloth or anything abrasive to apply the soap. Your hand is your best tool for this purpose.
Cleaning with Detol or Neosporin. Although a fantastic product for cuts and crazes these type of product are not suited to tattoo aftercare. In particular there is a high potential of an allergic reaction to the Neosporin, which may result in little red bite like lumps dominating the tattoo area. Unfortunately once the lumps die down they for some reason can take the ink with them resulting in a polka-dotted tattoo finish.
Oversoaking your new tattoo. Getting a tattoo wet in a shower is fine but getting it soaked is definitely out of the question. Completely submerging your new tattoo before it is fully healed either in the bath or sea can lead to infection and / or impair the long term quality of the tattoo.
Sharing your aftercare products. To avoid cross infection never share your aftercare products with anyone
Picking and scratching at scabbing and peeling areas It is not unusual after 3-4 days for some minor peeling and scabbing to form on the tattoo area. Do not ruin your tattoo by picking and scratching. Applying some warm moistened cotton buds a few times a day to the scabs for several minute will cause them to soften and eventually fall away.
Exposure to the sun Once your tattoo is fully healed it is important that you keep it adequately protected from the sun's ultraviolet rays. The powerful sun's rays are more than capable of damaging and effecting the vibrancy of even the most colourful tattoo in next to no time. Make sure that the tattoo is protected with a minimum factor 16 sunblock.