So you've thought long and hard and have finally decided to get inked. But the journey doesn't end there. On the contrary, once you decide to get a tattoo, that's where it all begins. Getting a tattoo can be an exciting, albeit nerve wracking experience, so once you've finalised your design and its placement, ensure that your body is readied for the process as well. These 8 skincare tips will go a long way in ensuring you have a comfortable inking experience, both before and after the process.
Prior to getting a tattoo, here's what you need to keep in mind.
1. Restrict Certain Substances
For 48 hours prior to getting a tattoo, ensure that you don't drink any alcohol or caffeine. Since both substances are known to thin the blood, they could lead to increased bleeding during the process and make it a lot more bloody than it needs to be.
2. Tank Up
A week before getting inked, make sure you stay hydrated by drinking at least 2 litres of water daily. Before you brush this off as any ordinary skin care tip, know that a hydrated body ensures that the skin is supple and resilient to take the pressure of the needle, especially if you've got a long session. On D-day, eat a full meal and drink plenty of water before the nerves kick in. Low food intake can cause dizziness and low blood sugar, making the experience more painful. Together, when coupled with nervousness, it can take away from an experience that should have been memorable.
3. No Aspirin
Avoid taking any tablets like aspirin for 24 to 48 hours before you get inked. Such tablets too have the tendency to thin the blood and make bleeding easier, so unless absolutely necessary, it's best to avoid them before your tattoo appointment.
4. Be Comfortable
When heading to get inked, ensure that your clothing is loose and breathable and your tattoo area is easily accessible. If it's on your hands or legs, sleeveless tops or shorts will do. For trickier areas like your back or mid-riff, make sure your t-shirt can be pinned up easily.
Once your tattoo is completed, these tips will help you best care for it.
1. Keep It Covered
Tattoos are an indentation in your very skin and so, highly prone to infection. Make sure you keep it extremely hygienic. Until you reach home from the parlor, keep your tattoo covered with bandage or cling wrap. After a few hours, wash your hands and the area with anti-bacterial soap and water, then pat dry
Follow post-care instructions directed by your tattoo artist and apply the prescribed lotion, cream, oil or petroleum jelly over the tattoo exactly as per their directions. Its healing process takes a couple of weeks, so it needs moisture and protection during this period.
3. Don't Soak
While the tattooed area does need cleaning, it must not be completely immersed in water. So when bathing, a shower is fine but bath tubs, jacuzzis and swimming pools are complete no-nos for a few weeks. Your tattoo artist will best determine when you can dive in again.
4. Wear The Right Clothes
Absolutely no tight clothing for a few weeks once you get a tattoo and ensure you cover it with an umbrella when stepping out. If you find your clothes rubbing against the area, keep it covered with a bandage to prevent any friction.
All the very best for your tattoo - Now make sure you take care of it well.