Now that you have already decided to get inked, I won’t be stopping you. But then, Holistic Tattoo would be wrong on my part to not define certain precautionary strategies before and after getting the ink or pigment infused deep into the skin surface, specifically the dermal layer.
Even though tattoo making has evolved into a relatively safe form of grooming, it still concerns rupturing the skin layer, which qualifies as a glorified wound. Plus, when it comes to the health-specific aspects of getting inked, you need to approach each session like a deep cut or an impressionable bruise.
Therefore, it wouldn’t be wrong to state that holistic tattoo aftercare should even consider certain aspects that lead to the tattooing session.
Important Things to Note before getting inked
As mentioned, your tattoo aftercare plan should start the moment you decide to get inked. The first step should be to select a licensed tattoo parlor as only the certified ones are expected to adhere to the tattooing guidelines, ink quality, and other aspects related to compliance.
Once you zero in on a credible tattoo parlor, it is necessary to cross-check the accessories before letting the artist rupture the skin surface. You should take a note of the machine size in the case of a coil unit as it determines the ease with which the artist holds the device, which might impact the depth of the cut and the extent of the discomfort. In case the professional relies more on the rotary tattoo machines, it is necessary to check whether he or she has a wide range of needles to work with.
Plus, as tattoo machine needles need to be disposed of after every session, it is important that the artist has a separate box for storing the used prickles. Other indicative aspects that need to be checked for include the cleanliness quotient of the stations, availability of changeable gloves for the artist, the existence of the aftercare products, preferably the green soap, and the presence of tissues and soft cloths for wiping the blood, during the process.
Why Consider Tattoo Aftercare?
Firstly, a permanent tattoo isn’t merely an art form that asserts an individual’s grooming style. Instead, it is a carefully initiated, invasive medical procedure that requires the artist to cut through the skin and inject high-quality ink within the surface.
Read Also: Side Effects Of Having A Permanent Tattoo
As multiple cuts are involved, a lack of aftercare strategies might lead to infections and scarring. Also, tattoo aftercare ensures that the needle-skin impacts are far less threatening. But then, approaching tattoo aftercare can be tricky as you need to incorporate dietary changes in addition to making room for some life-centric ramifications.
While in most cases the artists write down the aftercare instructions, it is better to stay prepared by covering every aspect even before the same has been conveyed by the artist.
Still, if you are unsure about implementing holistic tattoo aftercare to minimize the impact of a permanent design on the overall health, here are the aspects to take care of:
1 Immediate Lifestyle Changes
Tattoo aftercare is segregated into immediate and iterative strategies. Once you get inked, you should immediately minimize exposure to sunlight and keep the area covered. Applying a calibrated and curated aftercare cream is also necessary as covering the area might make it sweat.
You should even consider applying a few layers of antibiotic ointment whilst wrapping the concerned area with plastic wrap. Once the area is covered, it becomes easier to keep the bacteria out of the ruptured area.
After reaching home, you can remove the plastic wrap or the concerned covering. However, at this point, it is necessary to wash the area with soap, preferably a variant that is infused with essential oils. Personally, I would recommend a warm wash using a fragrance-free soap followed by the application of any alcohol-free skin moisturizer.
At this point, the area should be kept open to help the skin surface breathe.
1 Gradual Healing Support
Now that you have taken care of the prompt considerations, it is important to ensure that the wound, or rather the tattooed area, heals at the earliest. However, the process has to be gradual as much like a normal cut, even the tattooed area takes time to heal.
Considering this, you must keep the area covered every time you go out of the house. Also, you should be on the lookout for swelling and infections and must report the same to the dermatologist, if experienced. Finally, you should keep a lid on using sunblock, tight apparel, swimming sessions, and surface scratching before the area heals completely.
2 Progressive Aftercare
If you see the tattooed area healing with time, you should move forward with the progressing aftercare strategies that include wrapping the tattoo while taking a bath, at least for the first week or so. However, once you remove the cover, you might end up noticing some discharge, variegated with the residual ink.
Also, a hint of soreness upon uncovering the area is also on the expected lines and you shouldn’t allow it to stress you out. However, the discharge and redness are impermanent and only experienced during the initial days.
However, the concept of progressive aftercare is way more pronounced as once you start entering the 3rd day, you will start noticing scab build-up. At this point, it is necessary to apply fragrance-free ointments are creams, whilst washing the surface with some warm, running water.
By the time you reach the end of the first week, there shall be minimal redness to deal with, provided the area isn’t infected in the first place. The light scabbing will continue to persist but you should not pick at them to avoid scarring.
Also, you should keep washing and moisturizing the tattooed area even at this stage.
3 The Fortnightly Plan
Each of the strategies mentioned above needs to be followed by at least a week. However, the aftercare plan needs to change once you approach the 14-day mark. By this time the scabs start transforming into flakes and it is in your best interest to have them come off in a natural way.
Also, this is the phase when the itch gets real and you must increase the application frequency of the moisturizer to minimize the discomfort.
4 The Underlining Aftercare Routine
Regardless of the tattooed phase you are in, it is important to have an underlining aftercare plan that would serve you right immediately after the first week. While there can be several pointers to take note of, moisturizing the area has to be the crux of the discussion as it keeps the area from drying out and even ensures that the tattoo remains as envisioned, in terms of color and consistency.
Plus, you should keep investing in reliable tattoo aftercare products, including ointments, coconut oil, soap bars for sensitive skin surfaces, and other resources like lotions, skin repairing creams, and select products with shea butter, aloe vera, and skin pacifying elements.
5 Dry Healing
If you have extremely sensitive skin, you can ditch the moisturizer and use essential oils instead. Or, you simply keep the skin covered against the sun and wait for it to heal naturally. Dry healing is often the best option for individuals who find moisturizers as precursors to itching.
6 Dietary Changes
While some might completely ignore this aspect of aftercare, accommodating and shunning certain food items are effective strategies to speed up the drying and healing process.
For starters, it is important to cut out instant noodles, processed meat, and alcoholic beverages from the diet plan, provided you want the tattoo to heal as quickly as possible. However, the restrictions need not be extensive and you should aim to stick with them for 7 days at max.
However, it is more important to pinpoint the healthy food items that need to be included in the existing diet plan, if not already present. These include dark chocolate for ramping up the antioxidant count, orange juice for increasing the intake of Vitamin C, Broccoli as an anti-inflammatory inclusion, pineapple for better immunity, and garlic for fighting infections or their inception.
Apart from that, you should consider staying adequately hydrated by consuming close to 4 liters of water and making succulent tomatoes a part of your diet.
Is the transient impact on health worth it?
Getting a permanent tattoo of choice isn’t only about embracing the art. Instead, it is also about getting inked as a part of a perpetual life goal, which usually clings on to you till death. The sheer significance of tattoos, therefore, makes aftercare plans all the more important as only the perfect post-operative approach ensures a timeless reverberation of the ideated designs.
Also, if you have other aftercare strategies to share, I would be more than happy to know about the existing experiences, in the comments.