Cream & Soap
Healing a tattoo involves a delicate balance between keeping it clean to prevent infection and allowing it to heal naturally. Washing your tattoo daily is an essential part of the aftercare process. Here’s a guide on how to properly wash your tattoo every day to facilitate healing.
Why Cream & Soap
This form of care is a more natural way to go about the healing process. While your artist will still clean your tattoo and cover it in saran wrap at the end of the appointment, you will need to remove it a few hours later to clean the tattoo again on your own. Healing this way will cause you to clean the tattoo about two to three times a day, allowing for the prevention of infection if done properly.
Wash Your Hands
Although this seems like an obvious and simple step, it is a crucial one to remember. Although your tattoo is a piece of artwork, it is good to remember that it is also a fresh wound on your body. If you are going to touch the area please remember to wash your hands before doing so, even if the purpose is to clean it. This will reduce the risk of introducing bacteria to the healing area.
Use Fragrance-Free Soap
Choose a mild liquid or foam antibacterial soap without added fragrance. This reason for this is because fragrances can irritate the tattooed skin. An open wound can act unpredictably, so it’s better to be safe than sorry. In addition, tattooed skin can act differently than it did before it was tattooed, so please treat the area with care.
Gently Wash the Tattoo
Carefully splash the water onto your tattoo or use a clean paper towel to apply the soapy water. Gently lather the soap on your tattoo, being careful not to scrub or rub it harshly. You can repeat the process once or twice during the same cleaning session, but please be careful not to over wash your tattoo.
After washing your tattoo, it is best to dry it with a clean paper towel. This is because a hand or shower towel, even if washed, can carry bacteria. It is best to just use a clean paper towel to ensure safety. Once you pat the area dry, you can then let it air dry for a few minutes before applying aftercare products such as cream and lotion.
Apply Cream or Lotion
Once you let the tattoo air dry for a bit you can then apply a light amount of cream or lotion. Be sure to cover the entirety of the tattoo, but just be informed that a little goes a long way. If you use too much cream it can suffocate the tattoo and cause irritation. Creams that are well known and safe to use on healing tattoos are Aquaphor, Lubriderm, and Hustle Butter. Applying cream to the tattoo is good because it keeps it from becoming dry, helps it to stay vibrant, and can reduce itching during the scabbing and flaking stage of healing.