- Beauty & Wellness
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE GETTING A TATTOO AND AFTERCARE.
With 12 tattoos and counting. The long road to getting tattooed has been an interesting one for me. From the pain, the healing process, the fear that something had gone wrong, the unbelievable itch to what I feel have morphed into really beautiful pieces of art. In the interest of maintaining healthy looking skin, I think tattoo aftercare is really important and as such here are some things I feel one should consider before getting a tattoo as well as how to care for them.
First things first, understand that these bad boys are PERMANENT! This is something you’re going to have to live with for the rest of your life, sure there are a few tattoo removal processes like laser treatment or just cutting away the tissue but these are all incredibly painful both physically and financially.
Still interested.... right! Here are a few pointers to get you started.
1. Do some research. If you have a particular design, style or font you’re considering that happens to be in a foreign language, a religious relic or art piece, please Google or consult locals or those concerned that are familiar with what you’re trying to get lest you end up with something very offensive or silly. Ask Ariana Grande.
2. Consider the body part you’re tattooing. Tattooing is a painful process. Much as pain is subjective to the individual, certain areas like the ribs, skull, knuckles and feet can be quite painful as opposed to say the fleshier bits like arms, thighs or the back area.
3. Consider the tattoo studio and artist. Tattoo artists are a dime a dozen but professionalism varies, check out the artists you have considerd's portfolio and feedback from previous clients. Thanks to the internet and social media this should be a relatively easy process.
4. Tattoos are not cheap, in fact it’s generally accepted that the cheaper the tattoo, the higher the likelihood it will be of very poor quality. Talk to the artist and work out a plan that is comfortable for both of you.
Tattoo aftercare is the most important part of your tattoo journey. Please listen to your artist’s advice to ensure your tattoo comes out looking wonderful. With a Fresh Tattoo your artist should cover the tattoo with a thin layer of a petroleum based gel and bandage or cling film it. This soaks up any residual ink or gunk. After about 4 hours (or however long your artist advises) remove the bandage and clean the tattoo with antimicrobial soap, pat dry and use ointment. Resist the urge to touch and pick at it as this could lead to infection from bacteria in your nails and on your fingers.
Apply your antibacterial ointment twice a day to the freshly washed tattoo after patting dry to keep the tattoo moist and aid in the healing process. I like the brand Hustle Butter. It’s a game changer. I purchased mine from Kla Ink in Kamwokya. You could order it online as well.
This process should be continued throughout the healing process which typically takes about 2 weeks to a month depending on where you had the tattoo done. Itching and peeling are very normal albeit unsightly though excessive redness or burning might be a sign of infection. Consult your artist if you have any concerns.
Avoid swimming or hot tubs during the healing process and well after, for about 3 to 6 months as this will cause the ink to fade. Always cover the tattoo or wear sunblock when venturing out
Coconut oil and Cocoa butter lotion are some tried and tested great remedies for tattoo healing. Avoid petroleum jelly or Vaseline as the thickness clogs pores.
Now that you’ve got these tips under your belt. You are well on your way to experience the wonderful world of tattooing. Kla Ink Kampala and Eugene Tattoos are my go to artists. You can check out their profiles and body of work on Instagram.