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Tattoo aftercare

All you’ll need to know about getting inked

You finally got the tattoo you’ve always dreamed of. Just like how you’ve imagined it would be – it’s perfect! 

However, getting a tattoo does not stop at just getting inked. The process of tattoo aftercare is by far the most important part when it comes to getting a tattoo. 

Do you know how to care for your tattoo?

Don’t be alarmed if you’re unsure of ways to care for your tattoo as we speak with Dr. Felix Yap Boon Bin, Dermatologist from Sunway Medical Centre to educate you on everything you need to know about tattoo aftercare.

1Twenty80: What does it mean by tattoo aftercare? 

Dr. Felix Yap Boon Bin: Tattoo aftercare is basically the precautions that you should take after getting a tattoo. If one has no proper care for their tattoo, it may lead to skin infection. The common symptom of a tattoo infection is usually small rashes or red bumpy skin around the tattoo.

1Twenty80: What is the best tattoo aftercare product? 

Dr. Felix: Use antibiotic cream, petroleum jelly or any cream that suits your skin well. Apply a thin layer of cream directly on your tattoo a few times a day or whenever your tattooed skin feels dry for about one to two weeks. If you prefer using antibiotic cream, you can purchase one at a nearby pharmacists from over-the-counter.

1Twenty80: How should you clean the area of your tattoo?

Dr. Felix: Be mindful of the fact that you should wash your hands thoroughly before touching your tattoo.

Gently wash your tattoo with warm water, using a fragrance-free soap or cleanser. The chemicals in scented soaps can irritate your tattoo or cause the colour to fade faster.

In any circumstances, do not use sponges or washcloth when cleaning your tattoo. After cleaning your tattoo, pat it dry and apply some skin moisturiser.

1Twenty80: What to avoid after getting a tattoo?

Dr. Felix: As your tattoo starts to heal, it may scab slightly. You should avoid picking at it, as this may remove the ink in that area and lead to patches fading or being removed altogether.

If you feel any itching around your tattoo, remind yourself not to scratch. Instead, slap it lightly. Scratching your tattoo may lead to infections as your tattoos have not healed completely.

1Twenty80: What should one consider before getting a tattoo?

Dr. Felix: One of the most important thing to consider before getting a tattoo is to know how sure you are on wanting a tattoo. Do not rush into getting a tattoo simply because you find having tattoos are cool or after seeing someone you know has a tattoo.

Think thoroughly before getting a tattoo as it’s highly likely for you to regret later.

Apart from that, when getting a tattoo, ensure that the tattoo parlour you choose is clean. It is important to visit the parlour you are considering and take a look around. Visit a few tattoo parlours that have the proper license as this will clearly give you a few places to consider, as well as a couple to avoid.

Also, make sure that all the needles used are new and the ink is of good quality. Do not feel shy about asking your tattoo artist about the inks they use.

1Twenty80: Is it advisable for people with sensitive skin to get a tattoo?

Dr. Felix: It is best not to get a tattoo if you have sensitive skin. Sensitive skin conditions such as eczema or psoriasis may not make any difference when getting a tattoo. However, getting a tattoo done on areas where you have eczema or psoriasis could increase the risk of skin infection.

Another thing to consider is to find out if you’re prone to any skin allergy. If you have any reaction to hair dye, then you might be allergic to tattoo ink too. This is because hair dye and tattoo ink are similar in one way or another.

Talk to your tattoo artist or visit a dermatologist if you’re unsure yourself. 

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