Everything you need to know about tattoo aftercare

Loving your ink is caring for your ink

There is only so much a skilled tattoo artist can do during your session to make sure you end up with a good healthy tattoo. Taking care of your ink and following a proper aftercare regime once the session is over is just as important as the work being done in the studio.

Successful healing

When getting a tattoo, your skin is being subjected to thousands of punctures a minute. Even though the needle only reaches a couple of millimeters under the skin and only causes superficial wounds there are still complications that can occur which may have you visiting your artist again for fix ups or alterations.

The skin generally goes through a certain process when healing from wounds, even the ones caused by a tattoo needle, and understanding the different phases and how they relate to your tattoo will help you through a successful healing.

The phases of healing

During the first phase, the inflammation phase, the wound exudates and coagulates. The wounded skin draws blood to it so that antibodies, white blood cells, enzymes and various nutrients can reach the area. This “pooling” of blood causes swelling but also helps with healing and keeping infections away.

During the second phase, the proliferation phase, the skin produces new tissue to heal itself. This often includes scabbing (or crusting) around the wound. When it comes to tattoos, this is something you want to avoid. Scabbing is the skin healing itself by pulling debris and old coagulated blood up through the wound, which might take some of the pigment from your ink with it. Using the right aftercare system will keep scabbing to a minimum, allowing your skin to heal the most efficiently.

After about 6-10 days, the initial superficial wounds caused by the needle are healed over. The last phase of the skin healing is the maturation and remodeling phase. During this phase the wound has closed up, but your new shiny skin will still be very sensitive. The maturation phase normally lasts for around 2 weeks before the skin fully settles down so make sure you continue with proper aftercare until your tattoo is fully healed.

‘Scratchers’ and excessive scabbing

It is of utmost importance that you visit a professional and experienced tattoo artist when getting your ink done. Placing the ink too deep or too shallow, overworking the tattoo, using unsanitary or not properly sanitized equipment are all hallmarks of inexperienced artists, also known as ‘scratchers’. This might cause inflammation, infection and in many cases excessive scabbing or crusting which can dull the colors and damage your tattoo.

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The aftercare process

The first few hours

After coming home and removing the bandage dressing put on by your artist, clean your tattoo using the Tattoocyn® Cleanse soap and lukewarm water, making sure to be very gentle. Do not apply too much water pressure, do not rub or be too aggressive, and gently pat the area dry with a clean towel when you’re done. Let it air-dry fully, then apply Tattoocyn® Care and leave the tattoo uncovered unless instructed otherwise by your artist or if you are going to expose it to dirty environments.

The aftercare process

These are some of the things you need to keep in mind during the aftercare process. Follow these for the first days with your new tattoo and until it is fully healed.

Make sure to wear ample and roomy clothing made of light fabrics, such as cotton. Avoid wool, nylon or other acrylics. Wearing these materials or tight clothing can irritate the skin. Also avoid sleeping directly on the tattoo.

Keep the tattoo in the open and let it breathe. Using heavier creams based on petroleum or containing lanolin may clog your pores, which can foster bacteria and cause inflammation or breakouts. It also traps bacteria on the skin. The Tattoocyn® Care formula is non-petroleum based and lets the skin breathe and heal optimally.

Do not take baths or go swimming in chlorinated pools or in salt water for at least 2 weeks as this may leach out pigment through the tattoo. Stick to short showers and make sure to wash your tattoo as instructed using Tattoocyn® Cleanse. Keep the area clean and do not touch the tattooed area with dirty hands.

It is very important to avoid direct exposure to sunlight and UV-rays as this can cause hyperpigmentation and dulling of the ink. Make sure to always wear strong sunscreen on your tattoos in the sun even after the aftercare process is done.

If your tattoo ever feels dry during the healing process, apply a thin layer of Tattoocyn® Care. Make sure to always keep your tattoo moisturized as this is essential to a successfully healed tattoo.

And finally, itching. However high the temptation, avoid scratching the tattooed area if it itches. You might damage the tattoo by irritating the skin or scratching away loose pigment. Use Tattoocyn® Cleanse and Care to help relieve the itching, and stay strong.

Aftercare FAQ

Why should I use Tattoocyn instead of other recommended products, such as Bepanthen?

Unlike products such as Bepahnten, Tattoocyn was developed specifically for tattoo aftercare. A lot of products you might see recommended, either by friends or tattoo artists, are actually intended for other uses (Bepahnten is normally used to prevent diaper rash in infants) and are therefore not suitable for use as tattoo aftercare. These products are not intended for use on fresh wounds and often rely on petroleum-based formulas for moisturization, which can clog pores and causes rashes, pimples or scabbing. Tattoocyn is specifically designed for the type of wounds created by tattoo needles. It is also water-based and lets the skin breathe.

I have scabs or crust on my tattoo. Help!

Depending on the severity, scabbing and crusting on a new tattoo is nothing to be concerned about. Using the proper aftercare system will keep it to a minimum, but if you do experience scabs it is very important to resist the urge to touch, scratch or peel them as this can damage the ink. Remember that even though thick and excessive scabbing isn’t a sign of infection or long-lasting damage to you tattoo, it is still something you should be concerned about and might warrant a call or visit to your tattoo artist.

I think my tattoo might be infected!

There are some signs to look out for in case you are worried about your tattoo being infected. Does it turn an unusual color, swell and cause pain? Does it radiate a significant amount of heat? Is it smelling bad and oozing discharge? If so, get in touch with your artist and seek immediate medical attention to prevent the infection from spreading.

My tattoo has pimples!

Getting pimples on or around your new tattoo is quite common, especially if you’re using inappropriate aftercare products. They normally form as a result of using ointments that clog your pores (such as Bepehnten) or from leaving the initial bandage from your artist on for too long. It is important to not pop or scratch your pimples, as this might damage the tattoo, and to use the Tattoocyn cleansing soap in combination with the moisturizer to keep the bacteria that form pimples on your pores away.

My tattoo is swelling!

Some initial swelling on or around your tattoo is to be expected. The body draws blood and healing nutrients to the tattoo, which causes the swelling almost everyone experiences during the first few days. Even though swelling is nothing out of the ordinary, excessive or persistent swelling is something you should be concerned about. Contact your artist and seek medical attention, since this might be a sign of infection!

I have a fever / I feel dizzy / I have red streaks emanating from my tattoo / I’m in pain

Seek immediate medical attention. Any of these symptoms are signs of major infection or other complications that need urgent treatment.

Why do you recommend me to wash my tattoo 3-4 times a day?

Washing the tattoo several times daily keeps it hygienic and free from bacteria. Using our cleansing soap the recommended 3-4 times a day also removes the plasma extruding from the wound, which causes scabbing. Washing your tattoo in regular intervals or whenever it gets exposed to dirty environments and keeping it clean in general ensures you have an optimal healing experience.

Tattoocyn Combo Product Shot

Tattoocyn Combo is our innovative tattoo aftercare system - made and developed in Sweden and based on our research on the tattoo healing process.

Tattoocyn Combo is our innovative tattoo aftercare system - made and developed in Sweden and based on our research on the tattoo healing process.

Tattoocyn Love Your Ink - how to care for your tattoo
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