Although you should receive detailed tattoo aftercare instructions from your artist, following these tattooed skin care tips should help you preserve that freshly inked look for years to come.
General Tattooed Skin Care Tips
Keep the Area Moisturized
Keeping your tat moisturized will help it stay vibrant in color.
- Apply a small amount of a color-free, scent-free moisturizing lotion to the area. You can also use a lotion specific to new and healing tattoos, like Tattoo Goo. Ask your artist for a recommendation.
- No matter which lotion or ointment you use, apply it sparingly. A thick layer of moisturizer can leach color out of your tattoo. If your skin feels excessively greasy after an application, gently pat up the extra with a soft tissue.
Protect Your Tat from the Sun
The sun can actually bleach the color from your tattoo, no matter how old it is.
- Apply a thin layer of SPF 50 sunblock lotion over the tattoo, and reapply often.
- Wear a light garment over your tat for even better protection. Go ahead and combine this effort with the sunblock. When it comes to sun exposure, you really can't be too careful.
- Never forget to apply sunblock to a tattoo of any age. Even seasoned tattoos can be affected by the sun, and a sunburn can cause peeling and scarring, neither of which are any good for the look of your tat.
Caring for an Aging Tattoo
Even though you've had a tat for years, it still needs some care to keep it looking its best.
As great as any fresh tattoo looks, the clock is ticking from the moment you get it. As people age, their tats age right along with them. To keep your body art looking its best:
- Moisturize often. Older skin tends to be drier than it was during youth, so regular moisturizing can keep your tattoo from looking tired.
- Stay in shape. Weight gain, loss of body tone and even dramatic weight loss all alter your body shape. Such changes can have a direct effect on the look of your tattoo.
Think of your body as the canvas for your tattoo. Eat right, get moderate exercise and plenty of rest; keeping yourself in shape gives you a better chance keeping your tat in shape too.
Refreshing Your Color
Nearly all tattoos fade a bit from that first brilliant color they had when they were fresh. This is natural as your body's immune system tries to break down the "foreign" material of the ink and flush it out of your system. It may be necessary to visit your artist and have the color enhanced with fresh ink from time to time. If you do this, all the rules of caring for a fresh tattoo apply.
Treat Your Tat Right
Following these tattooed skin care tips about keeping your tat clean, protected and moisturized are the best ways to preserve your body art, but if your skin begins to show any signs of infection, don't hesitate to visit your doctor.