- periodic swelling
- the tattoo becoming raised
If you develop these symptoms, see a dermatologist, she advises.
If you do suffer problems or an infected tattoo, it’s a good idea to notify your tattoo artist, Leger adds.
“It is important for artists to know if particular patients are having complications so they can be a part of assessing what’s going on,” she shares.
Tips before getting a tattoo
Leger also suggests that people with chronic skin conditions or a history of skin cancer should talk to a dermatologist before getting a tattoo. People with psoriasis should be aware that they may develop a patch of psoriasis on their tattoo, and those with moles should avoid inking over them.
“There’s no strong data that shows tattoos increase your risk of skin cancer, but they can make detection harder,” Leger says.
Caring for your tattoo
When caring for your tattoo, remember the following:
- Your tattoo artist should cover your new tattoo in a thin layer of petroleum jelly and a bandage.
- After 24 hours, gently wash the tattoo with antimicrobial soap and water. Be sure to pat dry.
- Apply a layer of antibacterial/Vaseline ointment twice a day, but don’t put on another bandage.
- Gently wash your tattoo area twice a day with soap and water and gently pat dry before reapplying the antibacterial/Vaseline ointment.
- Keep applying a moisturizer or ointment after you clean it to keep it moist.
This is a process that should be repeated for 2 to 4 weeks. Also, remember to avoid clothing that sticks to your tattoo, use sunscreen with at least 7% zinc oxide sunscreen during the daylight hours and cover your tattoo up with clothing and/or a bandage. You should also bathe in cool water. Hot water can hurt and fade the ink. Lastly do not pick, scratch, or peel your tattoo because it can cause an infection or remove the color. If your tattoo isn’t infected or healing properly, consult with your doctor.