WHAT HAPPEN WHEN DO YOU GET A TATTOO?
TO KNOW HOW THEY HEALE, YOU HAVE TO KNOW HOW THE TATTOOS WORK
Your skin is made up of three layers: The outer epidermis provides a protective barrier. The middle layer, the dermis, is where sweat glands, hair follicles, and nerve endings work. Lastly, the subcutaneous layer contains fat and connective tissue that adheres your skin to the rest of the body. Tattoo artists use tiny needles soaked in pigment that repeatedly penetrate through the epidermis, all the way to the second layer of skin, the dermis.
TATTOO HEALING TIME SKIN CARE AND HYGIENE ARE ESSENTIAL TO SHOW OFF A BEAUTIFUL TATTOO
Let's face it, repeatedly pricking your skin with ink-soapked needles is an invasive process, and your body doesn't like it! The body's first response is to send out an army of white blood cells to try and get rid of the ink. Fortunately, the pigment particles are larger than the white blood cells, so your body largely fails, and most of the ink stays exactly where it was put, in the dermis. This is why tattoos last for many, many years. The body's reaction to being pricked with a needle will cause the tattooed area to become red, swollen and eventually scab over. As with any other type of wound, it is important to know how to care for your tattoo during its natural healing period of 2-4 weeks.
THE TATTOO HEALING PROCESS
STAGE 1 - WEEK 1:
Keep the tattoo clean and without any cream the first three days. Use soft kitchen paper to dry your tattoo by patting gently, during the first three days I recommend not applying cream. After the third day, apply a thin layer of cream that promotes tattoo healing to intensely hydrate and repair the skin barrier.
If you were second skin, you can watch how to apply and remove it HERE.
In this stage you should carefully wash the tattooed area with warm water and a mild pH balanced cleanser. Do not rub it with a rough cloth or towel. For the first week, clean your tattoo twice a day to remove excess plasma. It is this plasma that forms the scabs, if there is too much it will form larger scabs that can dry out and crack, which could cause the tattoo to lose definition.
Try leaving the cream in the fridge for a cooling effect. Hygiene is essential at this stage, but choose to take short showers; Soaking in a bathtub filled with hot water will interfere with scabbing and prolong the healing time of your tattoo. You should also avoid potentially contaminated environments (saunas, hot tubs, swimming pools, or dusty places), as these pose a higher risk of infection. By the end of the first week, your tattoo should already have started to scab over.
While your tattoo heals, it's important to avoid wearing rough or tight clothing that can interfere with the scabbing process. Wear soft, loose clothing for the first two weeks.
STAGE 2 - WEEK 2:
Do not scratch yourself! As your skin begins to heal, it's normal for it to start to feel tight and itchy. This is our most important advice: don't scratch! Use a cold soothing cream on the tattoo, try refreshing water…practice meditation and deep breathing, stand on your head, wear gloves, do whatever it takes to distract yourself, and don't scratch!
During this stage, the scabs will begin to fall off on their own, and your skin will begin to flake and peel. Again, resist the urge to pull at the peeling skin. Keep up your tattoo cleaning and care routine, and let nature take its course. During the healing of your tattoo, there is a risk of developing dark pigmentation if you expose it to the sun. This is known as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Do not expose your tattoo to the sun.
STAGE 3 - WEEKS 3 AND 4:
Keep it up At this point, most of the scabs and peeling skin will have fallen off. At this stage, your tattoo could be disappointingly dull. This is because a thin layer of dead skin cells has yet to be shed. It might be tempting to grab a brush and chip away at your tattoo, but don't! If you maintain consistency in daily skin hydration and protection, this last veil of skin will naturally disappear, and within a few weeks your beautiful tattoo will be revealed in all its brilliance and splendor.
The colors of the tattoos are not solid. Ultraviolet radiation breaks the pigment down into smaller particles that are carried away by white blood cells in your body. This is what makes tattoos fade over time. Sunburns are your tattoo's worst enemy*.
If you allow your skin to burn and peel, the ink will break down more quickly, and you'll soon have to touch up your tattoo. So it is recommended that you get into the habit of using a soothing cream with SPF [CICAPLAST BAUME SPF 50+] every day to protect your tattoo from the sun.
*Sunburn increases the risk of developing skin cancers.
STAGE 4 - FOREVER
You are suppossed to take care of your tattoo forever, not just the first 4 weeks. So.. When you visit a museum, do you see all those beautiful paintings hanging in the sun, scratched by sharp objects, and covered in dust? No way! Those works of art are protected from every conceivable hazard that could cause them to discolor or degrade. To keep your precious tattoo looking vivid and fresh for many years to come, you should treat it with the same respect:
• Keep your skin hydrated
• Don't scratch the tattoo
• Take care of cuts and scrapes to avoid the risk of infection or marks
• Protect your tattoo from the sun every day with a broad spectrum cream with high SPF
ALWAYS TREAT YOUR TATTOO AS WHAT IT IS: A WORK OF ART
HERE IS A SUMMARY OF THE TIPS TO OPTIMIZE THE HEALING PROCESS OF YOUR TATTOO:
- Use a mild cleansing gel to keep your tattoo clean.
- Avoid potentially polluting places: saunas, hot tubs, swimming pools or dusty places, as they represent a higher risk of infection. Opt for short showers, with luke warm water.
- Do not scratch yourself!
- Avoid wearing tight or rough clothing; friction can cause excessive scabbing and loss of definition.
- Make the hydration of your skin your religion!
- Dryness can cause excessive scaling and discoloration.
- Use sun protection; UV rays can discolor the ink.
DANGER SIGNS TO WATCH FOR
For the first few days, it is normal to experience mild pain, itching, and redness.
This is not something that usually happens, but every skin and body are different. See a doctor if:
• The pain is severe
• You feel like you have a fever or general malaise
• Redness extends beyond the affected area
• Your tattoo oozes white or yellow pus