Once you’ve made your decision to get a tattoo, understand the possible skin issues involved, and have a design ready to go, you will want to make sure that you choose the best tattoo artist professional. You want to take the best possible care of your skin.
Ask a trusted friend for a tattoo artist and the studio where the work is done, but do your own follow-up work. Call or visit the studios you are interested in using and ask questions.
- Only go to a reputable tattoo studio with properly trained tattoo artists. You might even want to check with local health departments for information on local licensing and regulations.
- Your tattoo artist should wear disposable gloves. And he or she should wash hands before and after each tattoo subject and procedure.
- Your tattoo artist should use proper equipment. Your artist should always remove needles and tubes from sealed packages before your tattoo starts. Pigments, trays, and containers should be unused as well.
- Make sure that your tattoo artist and studio sterilizes non-disposable equipment. Heat sterilization should be used on all non-disposable equipment between usages. Those items that can’t be cleaned by heat sterilization, should be cleaned with a disinfectant or bleach solution in between customers.
Once you have your new tattoo, you’ll want to take good care of the site. You should have the site bandaged by the tattoo artist once the work is done. This bandage should stay in place for 24 hours. Once you remove it, use an antibiotic ointment on the tattoo site while it is healing. Keep the area clean by using soap and water. Avoid direct streams in the shower on the new site. Pat dry, do not rub the area. Apply a mild moisturizer several times a day. Your tattoo artist may have some suggestions for which moisturizer to use, or you can ask your dermatologist. Keep the tattoo site out of the sun for several weeks. It is also a good idea to avoid swimming in pools, hot tubs, rivers, lakes, or any water. Wear loose fitting clothing that won’t stick to the healing tattoo site.
Your tattoo site should heal within two weeks, however if you are concerned that it might be infected or not healing well, please contact your dermatologist.