Words: Roxanne Wood
Feature Image: Daniel Dvorsky
There’s no better feeling than the sudden burst of confidence you get after a new tattoo or piercing. Sometimes a subtle switch up in appearance is exactly what you need to be feeling good, however the after-care can prove to be more difficult than anticipated. It’s extremely important that you take care of your new tattoo or piercing to avoid infection and keep your new accessory looking fresh. It can be overwhelming to decide the best way to do this– so we’ve compiled a couple of our most efficient care techniques to help you speed along the healing process.
Warm Salt Water
Cruelty free and vegan friendly, this simple process works wonders for a new piercing. It’s practically free and is a straight-forward solution to create – just add salt to warm water and applying to the area using a cotton pad. The more times applied, the speedier the healing process will be.
Another cheap product to use is Saline Solution. This salt-based mixture is a far better choice than rubbing alcohol, which can leave the area very dry. A dried out piercing can lead to cracks and bleeds causing the wound to remain open and vulnerable to infection. Saline Solution therefore not only prevents infections but keeps the pierced skin moisturised. This product can be bought for a mere £2 at local corner shops.
- You can ‘twist’ the piercing around, but only whilst it is wet or whilst being cleaned!
- Avoid knocks to the pierced area. Most of the irritation will come from bumps to the area, or the piercing being caught and pulled.
- Stay healthy. A hydrated body is key to any healing process.
- And if you’re piercing still becomes infected, do not panic! This is a natural thing to happen, it may just mean you are not cleaning it enough. So, keep on top of a routine to prevent further infection. If you’re worried, go back to your piercer – they know best!
Another vegan friendly solution, coconut oil is a definite go-to for new tattoos. Relatively cheap at about £5 a pot, coconut oil sooths the area as well as fighting any possible infection. The huge perk about buying a tub of coconut oil is all the other things it can be used for, so the oil and your money does not go to waste. Some of its additional uses includes; soothing sunburn, lip care , skin moisturiser and as a frizz-fighter for your hair.
Bepanthen Nappy Rash Cream
This is a product many people would not associate with tattoo care. It works just as well as professional tattoo solutions but comes in at a considerably lower price. This unscented moisturising cream will prevent discomfort that scented creams would cause, as well as keeping the area healthy and soft. It also helps a great deal with the itching that comes shortly after a new tattoo. This should be applied a few times a day, but if you’re tattooed area is drying up quickly, apply more cream – there is no over doing it!
- When the tattoo is initially done it will be covered. Leave this on for 2-4hours then gently remove to clean. You can then either reapply a covering (usually cling film) or leave it to the open air depending on what your artist advised.
- Repeat the cleaning process about 3 or 4 times a day.
- Avoid soaking the tattoo in water for the first week – keep it dry.
- Avoid direct sunlight, especially during the healing process. Keep it covered in high SPF.
- DO NOT ITCH – this can cause the tattoo to fade or be removed. If your tattoo is itchy apply coconut oil or nappy rash cream.
- And again, stay healthy to aid the healing process.