What to do (or not to do) so as not to ruin a tattoo


More and more people have a tattoo; according to a survey conducted by the Istituto Superiore di Sanità (ISS), and concluded in 2015, in Italy there are 6.9 million tattooed people, corresponding to 12.8% of the population. An increasingly higher figure for what, in effect, is a real passion.

To make a long lasting tattoo there are some small rules to respect; but, more importantly, the behaviors to adopt concern above all what it must and must not be done before and after getting a tattoo. What is better to avoid, what should be limited, and what is to be considered dangerous for the risk of infections or for the maintenance of the design.

So let’s try to understand what are the most important behaviors to keep before going to get a tattoo, and immediately after having the tattoo done.

6 things not to do before getting a tattoo

How to deal with hair removal, medications, supply, before a session with the tattoo artist? If you think that these three things have little to do with the tattoo, you are very wrong.

1. Waxing before tattooing

Before a tattoo are prohibited both lamps and waxing, since they are treatments that irritate, dry and stretch the skin a lot, with the risk of compromising the final result. If necessary, the tattoo artist himself will shave the affected area, hydrating it properly.

2. Sports before tattooing

It is advisable not to practice intense sports in the 12 hours preceding the session, since physical activity increases blood pressure and microcirculation.

3. Tanning

Better not to show off even a too tanned skin, which is sometimes even more sensitive and dehydrated. Furthermore, no tattoos can be done on areas that are red or irritated by the sun or tanning lamps.

4. Alcohol and coffee

You should not take alcohol or drugs, and you should also limit the consumption of caffeine. On the drugs chapter – as well as of course for a health discourse – it must be said that cocaine and methamphetamines increase bleeding, while marijuana, while having no effect on the blood, it can, according to some, increase the perceived pain.

5. Medicine

Medicines such as aspirin or pain relievers have the same contraindications as alcohol, since increase the fluidity of the blood, as well as any medications that can affect the skin. If you are following a cure, or are simply taking products against dermatitis, acne, it is advisable to finish the treatment before undergoing a session with the tattoo artist.

6. What to eat first

Before getting a tattoo it is very important to drink plenty of water and eat something that can support, to avoid drops in blood pressure or sugar due to tension. Since it is important to increase the level of hydration and firmness of the skin, foods rich in liquids, such as fruit, for example, which provides the right amount of sugar and hydration at the same time.

For longer sessions it is suggested that you bring a snack or a snack with you.

What not to do after getting a tattoo

Even after having a tattoo, of course, there are some small rules to follow, in order to guarantee perfect healing to what, in effect, is a wound to heal. Attention therefore to bacterial infiltrations, sweat and other elements that can delay the process or, worse, cause infections.

5 things not to do after getting a tattoo

1. Sun and lamps

Better not to expose yourself to the sun and avoid tanning lamps until the tattoo is healed.

2. No bathrooms

Also not recommended i bathrooms, both in the sea and in the pool, but also those in the home tub. It is preferable to opt for quick showers, because, according to some experts, the water could be dirty and therefore theoretically be a carrier of bacteria.

3. No bandages

You don’t have to cover the tattoo with one transparent film, except in the hours immediately following its realization. Much better to let the skin breathe, because contact with the air speeds up the healing process.
Similarly, the tattoo should not be rubbed, nor aggressive detergents should be used, preferring only water and neutral soap, since the skin, the first days following the realization of the design, is subject to irritation.

4. Waxing and depilatory cream after the tattoo

Unlike the “before”, using the wax after the tattoo does not involve any kind of problem, even if the general advice of most tattoo artists is to wait at least a couple of weeks before shaving. To be avoided instead the laser and the depilatory cream, due to the unidentified chemical content.

5. Sports after tattoo

In the 24 hours immediately following the realization of the tattoo, the plasma remains, in small percentages, next to the injuries caused by the tattooist’s machine; this element, together with the sweat generated by physical activity, can represent a lethal combination for bacteria. For this reason it is better avoid any kind of workout the day after the tattoo, while, starting from 48 hours later, you can proceed with sport, as long as the tattooed area does not have irritation.

In addition, small tattoos that are not located near the joints are unlikely to be affected by physical activity, while some extra caution should be taken for tattoos and larger movements, such as arms, legs and shoulders, which can take up to 7 days of complete rest. By extending, in fact, the skin could stretch, deforming the tattoo.

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