At some point or the other, we’ve all contemplated getting a tattoo, right?
What's a tattoo?
A tattoo is when you modify your body by making a design on it by inserting ink, dyes, and pigments. It can be either temporary or permanent. The ink penetrates the dermis layer of the skin to change the colour of the skin.
Now, to get to the dermis the ink has to pass through the epidermis to change the pigmentation of the skin. The ink must reach deep into the skin but why is it important for the ink to be pushed deep into the skin?
Obviously for the tattoo to have any sort of permanence it has to enter the dermis which is also where all the nerves and blood vessels are which is why the skin bleeds and you feel pain. This also leads to an influx of a lot of white blood cells as they recognize the tattoo pigments as a foreign body and they try to fight it but for the most part the ink remains.
Now, obviously, over time the way your tattoo looks and heals will change. Your ink may fade if the tattoo isn’t applied deep enough or the tattoo would have raised lines if the tattoo goes too deep. To avoid changing the appearance of the tattoo too much and to avoid getting an infection you must take care of the tattoo.
Here’s all we should do...
- Be sure to cover your tattoo in a thin layer of petroleum jelly and bandage after the tattoo has been applied.
- Remove the bandage after 24 hours and wash it with the antimicrobial soap and water patting it dry.
- Apply antibacterial ointment twice daily.
- Keep the tattoo moisturized daily to keep it moist.
- Avoid wearing clothes that stick to your skin
- Scalding hot water can fade the ink and can be painful.
- If the tattoo scabs or develops hard layers then remember that it’s perfectly normal.
But remember to never scratch it or peel it as that could leave you open to an infection or could even lead to the removal of the ink.
Getting a tattoo can be scary but just remember to keep these points in mind and by all means tattoo away! If you’ve done it and gotten that tattoo you also wanted then remember to take care of yourself and if you see any signs of infection then it may be time to consult a doctor.
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