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Tattoo Health Considerations



Time and time again we see a potentially very nice piece of art turn into a dull, washed out mess because of some of the stupid things people do to their Tattoos after they are finished!

Unfortunately in this industry their are very few leaders and lots and lots of followers, because of this situation we continually see people applying nut based barrier creams to freshly Tattooed skin! Why do people do this? because they have seen other artist's do it! This is how bad practice becomes endemic within our industry. Nut based products are the main cause of allergic reactions worldwide. Many of these creams are designed as a moisture barrier cream for babies bottoms to protect them from nappy rash! Freshly Tattooed skin needs to breath, these creams prevent this, you need to get blood, ooze and moisture off the Tattoo, not lock it in with a greasy moisture barrier and apart from these important factors why take the risk of an allergic reaction by applying a product that is known as one of the biggest causes of allergic reactions? it's crazy!

An even dumber thing that we constantly see are artists covering freshly Tattooed skin with "Glad" or "Saran" plastic food wrap! An American artist wrote a how to book on Tattooing around the 70's and suggested this was a good idea so the client could see the Tattoo without the need to remove the dressing after leaving the studio, nice idea, sadly he never researched the health effects of this practice. Bacteria will grow in blood! if you lock the blood into a Tattoo with plastic wrap, not only will bacteria grow, the plastic wrap acts like a small incubator, so it grows very quickly and aggressively. We know of several instances where people have needed hospital treatment within hours of leaving the Tattoo studio where the artist has used plastic wrap on the Tattoo! Because this book was never updated and is still available, this stupid practice lives on!

With over 30 years experience within the industry, and based on others experience, here and abroad, we can say with confidence that the best healing creams to apply to freshly Tattooed skin are those based on Chlorhexidine. Chlorhexidine Creams are simple to use, antiseptic, protective, disinfective, soothing and healing. There are many good Chlorhexadine Cream products available in Pharmacies and Chemists. "Savlon Cream" is an excellent example and has been used safely for over 30 years.


Once the Tattoo is completed the artist will clean the tattoo, recommend and apply a healing cream and apply a covering to the Tattoo. The covering is only to absorb the slight amount of blood and serum that will weep from the fresh tattoo for ten to fifteen minutes after completion. The covering should be removed once the bleeding has stopped and the Tattoo should be gently washed in mildly soapy water, patted dry with clean tissue and a fresh coating of healing cream should be applied, but not as heavily as the first applied by the artist, just apply it as though it were a moistureiser.

The cream should be applied at least 3 times a day. The cream will not only help protect the Tattoo from infection while healing, it will also keep the small scab that forms on the Tattoo soft, so that as you bend the scab will also bend rather then crack and bleed. If the scab comes of too early in the healing process, colour will be lost, and this is not the fault of the Tattoo artist! You should not swim or soak your Tattoo in the bath or shower while healing. Protect it from sun, wind and harsh conditions that may harm it while healing. If you really want to protect your artwork then once completely healed apply sun-block when going out in the sun.



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