TATTOOS & cream
TATTOOS & cream:
here you have all the MYTHS AND REALITIES
Everyone and I mean EACH tattoo artist in the world will always tell you that you have to put cream on the tattoo to make it heal
a little amount of cream, but very often
. TRUE .
in order to facilitate the healing of a tattoo, you need to put cream on it
why should I put cream on the tattoo?!?
- and how much cream?
- and for how long I have to put the cream on the tattoo?
- shall I put the cream on the tattoo only during the first few days?
- and how many times per day?
- and also… which tattoo cream should I use?!?
Let’s go through this together to understand it well…
first of all:
the tattoo is a wound
did you know that? of course you did
but a tattoo doesn’t reeeeeally look like a wound…
after all, it’s a beautiful drawing,
from an aesthetical point of view, it’s not like seeing a skinned knee after a fall
. TRUE .
when it comes to a tattoo, we often forget that it’s a wound because we see it aesthetically beautiful and different from our stereotype of a wound, so perhaps we treat it differently
. WRONG .
the tattoo is a wound and must be treated as such,
plus, it should be treated with a few more precautions because this wound must heal well and be beautiful afterwards ^ _ ^
which are the wound healing steps?
and also, how do you take care of a tattoo?
in order to heal, a wound tends to create an external defence wall in the shortest time possible with the aim of facilitating the healing process from the inside: this happens to prevent germs and bacteria from entering the body through the injury. In this way, all the necessary tissues slowly start to regenerate and the skin continues to strengthen until it reaches again the same initial thickness and becomes as strong as it was before
then, the temporary surface layer that was created as initial barrier, will no longer be needed and will come off
in order to heal, a tattoo will tend to scab
when it comes to us, we have the opposite objective:
we want to keep the tattoo safe, but without making it crust
because the crust, if it’s deep, could take away parts of the tattoo’s colour and, for this reason, the healed tattoo could show missing parts afterwards
so this is why all the tattoo artists will tell you to use the cream:
because keeping the tattoo soft and hydrated prevents the area from drying out and from the formation of crusts
. as simple as that .
but why should I apply a small amount of cream?
“if I make a thick layer of cream, I am sure that it won’t dry out for a couple of hours and, in the meantime, I will be able to live my life without worrying…”
. FALSE .
the tattoo needs to breathe and to expel the healing waste,
otherwise, in the inside — under the thick layer of white cream that you just applied — there will be the risk of proliferation of waste and rot… this can lead to small infections, pimples and pustules
these are all ways that the body finds to expel waste, if the first discharge route is closed
if you apply too much cream you may have redness, mild dermatitis or pimples on the tattoo…
these are all classic reactions that the body has when it finds some obstructions
if you notice unusual rushes caused by the expulsion of the waste material, it may be useful to ask the pharmacist for advice on a suitable cream that will help you reduce the irritation and will facilitate the healing
APPLY A SMALL AMOUNT of cream to let the tattoo breathe,
but DO IT VERY OFTEN to keep it from drying out
but what does “very often” mean?
it could mean from 2 to 5 times a day…
. IT DEPENDS .
it depends on the type of cream that you are using (which can be more or less nourishing) and on the type of skin you have (which can be more or less dry) so… the number of times can vary
the answer is:
put cream every time you feel that the tattoo is dry,
whenever you feel that your skin is tight
remember to apply it with clean hands, in order not to bring germs, bacteria or dirt into the wound
and what about night time?
how do I take care of the tattoo while I sleep?
“shall I put an abundant layer of cream so I don’t have to worry…??”
. ABSOLUTELY NOT .
or you will wake up with many itchy red dots, because the tattoo didn’t breathe…
in fact, during the night this is even harder, as we spend many hours without being able to moisturize the tattoo, besides this, it can also happen that we spend many hours sleeping right on that side!
and maybe you never slept in that position before — but, of course, now that you shouldn’t be doing that — you did
and what’s the outcome?
we wake up in the morning with a very dry tattoo and a huge crust or — even worse — we wake up with the tattoo that has become one with our pyjamas
during night time, all our good intentions of the day can go up in smoke
BUT I DO HAVE A TRICK…
in the evening, before going to bed (every evening for 7 up to 10 days!) you have to wash the tattoo thoroughly, gently, slowly and with a lot of foam ^ _ ^
you will have to gently massage the tattoo under the water, with the foam, and slowly dissolve all the clumps of platelets that may have formed
this operation softens the skills a lot and eliminates the dead cells on the surface, the ones that are most likely to turn into crusts
then, you will have to apply the cream as usual, maybe A LITTLE more cream than usual, but always in a way to let the tattoo breathe
the second important statement to make, which is often taken for granted, is about the quality of the cream:
a good quality cream, with a high nutritional index for the skin, keeps the tattoo hydrated much longer than a cheap cream or a cream which was not created for the healing of the tattoo
so… sometimes a cream could even cost around 15-20 euros, it is true… but I think it is better to invest this money in the healing of a tattoo that will be on your skin for your whole life, rather than investing them in a pizza margherita
and for how long shall I keep applying the cream on the tattoo?
same answer as before: until you feel that the tattoo is dry
until you see skin coming off
which normally means approximately 7-10-15 days but again, each tattoo takes its own time
it depends on how much the tattoo was invasive for the skin
it depends on your healing abilities
it depends on your skin type
it also depends on the period of the year you decide to make the tattoo…
the mid seasons are often the best ones,
while during summer and winter the skin is a little bit drier. Also, in summer our metabolism is much more active and this often helps for a faster healing ^ _ ^
so yes, let’s dispel another myth:
getting a tattoo in summer is not good
. FALSE .
getting a tattoo in summer has many advantages, but only one disadvantage: the sun
and in case you want to deepen the relationship between sun and tattoo, I wrote this article:
what cream should I use for the care of my tattoo?
there’s no universal answer for this, nowadays there are many different types of cream on the market and you definitely have your own preferences (e.g. vegan or not, more or less natural…)
however, there’s one type that is certainly wrong: the Vaseline that was used in the 90s…
Vaseline is a derivative of petroleum, basically it’s petroleum shaped as a cream
and you… would you like to apply petroleum on your skinned knee, after a fall?!?
I think you wouldn’t
so, let’s avoid Vaseline…
I would also avoid those creams having a totally different purpose from ours, such as the commonly used Bepanthenol, created to protect the butt cheeks of a new-born from irritations caused by diapers… this is certainly a different purpose from ours
there are a thousand other healthier alternatives on the market
there is a cream for everything
obviously, my favourite one is the DERMALIZE VELVET CREAM, a very nourishing one, that provides you with a great hydration with a small amount of product used. This is a totally natural and vegan choice that with its natural oils and vitamin E it protects and refreshes your skin. Despite this, it is produced in Italy, therefore this can be a local choice that helps to support our national economy
there are also many other alternatives that were not originally meant as post tattoo creams but that are excellent nourishing options. Among them, we can find the shea butter, different types of oil, natural soothing creams and other types of butters…
the difference between a good and a not-so-good cream is the following one:
the nourishing level that can be translated into “how many times per day you will have to put cream on your tattoo”
If you spend some extra money in a good cream, then you will definitely waste less time in its daily application ^_^
what if, despite everything, the tattoo gets infected?
so, first of all you should understand if it really is an “infection”
this word is used a lot for convenience, but in real life it happens very rarely
then, you need to understand what kind of “infection” it is:
a deep crust that made a hole
some greenish or yellowish crystallized serum
some red itchy dots
some vesicles caused by a burning while you were ironing…
everything can also change according to the “timing” of the problems:
did it happen immediately during the first days? after a week? after one month? after one year?
there are many possibilities, all having a different origin from the others
unfortunately I’m not a doctor so I cannot express myself about this topic, therefore, the only appropriate thing to do in this case is to go to the pharmacy ^ _ ^
there, you can find a doctor who can say a word to you and there are also many medicines ^ _ ^
in my 16 years of experience within this profession, I can tell you that I have seen so many abnormal healing cases being solved with the application of a cream for a few days, together with the right hygiene and protection of the area
the cream can be antibiotic, cortisone or healing, depending on the symptom and the cause
but again, don’t invent solutions and don’t panic
go to the pharmacy, it’s very easy and at your fingertips ^ _ ^
I’d like to finish this article with two tips that totally changed my life:
- wash the tattoo twice a day massaging it gently, to dissolve the clumps of platelets that are the pre-crust stage
- use special bend-aids instead of food foil (the name already says a lot…) to protect the tattoo from germs, bacteria and dirt
these are two important tips and they deserve a separate chapter ^ _ ^
See you soon guys,
Have a nice day