An ink for your thoughts

An ink for your thoughts

Tattoo care

An ink for your thoughts

The phrase ‘getting inked’ has become so popular that it has gone from being slang to an apt representation of urban culture. While it is considered ‘cool’ to get a tattoo and most people seem to want one, not as many pay attention to looking after it. Tattoos come with some responsibility, especially in the first 15 days when they are still tender, so caring for your body art is important.   

‘Skindeep’, a popular tattoo studio in the city, hands out strict instructions to all its customers on how to look after an ‘ink’. While the leaflet suggests application of Neosporin on the first day, it says (in bold) to avoid Vaseline and petroleum jelly as it dulls the colour. The tattoo artists also make it clear that it’s important to follow their instructions instead of listening to friends or the internet.

The healing process takes anywhere between 10 to 15 days and it’s essential to not exfoliate the skin during the period. Sachin B J, an independent tattoo artist, says, “After an hour or 2, a person should wash the tattooed region. And they shouldn’t keep it bandaged.” But unlike most established tattoo studios, he tells his customers to apply Vaseline or tattoo lube.

Even the colour of a tattoo can change depending on how it’s looked after.

‘Skindeep’ says that good quality sun screen lotion prevents the tattoo from dulling. Sachin adds, “I usually suggest that a person of Indian origin not get a coloured tattoo because it tends to dull. There are many shades of colour but for our skin, black and grey are the best.”

Mario Jerome, a photographer who has 2 tattoos, talks about how he cared for his tattoos. “Apart from applying the recommended creams, try not to get too much water on it — your tattoo, at the end of the day is an open wound. And don’t expose the area to harsh sunlight for the first few days. But most importantly, listen to your tattoo artist and do as they say. More often than not, they know what they’re talking about.” Shreyas Aakarshan, a musician for the band ‘Traces’, also says that it’s important to listen to the tattoo artist.

With 7 tattoos, Anup J Kattukaran adds another point about tattoo care — “Do not touch the scabs.” Staying away from tight clothing over the tattooed area and avoiding swimming pools is also important. On the third day, most people suggest applying baby oil or olive oil. Sachin says that organic olive oil is the best. ‘Skindeep’ adds that one must remove the excess oil from the skin. “Continue using oil daily after bathing till the scabs fall off,” they say.

Aryan Gaurav Naidu got a tattoo 4 years back and he says that tattoo care is important. “The first month, in particular. Taking care of it is not too difficult. Once you get ‘inked’, you should avoid sun and water. Since the region gets dry, it should be kept moist with oil.” So remember to ‘pat, dry and treat with care’ when it comes to body art.