Caring for a tattoo
Most minor swelling and redness (inflammation) from a tattoo can be treated at home. If your tattoo artist gave you instructions, follow them carefully.
If you did not receive instructions for skin care of the tattoo site, try the following:
- Stop any bleeding. Minimal bleeding can be stopped by applying direct pressure to the wound. It is normal for the tattoo site to ooze small amounts of blood for up to 24 hours and clear, yellow, or blood-tinged fluid for several days.
- Apply a cold pack to help reduce the swelling, bruising, or itching. Never apply ice directly to the skin. This can cause tissue damage. Put a layer of fabric between the cold pack and the skin.
- Take an antihistamine, such as Benadryl or Chlor-Trimeton, to help treat hives and relieve itching. Be sure to read and follow any warning on the label. Do not use strong soaps, detergents, and other chemicals, which can make itching worse.
- Protect your tattoo with a bandage if it might become dirty or irritated.
- Apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly, such as Vaseline, to a nonstick bandage, such as Telfa.
- Apply the nonstick bandage with the petroleum jelly on it to the tattoo site. The petroleum jelly will prevent the irritated skin from sticking to the bandage. Putting the petroleum jelly on the bandage first will be less painful.
- Apply a clean bandage once a day and change the bandage if it gets wet. If the bandage sticks, soak the tattoo area in warm water for a few minutes or take the bandage off under running water in the shower.
- Leave the bandage off with the skin open to air whenever you can.
|Try a nonprescription medicine to help treat your pain:|
|Be sure to follow these safety tips when you use a nonprescription medicine:|