Most reputable tattoo artists will tell their customers that it is imperative to keep a tattoo clean to prevent bacterial infections. They usually also provide helpful advice on how to keep new tattoos clean.
How to keep a tattoo clean
While advice may vary slightly form one tattooist to the next, the basic recommendations on how to keep a tattoo clean are as follows:
- Do not remove the bandage applied by the tattooist for a minimum of two hours (the recommended maximum time to leave on these bandages is four to six hours. If plastic wraps are used, these must be removed after two hours
- When ready to remove your bandage, soak it with a little warm water. This prevents it sticking to your skin, then carefully remove and discard the bandage
- Gently wash the tattoo with water (lukewarm) and unscented, mild antimicrobial or antibacterial liquid soap. Using your hands, splash water onto the tattoo and gently rub off all traces of leaked ink, plasma or blood.
- Gently pat the tattoo dry, using a clean, soft paper towel. Do not rub it dry, as this may cause irritation.
- Leave your tattoo uncovered for 20 to 60 minutes, then apply a small amount of water-based, unscented anti-bacterial ointment.
Wash your tattoo and apply ointment in this manner at least twice daily (more if your tattoo is on your foot, wrist, hand or other area likely to be exposed to germs) until the tattoo starts to peel (usually within three to five days), then switch to a regular water-based lotion. Continue to wash the tattoo twice a day until it has fully healed, depending on the location and size of the tattoo, this may take three to six weeks.
Tattooists, health and safety
Tattoo artists are required to follow strict safety and hygiene requirements. This means they must use new, sterilised equipment for every customer. Failure to do this could result in getting a very painful infected tattoo at best and contracting a potentially life-threatening, incurable condition like HIV/AIDS, at worst.
When a tattoo goes bad
If you caught an infection at a tattoo parlour because the relevant safety and hygiene regulations were not adhered to, you could be entitled to claim for compensation. Get helpful advice on how to claim compensation for a tattoo-related infection or an injury at a tattoo parlour by calling us from your landline on 0800 689 0500 or from your mobile on 0333 500 0993 now.
Date Published: February 19, 2017
Author: Accident Advice