How to Care for a Tattoo in the Summer
While the reasons we get tattoos are very personal, some of us love to show them off. When summer comes along, the higher temperatures allow us to wear less clothes, so we can show off tattoos we might not be able to see when wearing winter clothes. This greater exposure also comes with a greater responsibility of care. While much of this is related to the general skincare considerations during days of higher temperatures and increased sun exposure, tattoos have particular care requirements.
For this reason, oneHOWTO looks at how to care for a tattoo in the summer. We find out what practical considerations we need to make to both ensure our tattoo stays vibrant and our skin remains healthy. This applies to both new tattoos and old tattoos that have already healed.
Precautions before getting a tattoo in summer
Many people want to get a tattoo in the summer, especially since we often see more of them about. We should know that it is not always the best time to get one. This is due to the increased sun exposure. The sun can fade a tattoo design and affect the healing process. However, if we are careful and take the precautions we detail here in discussing how to care for a tattoo in summer, it is perfectly feasible.
We must not forget that tattoos are essentially open wounds. In summer, the heat increases our likelihood of sweating, something which can promote bacterial infections. As with any type of skin wound, exposure to the sun can be a factor which negatively affects the healing process. It can also damage the already sensitive skin further and cause scarring.
Despite basic tattoo care being required at any time of the year, we must be particularly careful to both clean the fresh tattoo regularly and avoid humidity. As a general rule, we should not expose the tattoo to direct sunlight for about a month after your have had the tattoo performed. This can vary depending on the size, placement and extent of the tattoo.
How to take care of a fresh tattoo in summer
If you have decided you do want to get a tattoo during the summer months, don't worry. In addition to the general care you need to take, there are a number of specific precautions you can take to ensure that your new ink design does not suffer any damage. Below are the steps you should take on how to care for a tattoo in the summer:
- Moments after the tattoo is done, you should cover it up and apply a healing cream. After a few hours when you get home, you can leave it exposed to the aire. Follow your tattoo artist's advice over when to do this. Wash it several times a day with neutral soap, applying a protective layer of healing cream afterwards.
- When going outside, you should try to make sure that the tattoo is completely covered. To do this, you can put put cream on the tattoo, cover it in plastic wrap and then cover this in a bandage. It is important that it does not receive direct sunlight for at least the first 4 weeks.
- Whenever you get home, remove the covering and proceed to clean it with water and neutral soap to remove traces of sweat and dirt. Do not leave the covering on all day.
- Avoid scratching the area as much as possible. Between the sweat and the healing skin, it is normal that it can sting or become irritated. If you do want to relieve frustration, the most you should do is press on it gently.
- Do not bathe in a pool or in the sea for at least the first 3 weeks after you get the tattoo. The chlorine and salt water can end up damaging the healing process and spoiling the design.
If you like to exercise in the summer months, find out whether you can work out after you get a new tattoo.
How long does it take for a tattoo to heal in summer?
A tattoo usually takes up to three months to heal completely. However, it is also true that the first layers of the skin begin to close over after the first month. After this time, it is much easier to heal and maintain.
As with any time of year, the healing process for a new tattoo in the summer is between 1 to 3 months. This will vary according to the size of the tattoo and where it is located on the body.
How to protect old tattoos in summer
You may already have the most amount of tattoos you are going to get. Just because your tattoos have completely healed and may even be years old, it doesn't mean they don't need protection during the summer months.
If the skin of the tattoo has healed correctly, we must consider that it is like any other part of the skin. It requires care in terms of sun protection, but does not require much additional care.
Even so, if you are very passionate about sunbathing, it is not recommended to expose tattoos for more than 15 minutes in direct sunlight. Especially in color tattoos, the tone can lighten when they come in contact with the sun's UV rays. Try to limit exposure and always use a sunscreen of 50 SPF or above.
Like the rest of our skin in summer, maintain good hygiene and always keep your skin hydrated so that it does not dry out. If you are thinking of getting a tattoo, we recommend these articles on how to sleep with a new tattoo and what to do if a new tattoo is swelling up.
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