Many people do not realize that tattoos are actually classified as open wounds until they are fully healed. For this reason, tattoo care is of the utmost importance in the first few weeks. Though tattoos can be damaged by sun exposure, rash, and direct pressure or friction, an infection can lead to much worse consequences. An infected tattoo will begin become red and swollen.
If not treated, the infection can spread and cause problems in other areas of your body. Some infections, such as staph infections, require immediate care and antibiotics. Without such care, there can be dire repercussions, even leading to death.
Despite the risks, millions of people get their body tattooed each year. To have the best chance of avoiding infection, they need to minimize the risk as much as possible. Because there are several different paths infections take to enter your tattoo wound, there is more than one precaution that should be taken.
One common source of infection comes from the very source of the tattoo, a dirty needle. Dirty needles are entirely preventable. Health codes levied on tattoo parlors by the government require sterilized needles. However, even establishments who abide by health codes can become risky due to mistakes or lazy employees. Read the reviews for local tattoo parlors before you choose one. Visit the parlor first, and make sure it is clean and there is sterilization equipment present and in use.
The second way for a tattoo to get infected is from an outside source. The outside world is full of bacteria looking for a suitable host, and if you do not properly cover the raw wound, it will be found. Unfortunately, even a properly placed bandage is susceptible to bacteria entering. Tape or other adhesive that holds the bandage to the skin loses its bond to the skin after even a short time. As it peels back it leaves room for infectants to enter.
The best way to fight this is to apply Tape Relief underneath the bandage. The adhesive creates a stronger, longer lasting bond on the layer of Tape Relief than it does on the skin. The bandage will be more effective for blocking infections for a longer period of time. As an added bonus, Tape Relief can also make the bandage removal process much less painful.