At the moment, blackwork tattoos are more popular than ever. A blackwork tattoo is one that has a great amount of black ink; wide swaths of skin are inked black. Arm sleeves and geometric designs are common.
While in the past, native tribes and others used black ink for specific patterns with specific meanings, a blackwork designed tattoo today is a matter of preference and personal aesthetic. If you want such a piece of art on your body, be aware of the following aftercare suggestions to maintain the ink and ensure the quality of the work remains.
Wrap it In the Shower
After the tattoo has stopped bleeding and remove the bandage, you may rightfully assume that it needs time in the air. However, exposure to water is not recommended. With plastic wrap, wrap your tattoo for about a week when showering.
Leave Scabs Alone
Because so much of your skin has been inked, a sizeable scab may form. You may feel the urge to pick at it, especially if the area starts itching, but it’s best to leave the scab alone. The scab is allowing your skin to heal, and if you’re picking off the scab before it naturally comes off, you may end up with flecks of scar tissue mixed in with your new tattoo.
Remember Antibiotic Cream
It’s vital that you remember to apply the cream your artist gave you to prevent bacteria and other skin problems as the tattoo heals. A bacterial infection could jeopardize your health and affect the skin and the tattoo appearance. In extreme cases you may need to visit the hospital to treat a bad infection. Therefore, be wise about applying the cream as directed until the skin is fully and completely healed over.
Avoid Oceans and Spas
Just as you don’t want to wet your tattoo in the shower, you may want to skip the oceans and jacuzzis in the days that first follow your tattoo work. The salt in ocean water can make you feel uncomfortable, and completely submerging a tattoo in hot water for long periods isn’t good for the inkwork.
A common misconception among many who get tattoos with so much blank ink is that the dark ink will protect skin from the sun better than their natural skin may have. While there are some studies which seem to support that theory, be safe about protecting your skin. Use sunscreen with adequate SPF coverage. Not only will you be repelling harmful rays, but you will also prevent fading of the blank ink.
Ask About Fading
It’s vital that you and your artist have a plan for what to do if part of the black mass of the tattoo begins to fade. At what point should you come in for more work? Will the entire thing need to be redone periodically? Knowing now what to expect with the tattoo in the future will help you save up for more work and get it done in time to keep the art looking good.
With these tattoo pointers, your tattoo can make a strong, beautiful statement. Keep discussing your skin with your artist so you can maintain the tattoo well.