8 things you need to know about taking care of a new stick and poke tattoo
ALL the hand poke tattoo aftercare tips you need to follow.
Finally, the stick and poke tattoo design you've had in your head for months has now become a reality in the form of a hand poked ink, and your skin is sporting a cool new home made tattoo. Now you have to look after it and ensure it heals well and ends up looking just as great as it should.
Here's everything you need to know:
1. Follow the basic aftercare advice
Aftercare advice will vary from source to source, and sometimes even the same source will have different ideas of what heals best. Find reliable instructions from reputable sources – such as this blog – most will have a great post with a step by step aftercare guide.
2. After a few hours gently wash the s'n'p
Most sources of advice will tell you basically the same: to leave the covering on the tattoo for the first two to five hours, then to carefully remove it and gently wash the tattoo with lukewarm water and mild liquid soap, like Carex.
3. Apply a thin layer of unscented moisturizing cream
You should then apply a thin layer of an unscented moisturizing cream like Hustle Butter. You can then leave it open to the air. Generally, you should repeat the cleaning process 3-5 times a day, and never let the tattoo dry, but without applying too much moisturizer. Optionally, you can use a protective tattoo film and simplify the whole process.
4. Keep your new stick'n'poke clean and dry
Keep the hand poke tattoo clean and dry, and avoid soaking it in water for at least a month. Showers are ok but baths are not. If your clothes are likely to rub on it, keep it covered with gauze/clingfilm and medical tape, or as said in the previous point, use a protective tattoo film.
5. Avoid direct sunlight
Try to avoid exposing your ink to direct sunlight. Healed hand made tattoos, especially colored ones, can fade in the sun – so when it's completely healed, make sure it's covered in a high SPF if you're going to be catching some sun rays.
6. Be patient with healing times
Healing times depend on how well you heal and the size of the design. It's usually a week or two for simple, small minimalist stick & poke designs. Keep following your aftercare instructions for as long as you need, and make sure the tattoo is kept well-moisturized and clean for a good few months after that, avoiding abrasive skin products.
7. Do not itch.
As the tattoo heals, it may scab or flake slightly. Avoid picking at it, as this may remove the ink in that area and lead to patches fading or being removed altogether. If it itches, don't scratch, but slap it lightly instead. This should only last for the first few weeks or so. If it stays raised, itches uncontrollably, is red around the design, keeps bleeding for more than a day or so after having it done, or is continuously hot to the touch, seek medical advice. If you take the right measures Infected tattoos are very rare but can happen, and it's always worth getting it checked out if you're worried about it.
8. Retouch the snp if needed
If you do lose ink, you can always retouch it. After about 6 weeks, retouch the tat if you need touch-ups on any area of the tattoo.
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