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Tattoo Healing Process Before and Afters

I Just Got a Tattoo, and Here's What the Healing Process Really Looks Like

Tattoo Healing Process Before and Afters
Image Source: Fjolla Arifi

I got my first tattoo on my 18th birthday at a random tattoo shop in upstate New York. No research, no sketch, and no idea what I was planning on getting tattooed permanently on my body. As I pulled up a random design from Pinterest to print, fear washed over me as I realized how unprepared I was. Along with the unfamiliar pain of getting a tattoo, the thought of aftercare resulted in anxieties over infections. When leaving the shop, I quickly googled how to take care of the small tattoo — a step I should have prepared for weeks before the lifelong commitment.

Today, I have four tattoos. Over the past three years, my collection has grown, and so has my knowledge of aftercare. My newest tattoo — a medium-size cherub — came after two months of deliberating tattoo artists, designs, and sizes.

Walking into a tattoo shop can be nerve-racking, so finding a regimen that works for you can relieve some stress. Before getting my cherub tattooed, my consultation included reviewing my sketch, placement, and establishing a perfect tattoo care routine.

When having your ideal tattoo in mind, it's important to consider the steps and materials needed to ensure a quick recovery. My aftercare included staying out of the sun, wearing loose-fitting clothes, and moisturizing. Check what works best for you and your skin. Here's what worked for me.

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