Sunday, October 2, 2011

Avoiding Tattoo Infection

TATTOOS are becoming popular, especially among young people who do not balk at having symbols or letters printed on various body parts.
Decades ago, tattoos could only be seen on outlaws, convicts, sailors or members of notorious gangs. Today, tattoos are part of body decoration.
However, you have to know first some safeguards for your protection. Remember, putting tattoo is like wounding yourself even if it is the henna type. Like any  puncture or cut,  having or  tattoo puts you at risk for infections and disease.
Make sure you're up to date with your immunizations especially hepatitis and tetanus shots and plan where you'll get medical care if your tattoo becomes infected. To avoid problems, choose a trusted artist.
Signs of infection include excessive redness or tenderness around the tattoo, prolonged bleeding, pus, or changes in your skin color around the tattoo.
If you have a medical problem such as heart disease, allergies, diabetes, skin disorders, a condition that affects your immune system, or infections or if you are pregnant, ask your doctor if there are any special concerns you should have or precautions you should take beforehand. Also, if you're prone to getting keloids, it's probably best to avoid getting a tattoo altogether.
To make sure your tattoo heals properly:

* Keep a bandage on the area for up to 24 hours.
* Avoid touching the tattooed area and don't pick at any scabs that may form.
* Wash the tattoo with an antibacterial soap. Do not use alcohol or peroxide. They will dry out the tattoo. Use a soft towel to dry the tattoo. Just pat it dry and be sure not to rub it.
* If you don't have an allergy to antibiotic ointment, rub some into the tattoo. Don't use petroleum jelly — it may cause the tattoo to fade.
* Put an ice pack on the tattooed area if you see any redness or swelling.
* Try not to get the tattoo wet until it fully heals. Stay away from pools, hot tubs, or long, hot baths.
* Keep your tattoo away from the sun until it's fully healed.
Even after it's fully healed, a tattoo is more susceptible to the sun's rays, so it's a good idea to always keep it protected from direct sunlight. If you're outside often or hang out at the beach, it's recommended that you always wear a sunscreen with a minimum sun protection factor of 30 on the tattoo. This not only protects your skin, but keeps the tattoo from fading.

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