Injury at area of tattoo - what to do to keep it fresh

Injury at area of tattoo - what to do to keep it fresh

Tattooing itself is a form of cutting. However, it differs from a normal wound in that it is done under sterile, controlled conditions. In addition, a well-cared for tattoo generally heals without problems. Unintentional injuries are a different matter - some are superficial and harmless, while others can be a real threat to your new design. So when you get an "ouch" on your hole, it's no wonder you're a little panicked. After all, you didn't spend a lot of money and hours of pain just to have to cover up a damaged design with your clothes. When is there anything to worry about? How do you help the skin to regenerate so that the tattoo does not fade?

Wounds on an old and a new tattoo - which is more dangerous?

When do we have more reason to worry - if the cut is on an old tattoo or a brand new one? Much depends on the nature of the cut itself: its depth, extent, how it was made and the possible risk of bacterial infection.

However, in general it can be said that a new tattoo is more risky. The skin has not had time to heal after repeated punctures, and the ink has not settled into the skin cells. Injury at this point can disrupt the healing process and the design will be flawed from the start.

If you injure yourself in a hole that has already healed, you have a slightly better chance of avoiding the consequences. The skin is already stronger and regenerates more quickly. However, this does not mean that there is no risk - again, a lot depends on the type of cut, but also on how we care for our skin on a daily basis.

Medical intervention - do you need it?

The first thing to think about is not the cut itself, but your health and safety. Assess whether the cut is serious enough to require medical attention. You should go to an outpatient clinic or even A&E if there is heavy bleeding, if the wound is very dirty or if there are foreign bodies protruding from the wound (do not try to remove them yourself!).

If the doctor decides that the wound needs stitches, you will unfortunately have to undergo this procedure. This will leave a scar, which may be quite visible, but is still the lesser of two evils compared to bleeding or infection. Once the wound has healed, you can think about covering it up.

Don't give bacteria a chance

Not serious enough for medical attention? Great - your chances of avoiding tattoo spoilage are increased. Make sure you disinfect thoroughly first. Wash the wound and surrounding skin to get rid of sand particles or other small dirt.

Then wash the cut with an octenidine-based disinfectant. As well as killing almost all bacteria, viruses and fungi, it is extremely gentle and will not irritate or dry out the wound. Of course, you won't always have this to hand - accidents can happen outdoors. Whatever the situation, make sure you have explored all options for reliable decontamination. If octenidine is not available, consider hydrogen peroxide or even spirit (although this will be painful).

Use a gentle foam tattoo soap containing antiseptic silver ions to wash the wound daily. This cosmetic should be kept on the shower shelf by every tattooed person at all times.

Bandage - what is the best one?

Once the wound is clean, it needs to be protected against the penetration of pathogens from outside. At the same time, the skin should be able to breathe at all times - the dressing must not block gas exchange or cause moisture to accumulate.

The best solution in the case of a fresh hole will be a hydrogel or hydrocolloid dressing - the kind we use for thermal injuries. If the tattoo is already many years old and the wound is not very serious, a simple bandage is sufficient - but remember to change it regularly.

Care of the injured area - what should it look like?

When a tattoo injury occurs, your greatest ally is proper skin care. If you have neglected the subject for years and have led to dry skin and loss of elasticity, the chances are unfortunately poor - this is why regular daily care is so important.

After an injury, increase the frequency with which you rub a natural cosmetic - a tattoo cream or butter - into the damaged skin, guaranteeing the supply of nutrients and the restoration of the damaged hydrolipidic barrier. As long as there is exudate from the wound, avoid the injured area. Once the wound has healed, apply the cream to the healing area. This gives you the best chance of avoiding a scar - although unfortunately you won't be sure until the healing process is complete.

Warning signs - how do you know when something bad is happening?

Sometimes, despite taking the utmost precautions, we are unable to prevent complications. Time is of the essence - the sooner we act, the better the chance of recovery. Make no mistake - a scar is probably unavoidable, but we can influence its appearance and, most importantly, save our own health.

See a doctor immediately if you notice dark blood or pus oozing from the wound, especially if there is an unpleasant odour. A change in the structure of the wound - for example, if it collapses - is also worrying. You should also see a doctor if the cut is very swollen, painful or hot. You should also go to A&E if you have a general feeling of being unwell - fever, chills, vomiting, headache, stomach ache and muscle aches.

Of course, it would be best to be careful and never get into trouble. However, life can throw you a few surprises and the chances of avoiding cuts in the piercing area for decades are pretty slim. So it is better to prepare for the possibility of injury in advance, so that you can deal with the consequences later and take care of your pierced skin as best you can under the circumstances.

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