-Tattoo Aftercare: What Goo is Good?-
So far, we have talked about the types of dressing that are and are not appropriate for tattoo aftercare (Just Say No to Plastic Wrap!). Today, we want to go over what types of ointment and cream is acceptable once you remove your bandage.
With so much varying types of information available, you may have heard that you should use A&D Ointment (a type of diaper rash cream), Aquaphor, Lubriderm, or simply Vaseline as a way of moisturizing your new tattoo. All of these (and many others not listed here) are petroleum based ointments and serve one main purpose: to lock out moisture. It also has the side effect of sealing off the skin to fresh air and locking in whatever moisture happens to be on the skin at the time (sound familiar? Much like plastic wrap!).
If you remember from our blog on appropriate tattoo aftercare dressings, a new tattoo desperately needs to be exposed to fresh air so it can heal properly. The problem with petroleum based ointments is that they lock the skin away from receiving that fresh air and without it the tattoo has a greater chance of healing poorly (e.g. losing or leeching color and/or becoming infected).
I also want to note that during the research for this particular blog, I found an immense amount of misinformation online! So many people suggesting that A&D ointment or Vaseline was fine because they were told it was years ago or just to use any regular body lotion. Or, worse than that, people suggesting that Vaseline was a poor choice because it was petroleum based, but turning right around a saying Aquaphor was fine. The only active ingredient in Aquaphor is WHITE PETROLEUM.
-So what should I use?-
When it comes down what you should be using on a tattoo, the best options are natural products. Most shops will offer something for purchase (Midnight Moon carries Redemption, but other types are Tattoo Goo and H2Ocean). Your BEST bet is to stick with what your professionally trained, well-educated tattoo artist suggests. Happy Healing!