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Tattoo Balm vs. Petroleum Jelly for Tattoo Aftercare?

Tatto Crafted with Perfection​

You spent a lot of time planning your tattoo and you did your homework and played around with different styles and fonts. You researched the Dallas area tattoo shop you were going to entrust this piece of art to. Congratulations; all of that hard work has paid off, and you now have a fresh new bit of ink on your person!

However, now that the ink is drying, so to speak, it’s time to pivot to an important and critical piece of the process; aftercare. Specifically, we’d like to discuss what you should be putting on a finished tattoo from a hydration and longevity perspective.

Some tattoo enthusiasts prefer to put petroleum jelly or other hydrating creams from the local pharmacy on their tats. The rationale is that these cheap, accessible, and common products will do the job just as well.

In our experience, there is a lot more to tattoo aftercare to consider, which is why we put our thoughts together in this blog! Read on to learn more about what you should be putting on your tattoos and why.

“If the body is a temple, then tattoos are its stained glass windows.”— Sylvia Plath

The Importance of Tattoo Balm

Tattoos, as pieces of art, are delicate and sensitive to small changes. When you consider that these pieces of art are created on human skin, it becomes clear that aftercare is vital. To help with the healing process, tattoo balm will be applied under the bandage when a tattoo is complete. This tattoo balm will need to be reapplied to the affected area in the weeks ahead for best results. Outer layers of skin will heal within a few weeks; deeper layers of skin might take 4-6 months to heal completely.

When your tattoo is healing, it’s imperative that you cover the affected area with tattoo balm. This substance will help keep the impacted area hydrated and will reduce the odds of scabbing and itching. In the long run, this also helps the tattoo’s aesthetic qualities. Proper aftercare with a solid tattoo balm keeps tattoos looking vibrant, full, and healthy on your body for longer.

Tattoo Aftercare

Clearly, using some sort of balm on a healing tattoo is necessary for the best results. However, many tattoo enthusiasts look for a shortcut and shun tattoo balms for more common household salves, like petroleum jelly or another over-the-counter hydrating lotion. Usually, the low expense and the ease of access entice these tattoo lovers.

The problem is that you get what you pay for. Tattoo balms such as Mad Rabbit are specifically designed for tattoo recovery and preservation. Petroleum jelly and other pharmacy products are not. We’ve seen so many tattoo lovers invest a lot of time and money into an elaborate and gorgeous piece of art and then turn around and use petroleum jelly in the aftercare process. It’s almost like parking an imported luxury sports car underneath Bubble Wrap instead of in a garage. It’s barely better than nothing, and you would have been better served using a purpose-built solution. Your tattoo is an intricate and complicated piece of artistic expression, and it’s critical that it heals properly.

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More on Tattoo Aftercare

The simple fact is that most over-the-counter lotions and petroleum jelly just are not up to the task. Many contain harsh chemicals for fragrance, which makes the smell of these products more palpable to humans. However, these chemicals can irritate the skin. A good-smelling product isn’t always an effective product, at least not when it comes to tattoo aftercare.

This really is the problem at the heart of using most over-the-counter products. They simply just are not designed for tattoos. This means that using them drastically increases the risk of itching, scabbing, infection, and irritation. While a good tattoo balm will cost a bit more than petroleum jelly, it is well worth it, in our opinion. If your recovering tattoo does get infected or scabs over, you’re likely going to need to come back to our Dallas tattoo shop for a touch-up or tattoo redesign.

This isn’t merely an inconvenience and extra cost. Depending on the severity of the infection, you could even require medical care. Neither of those are great outcomes, especially if using tattoo balm could prevent those problems altogether.

Contact Lamar Street Tattoo Club for a Recommendation

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