It is generally safe to ice a new tattoo, and it can have a beneficial effect in reducing swelling and discomfort in most cases.
Your skin undergoes a lot of trauma when you get a new tattoo. The needles used to apply the tattoo ink penetrate your skin and cause microscopic damage to the tissue. This damage triggers your body’s natural inflammatory response, which can lead to swelling, redness, and pain.
Icing a new tattoo can help reduce these symptoms by constricting the blood vessels and reducing inflammation. If you want to avoid frostbite, wrap the ice in a towel or another barrier. Ice should only be left on for 15-20 minutes at a time.
Ice On A New Tattoo
You can repeat this as needed, but don’t overdo it as too much icing can actually delay the healing process.
Swelling of New Tattoos
Swelling of new tattoos is normal and should be expected. In addition to the body’s natural healing response, swelling can also be caused by the tattoo’s location. Within 24 -72 hours after getting a tattoo, swelling usually peaks.
If your tattoo is still swollen after a few days of icing, you can try taking an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory like ibuprofen. Consult your doctor or artist first if you are taking any medications. Some medications may interact with tattoo ink and cause problems down the road.
What Are the Risks of Icing a New Tattoo?
If you just got a new tattoo, you might be wondering if you should ice it. The answer is yes-but only during the first few days.
Fresh tattoos benefit from the ice because it reduces swelling and inflammation. It is important not to overdo it with ice, since too much can actually slow down the healing process.
Whenever you are unsure how much ice is too much, err on the side of caution and use it sparingly.
When Can You Ice A Tattoo?
First, you need to make sure the tattoo is dry. Use a paper towel that does not leave any produce remnants when drying your tattoo during the first three weeks. Once the tattoo is dry and clean of any bacteria, you can ice your tattoo.
Stay Away From Blood Thinners
Your tattoo will take longer to heal if you use blood thinners because they prevent clotting. The newly tattooed area will not be able to form essential cells because it will be immobilized. Alcohol, coffee, and aspirin should be avoided. Consult your artist if you truly need a painkiller like aspirin.
Avoid Skin-Numbing Creams
Fresh ink should never be subjected to numbing creams. You may actually experience adverse effects on your swelling and pain, and your body’s ability to repair itself may be compromised. You could end up with longer healing times, or worse, you could have your new artwork damaged by burning, scarring, or other problems.
Pro Tips for Healing a New Tattoo
So, you just got a new tattoo and you’re eager to start the healing process. Here are some pro tips to help you do that safely and effectively.
1. Keep it clean. It is important to wash your hands before touching your tattoo and to gently wash it a few times a day with soap and water. Dry it off with a clean towel.
2. Keep it covered. If you can’t keep the tattoo covered, at least keep it clean. A bandage or wrap is ideal, but if you can’t do that, then use a barrier cream to protect it from the elements.
3. Avoid the sun. The sun can cause tattoos to fade prematurely, so be sure to avoid direct exposure as much as possible.
4. Avoid contact with other people. Tattoos can become infected if they’re not properly healed, so avoid contact with other people until the area is fully healed.
The healing process takes time, so be patient and follow these steps closely to ensure a speedy and safe recovery.