Not every tattoo is created equal, and neither are the methods that are required to heal them properly. The instructions for tattoo aftercare are often one comprehensive set of rules, but some tattoos need specific care. Foot tattoo is a complicated tattoo to heal, and some people even shy away from getting a foot tattoo as they are afraid it is going to be a bad experience.
- Give your tattoo time to heal – the time is everything.
Proper tattoo aftercare often requires sacrifice. Once you get your foot tattoo, wearing some showed is off-limits for at least a couple of weeks. That means that you probably won’t want to get it done in the middle of winter. There are just two main reasons why shoes are wrong for a healing tattoo: the first one is that the shoe will create friction against the surface of the foot, which can actually cause irritation or even remove some of the ink and leave you with a faded tattoo. The second primary reason is that it will suffocate the tattoo, building up a sweat, and not permitting it to breathe. The combination of sweat and irritation, as well as lack of air, is going to be the perfect environment for some bacteria and infection.
If you have some job or you participate in some activities which require you to wear restrictive shoes every day, then we do not recommend you to get a foot tattoo – unless you can do it at the time of a vacation when you will have at least two weeks to keep the shoes off.
- The size of the tattoo matters.
The size of the tattoo is going to have a direct effect on how painful the foot is going to feel after getting tattooed. If you are getting something small such as the size of a large coin or less, your healing is probably going to be pretty straightforward, depending on whether you keep it clean and try not to wear shoes for a couple of weeks. On the other hand, if you get a larger tattoo that spans across a good portion of your foot, that is when you are going to need to pay more attention to our article.
- Tattoo on one foot, or both of them?
If you have some plans to get a tattoo on both your feet, you should not do them both at the same time. You will want to have only one foot, which is not in pain to be around. Once any significant swelling and pain subsided, then you can go ahead and get work done on your other foot.
- Red foot and blue foot.
Swelling or minor bruising is also to be expected for the first couple of days after getting tattooed. Also, it may not hurt much the day of the tattoo, but the next day can be rather brutal. Even if it is not painful, you have to go home and immediately apply some ice to the tattoo after you leave the shop. You should put your feet up and read or play some video games; no matter what it is, it will distract you from wanting to get up and move about too much.
You are not supposed to wash or apply any ointments to your tattoo on the first day. You should give it some time to calm down. If your tattoo artist was a reputable one, he probably cleaned it and applied ointments before sending you home.
- How to wash your tattoo?
When it is time to start washing your foot tattoo, it is quite important to be gentle. With using your hand, you should apply a small amount of mild cleanser to the tattoo and then slowly work the cleanser into the tattoo with some circular motions. Then, rinse it with cool water. While you wash the tattoo, you can feel something slimy on the surface – that is the plasma, and you may want to be sure that it is entirely gone before you are finished washing.
You should continue applying cool water and making the circular motions with your hand until you don’t feel the slippery plasma anymore. If you don’t do that, the plasma will dry on the surface of the skin like scabs, and it can be quite painful.
When your tattoo is clean, apply something to keep it moist – you can use ointment or lotion for this purpose.
- When is the time to be concerned?
Swelling, as well as redness, bruising, and pain, are all normal for foot tattoos at the time of the first several days. If it has not subsided after four or five days, or even if it did subside but then became painful and swollen once again, it might be the time to see a doctor.
Foot tattoos are usually prone to bacterial invasion, as they are low to the ground and come in direct contact with huge concentrations of bad germs. If your feet do not get good circulation, some small infections can turn bad very quickly. Visiting a doctor, even without insurance, is going to cost you a lot less than a visit to the hospital later on.
In order to completely restore itself after being tattooed, your skin will need three months. During those three months, it builds up millions of cells that cover over the ink that was implanted underneath. Until that process is finished, the tattoo will be vulnerable. After two weeks, you can wear shoes when you have to, but remember to still take care of your tattoo. Get those shoes as soon as possible and wash and treat your tattoo right after that.