After reading about a Texas man who died after a brutal infection on his new leg tattoo, I wanted to offer some tips about proper tattoo care from my own experience.

According to CNN, this man swam in the Gulf of Mexico five days AFTER getting a large tattoo on his leg. He was admitted to the hospital after complaints of severe pain in his leg, followed by fever, chills, swelling and redness in the tattoo area.

It was discovered he had contracted vibriosis, and as a result, died of septic shock. Watch from CBS News below:

Immediately, from reading the headline alone I could pinpoint his first mistake: he went into the ocean after getting a FRESH tattoo.

I made a similar mistake with my first tattoo, obviously without the same consequences. My eye tattoo on my wrist was my very first tattoo, and also was poorly planned because that weekend, I was planning to come to the Shore with some friends.

Not wanting to miss out on the fun, I went into the water ruining my tiny tattoo. From then on, I made sure to ask my tattoo artists about tattoo aftercare, and did my own research.

Here are my tips:

  1. AVOID THE OCEAN - actually, avoid soaking your tattoo in any water. Your tattoo is a fresh wound, treat it like one! Bacteria and germs can easily seep into your skin.
  2. Block your tattoo from the sun, especially if you're tanning - the sun can alter the colors in your tattoo
  3. Don't try to protect the tattoo by keeping it bandaged - it needs to breathe!
  4. Properly clean your new tattoo using antibacterial soap, and moisturizing it (I use Aquaphor)
  5. Most importantly: ASK YOUR TATTOO ARTIST ON PROPER CARE - do not take their tips with a grain of salt, they know what they're doing

My overall favorite tip, is to generally avoid getting tattoos in the summer when you know you'll be going to the beach, vacation, etc. If you absolutely must, just make sure you plan it!

If you have any helpful tips to protect tattoos during the summer, comment below!

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