You love the winter season and all that entails. The crisp weather, the Holidays, and the peppermint mochas. In fact, the season has inspired you to get a tattoo. You may even have chosen a winter (view ideas) or Christmas themed tattoo to honor your affinity for this time of the year. However, you have one key question – does cold weather affect tattoos to the point that it may compromise its healing and maintenance? Let’s find out!
What You Need to Know About Getting a New Tattoo in Very Cold Climates
Cold Air, Don’t Care?
Cold air doesn’t really have an impact on your tattoo’s ability to heal as long as you afford it proper aftercare. During the winter season, you simply need to apply more moisturizer than normal, beginning the week after getting tattooed. This is due to the low relative humidity that can make skin dry and flaky. When unattended your skin may develop what is commonly referred to as “winter itch”. As long as you’re aware of this, and perform adequate moisturizing through the cold months, your tattoo will be fine. In fact, the winter is generally better for tattoos than months marked by hot outdoor temperatures because you don’t perspire as much (which can drive bacteria into a healing tattoo). UV exposure is also significantly more limited in the cold winter months, which is good for an exposed tattoo. Unless you find yourself in extremely cold climates (are there tattoo shops in the Arctic Circle?) and your skin will be exposed during this time, there’s not much to be concerned about. There are a few caveats, however, which we discuss below.
Watch What You Wear
What you wear to keep warm in cold weather can affect your new tattoo. This is due to the friction it can cause on your healing skin, especially with certain materials such as wool. If you can’t wear light clothing in the first two-weeks after getting inked (it is cold outside) at least ensure that sweaters or pants (as applicable) aren’t tight, and be sure to choose materials that don’t aggravate the skin. Wear natural fabrics such as cotton, modal, lyocell and silk.and avoid wool and polyester as much as possible during this short period. Also note that foot tattoos are especially vulnerable under heavy layers (thick socks and boots) so be mindful of how tight you lace-up.
Does cold weather affect tattoos? Follow the advice above and you’ll be just fine. With that out of the way you may now schedule your consultation with peace of mind.
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