People wear tattoos for different reasons. One of the most common reason is to identify oneself with something. If you love snowboarding you should definitely go and get one. You might be a pro in snowboarding or a die-hard fan.
What cuts across the two is that you will need something to make you appreciate it more; something to make you bond. There are millions of artworks just waiting to be on your skin to permanently remind you of your passion.
How long does it take for a tattoo to heal?
Generally, a tattoo takes at least 2 weeks to heal. Depending on its size and the place you have it, a tattoo can even take up to 3 or 4 weeks to heal completely. If you are a snowboarder, you might want to get a little bit more interested on how to go about your tattoo healing process while you pursue your hobby.
You have to know when it's actually safe to be back on the tracks. Before we go into this let us understand what brings in the difference in the time taken by people to heal.
The size of the tattoo is directly proportional to the time taken for the tattoo to heal. The bigger it is the longer it will take. You have to consider size because you won't want to be caught up in a situation where you are up for a tournament yet you haven't recovered fully for your cut. You can have large and crazy designs done for you when you have the most time; a holiday break or something.
Certain parts of the skin heal faster than others. Parts like the forearm and palm really heal quickly. The only problem is that they wear out equally fast. They will cause the tattoos in these areas to fade over time.
You need to keep that area moisturized to avoid friction over and over again. I would have added that you should avoid tight clothes, but unfortunately, as a snowboarder, you are destined to wear fitting garments in the name of protective wear for the better part of your life.
It's a fact that some people simply generate skin cell weigh faster than others. It is all in the genes. Genes, as dermatologists will confirm, have a large bearing on the rate at which you are able to heal. Research has also proven that the skin's pigmentation can also affect the time taken for a person to heal. In case your wound takes a very long time to heal, it is advisable to visit your doctor.
If you are reading this article, it is probable that you are trying to balance some sort of equation. You are making your options and trying as much as possible to come out with a win-win situation; one where you'll have your tattoo while snowboarding at the same time as soon as you are able to. However, let me break it to you.
This is not a 'hitting two birds with one stone' situation. For you to go out snowboarding while in your best form, you will simply have to wait. It might sound a restraining but believe me when I tell you that this is by far the best option available. Wait for the tattoo to fully heal before you can get back on your feet for skiing. Depending on the size of your tattoo and its location it will only cost you at most 3 weeks.
Waiting is the best alternative because when you go snowboarding when you haven't fully healed you will end up exposing not only your tattoo but you're very safe with tons of risks. As you shall see shortly, there are several ways in which you can shorten your healing time, most of which are best effective when you are off your board.
How to fasten up the healing.
World of snowboarding blooms with several activities and competitions. The season might be upon you. 3 weeks is definitely a long time to wait if you are up for a snowboarding tournament. You need to practice. It is true that 'patient pays' but you are probably reading this article because you are in need of ways to fasten your healing process. Aren't you?
Worry no more. There are some hacks which can help speed up your healing and who knows you might be back on the slopes within a fortnight. Before we go into this section, I would want you to understand that people heal at different rates as I have mentioned previously.
Genes and the skin's biology play a large role in the healing process. What works for someone else might not work for you. However, let us look at some of the great ways of fastening healing just in store for you.
Clean it the right way.
This might sound obvious to you, but when done wrong you will end up with a messed up blurry tattoo. You have to clean it the right way. Most people tend to clean the tattoos with hot water. Hot water will only lengthen the healing period. You might even burn yourself while at it.
That is why dermatologists recommend the use of lukewarm water. Its moderate temperature (approximately 40 degrees) is adequate for cleaning. Cleaning of the wound is very important in the first week. This is because the tattoo is still fresh and sore. Blood circulation at this stage needs to be at its optimum around the area. That is why it usually swells.
This swelling is a good sign and it means that the body is working just perfectly. Lukewarm water will do the trick since it will increase blood circulation around that area and fasten your healing rate. Do not use a sponge or any other abrasive material on that part while washing it. If you do, you will scrape off the scab formed on the wound and disrupt the natural healing process.
Use of ointments
Ointments really fasten the healing process. This is because first, they disinfect the area the tattoo is on. A tattoo is an exposed wound. You need to get the right ointment to apply to it regularly. When applying, it is gentle. Use the tip of your fingers and rub it on the tattoo.
Move your fingers in a circular motion on top of the tattoo. Do not apply a lot of ointment as this might cause the wound to get wet and moist. Ensure that it is a very thin layer. Finally, apply it regularly until the wound begins to naturally peel off.
This may not be really applicable to snowboarders since they aren't exposed to sunlight that much. In spite of that, it is still important to wear some sunscreen. You can do this in the second week of your healing when scabbing has started. It will keep the tattoo from fading and give you a clean masterpiece once the wound has healed fully.
If you are eager to get back on the icy slopes as soon as possible, then you might want to think twice about alcohol. It is true that you feel more in tune with the culture of snowboarding when you and your pals take a break and warm yourselves with some few bottles of beer.
However, alcohol slows the healing process. It does this by thinning the blood. Before I lose you, I will explain what this means and how it messes up the entire healing process. Alcohol enters the bloodstream and the chemicals responsible for blood clotting and healing become dormant.
Consequently, your blood takes a longer time to form a clot around your tattoo wound. You can do yourself a big favor and keep off alcohol for the next 2 or 3 weeks of your healing. After that, you can have all the liquor in the world as you admire your clean and neat tattoo while hitting the snow.
Keep off scented lotion
Snowboarding is an intense sport. You will definitely sweat and get dirty while at it. However much you may want to cherish personal hygiene, you have to remember the fact that you now have a tattoo that probably cost you a fortune.
Lotions will make you smell nice and all that, but you now have to be choosy while getting yourself one. The problem with scented oils is that they contain fragrance chemicals that slow your healing process. What is more is that they will irritate the sensitive skin around your tattoo.
If you really have to use one, avoid applying it on the part of your body with the tattoo. Even so, I would still strongly recommend you get yourself a scentless one while you go snowboarding.
Do not expose the scab
It is true, but you have to let your wound breathe. Air is a very important component of the tattoo aftercare process. Exposure will prevent it from being moist and damp as the latter predispose the wound to infections. This is why I would insist on waiting for the tattoo to completely heal before you go back to pursue your passion.
However, if you really want to resume snowboarding as soon as possible, protect your tattoo! It is true that you are not supposed to replace the original bandage, but if you can't help giving in to the urge of snowboarding you might want to reconsider this.
The wound needs to be covered. It would be pointless for you to leave it exposed only for it to get bruised and totally ruined while you are your snowboard. At least place something over the tattoo. A tensor wrap might do the trick as it will absorb the friction produced around that area.
Taking a chill from terrain parks
To be honest terrain parks can be quite a thrill! There is nothing more satisfying for a prodigy snowboarder than showing off his or her unequaled skills on those half pipes and jumps. I admire them greatly as they do those bone-chilling maneuvers and unleash daring tricks hidden beneath their sleeves.
However, those high end techniques take a very heavy toll on the performers. Aerial flips and high jumps are eye-catching but also equally dangerous. You might want to exercise your prowess, but give yourself a break.
This is because you will get injuries and several bruises while showing off your skills to the world. This particularly becomes a problem when you bring tattoos into the picture. Your tattoo will be ruined if it gets bruised or scratched while it is still healing.
More so, you will increase your healing period if it gets injured. If you love the extreme side of skiing, it is better for you to think twice before resuming your training when you have not completely healed. You might even want to give more attention to where you want your tattoo to be placed if you are still planning to get one.
Safety is key
Snowboarding, just like any other extreme sport, can lead to serious injuries. From sprains and fractures to broken limbs and bones, snowboarding has generously contributed to the large number of patients in emergency sections at the hospitals. That is why it is very important for you to have your protective gear on. All those layers and layers of clothes are not one in vain.
From wearing ski socks, ski gloves to having your boots on you need to arm yourself from head to toe irrespective of your tattoo size. What is the point of ending your whole career for the sake of your beloved tattoo? There is no need of having a large grizzly bear tattoo on your back only for it to be split into two by an operation scar. That would be disappointing, wouldn't it?
My point is, it is better for you to have yourself covered and have a shady looking tattoo than for you to expose yourself to incurring an irreversible injury. Your passion is of greater importance and I would strongly advise you to protect it at all costs.
You should really consider having a tattoo if you love snowboarding. Have a trophy on your chest if you have ever won one to remind your children of your glory days. Despite that, never forget that safety is key and you will really need to be smart to figure out when you are ready to resume snowboarding