Article via Barbara Hale @hale_bjj
How to get a new tattoo without missing out on training? Time-off can be a real torment whether you’re a BJJ junkie or a recreational practitioner. While injuries are beyond our control, self-imposed abstinence is even more difficult to cope with. Fortunately, there are ways of still getting that new ink without getting off the mat for too long.
- If you are competing check the competition schedule before getting a new design. Allow at least 2-3 weeks (middle size design, healing properly) healing time before competing. Some tournaments will be less important than others and it’s worth it to have a little patience rather than damage your skin for life.
- It is obvious, but the larger the design the longer your skin will need to recover. Tiny tattoos may heal as fast as within two weeks. The safest time of year for getting inked is either Christmas, or the summer meaning July & August.
- Your tattoo artist will most probably recommend Bepanthen to be spread over your newly acquired ink. It can be purchased without prescription in any pharmacy. However, if possible, see a dermatologist and ask them to prescribe mupirocinium for you. It is most commonly sold in the form of an ointment and you won’t need to spend millions on it, but the effect is incredible. Not only will your tattoo heal perfectly, but you will also avoid the peeling off of your skin and scabs forming on the spot.
- If treated properly most designs will take 3-4 weeks to heal enough to make it possible for you to make your return to the mat. This doesn’t mean they will be fully healed, but with certain safety precautions practicing technique or even light sparring may be possible.
- When you decide that your new tattoo has healed enough – the itching and cabs are gone, your skin is back to its normal colour, it doesn’t hurt when you touch the spot) you can consider going back to BJJ.
- Try to mark the body part where it is located – wear an ankle support on your leg or a tight armband on the wrist and make sure to let your partner know about your tattoo. Even though it may be healed, remember to spread the ointment over it and secure it with plastic foil and plasters. Make sure to wear a rashguard over it. This is especially important during light sparring, because even though your skin may be healed it will still be sensitive for a up to a month after.
If in doubt, go back to the tattoo parlour and seek advice from a professional. OSS!