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© 2016 by Deluxe Designs

AFTERCARE

Here you will find aftercare instructions for your new tattoo or body piercing as well as answers to some of the most commonly asked questions that can arise during healing.


 

 

 

How to Care For Your New Tattoo

1. Remove the bandage from your new tattoo in 2-4 hours. If the bandage is sticking to the tattoo, DO NOT peel it off. Instead, pour a little water on it to loosen up any dried blood or ointment that is causing it to stick. You do not want to cause any damage to the skin under it. Discard the bandage once it is removed. There is no need to re-bandage the tattoo again unless you are instructed to do so by the artist.

2. Wash your new tattoo with warm water and a mild liquid antibacterial soap. When washing, use your hand to rub gently on the tattoo to remove any dried blood, ointment or excess ink. Do not use a washcloth or anything abrasive. At this time your tattoo is forming a scab, and you do not want to cause any damage to it or the skin underneath. During the healing process it is best to wash your tattoo twice a day; once in the morning and once at night. When you are finished washing it, pat it dry with a soft paper towel.

3. Once it has dried, apply a thin layer of Aquaphor or Vitamin A & D ointment to the tattoo. You do this about 3-4 times a day over the next week. Apply the ointment in small doses using your fingertips until the tattoo is completely covered with a thin film. Allow the ointment to settle into the skin for about 5 minutes. Then pat most of it off with a dry paper towel, barely leaving any on the tattoo. This will allow it to heal quicker and retain its color better, whereas a thick layer of ointment will cause the tattoo to push out too much ink, scab heavy, slow the healing time, and possibly cause a rash.

4. After a week, stop using the ointment and switch to a fragrance-free skin lotion such as Curel or Lubriderm. Again, you apply this about 3-4 times a day over the next week. Rubbing it gently into the tattoo being careful not to remove any scabs that might remain.

5. Your tattoo will scab and flake during these 2 weeks. DO NOT PICK THE SCABS. Doing so can cause damage to the skin and result in color loss and scarring.

6. For the first 3 weeks avoid: Sun Tanning, Tanning Beds, Salt Water, Chlorine, Steam Rooms, and Hot Tubs. All of these things will harm your fresh tattoo by damaging the new skin that is forming over it.

Once the artist has completed your tattoo, it is your responsibility to take care of it. A few weeks is not a long time to wait for something that will last the rest of your life. The better you care for your tattoo, the brighter it will stay.

Useful Tips for a Life Long Tattoo

The sun's UV rays can fade a tattoo drastically. Avoid exposing your tattoo to the sun for long periods of time without protection. Using a good strong SPF sunblock will keep your tattoo looking good for years to come.

Use moisturizing skin lotion on the tattoo often. Dry skin can make a tattoo look dull and faded. The lotion will moisten that dry layer making it more translucent which in turn makes the tattoo appear brighter and more visible.

Use moisturizing skin lotion on rough skin areas. Fingers, hands, elbows, and feet tend not to hold pigment as well as other areas of the body. Using a moisturizing skin lotion often on these areas will help to keep the skin softer and more flexible. This will result in less shedding of skin in those areas and will help to retain the tattoo over time.

Shave over the tattoo. This one is more for people that are hairy. Hair can obstruct the view of the tattoo on your skin, making it look dull and faded. Shaving that area will make the tattoo appear brighter and more visible. Despite the myth, your hair will not grow back faster and thicker.

Frequently Asked Questions About Tattoo Aftercare

1. Does every tattoo scab? 

Yes, every tattoo scabs to some degree. If taken care of correctly it should be very minimal. However, this also depends on how your body heals, and the type of tattoo being applied. Black and gray tattoos scab less and tend to heal quicker than color tattoos. Color tattoos require more work; therefore they create more trauma to the skin, which causes a heavier scab. Placement on the body can also affect scabbing. Areas that bend, like the inside elbow, tend to form heavier scabs and can take longer to heal.

2. Ink is coming out of my tattoo, is something wrong? 

Yes and no. It is normal for your tattoo to push out small amounts of excess ink the first 2-3 days. However, if it continues after that, then you are applying too much ointment to your tattoo. Remember, thinner is better when it comes to applying the ointment. Re-read the aftercare instructions above to learn the correct way to apply the ointment.

3. Will it be sore during the healing process? 

Yes, for the most part. It should just be sore to the touch as you apply the ointment. However, some areas like the ankles can swell if you tend to be on your feet for long periods of time. Crushed ice inside a clean zip lock bag can be placed over the tattoo to help relieve the soreness in any area.

4. After my tattoo healed I can see some spots missing, can this be fixed? 

Yes, even the most well taken care of tattoo can still heal with a spot or two missing. It is advised to wait about one full month (3-4 wks.) after your tattoo is completely healed before coming back for a touch up. Going into the skin too soon can cause scarring.

5. My tattoo broke out in a red rash with pimples what should I do? 

This rash is sometimes caused by the use of too much ointment. Whether it’s Aquaphor or Vitamin A & D, stop using it at once and start applying rubbing alcohol to the tattoo 4 times a day until the rash is gone. This will dry up the rash as well as the tattoo causing it to take a little longer to heal. While it will not look like it during this time, the tattoo should still heal up fine.

6. Can I still tan if I cover my tattoo while it’s healing? 

No, UV rays are strong and can still penetrate through and damage the newly forming skin.

7. Once my tattoo healed, I noticed that it wasn't as bright as when I first had it done, is this normal? 

Yes. New skin forms over the tattoo as it heals. So essentially when you look at a tattoo you are looking at it through your skin. The darker your skin tone is, the less vibrant the colors will be. This is normal. Unfortunately going over the tattoo again won’t make it any brighter. Apply some moisturizing lotion to the tattoo. It will make the top layer of skin more translucent which in turn will make the tattoo appear brighter and more visible.

8. My friends told me a different way to heal my tattoos, who should I listen to? 

While we are sure, your friends care about you and want the best for you; if they are not professional tattoo artists, then you should not be listening to them about your tattoo care. Also, there are many tattoo artists out there with many different ways to heal a tattoo, and we find that our aftercare instructions are what works best for our clients. We are always here to help answer any questions you may have about your tattoo.

How to Care for Your New Body Piercing

 

Cleaning Your New Piercing (All external piercings including micro-dermal and surface.)

 

1. Clean your hands.
Always wash your hands thoroughly before cleaning, or touching on or near your piercing. When cleaning your hands or the pierced area use a mild liquid antibacterial soap free of dyes and fragrances. 

2. Soak your piercing at least twice daily using a sterile saline or sea salt solution.
Apply the solution by using a disposable cup and placing it over the piercing allowing it to soak for a few minutes. On some areas of the body, it may be easier to apply with a fresh gauze or Q-Tip that's been saturated with the solution. Lightly rinse the area after to remove any residue. Use a sterile saline solution with no additives or a non-iodized sea salt mixture made by dissolving 1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon of non-iodized sea salt into an 8oz cup of warm distilled or bottled water. If the mixture is too strong, it can irritate the piercing.

3. Clean your piercing using a mild liquid antibacterial soap no more than twice a day.

Lather up a pearl size drop of the soap and gently clean the jewelry and the piercing. Leave the cleanser on the piercing no more than thirty seconds, then rinse thoroughly to remove all traces of the soap from the piercing.

4. Gently dry your new piercing with a paper towel or tissue. Cloth towels can harbor bacteria and catch on new piercings causing injury.

5. Dermal Piercings: Place and leave circular band-aids on for a minimum of 48 hours except for when cleaning. After 48 hours, only wear band-aids at night when sleeping for the remainder of the week. 

These piercings require maintenance during their entire lifetime because matter can build up underneath the threaded top causing the piercing to become irritated. Saline and/or shower rinses may be helpful with removing matter from underneath the threaded top. Avoid putting makeup on these piercings even after healing. Even with proper care, surface anchors may be less permanent than other body piercings.

These are some normal things that you may experience with your piercing

Initially, you may experience some bleeding, localized swelling, tenderness, or slight bruising. During the healing process some discoloration, itching, or secretion of a whitish-yellow fluid (not pus) may occur. This is normal. This fluid will also form some crust on the jewelry. 

 

As the piercing heals, the tissue may tighten around the jewelry. Once the piercing is healed the jewelry may not move freely. Do not force it. A piercing may seem healed before healing is complete. This is because piercings heal from the outside in, and although it feels healed the tissue remains fragile on the inside. Be patient, and keep cleaning throughout the entire healing period.

 

Even healed piercings can shrink or close in minutes after having been there for years. If you like your piercing, leave the jewelry in place.

Here are a few tips to help your piercing heal properly

Wash your hands before touching the piercing and leave it alone except for when you are cleaning it. It is not necessary to rotate the jewelry during the first week of healing.

Stay healthy. Get enough sleep and eat a nutritious diet. The healthier your lifestyle, the easier it will be for your piercing to heal. Exercise during healing is fine, just “listen” to your body and make sure if you exercise or workout at a public gym that all the equipment you come in contact with has been cleaned and sanitized in between each and every use.

Make sure your bedding is kept clean and changed regularly. Wear clean, comfortable, breathable clothing that protects your piercing while sleeping. Make sure to keep all pets and animals away from your sleeping area. Pet hair can get into your fresh piercing and cause an infection. Remember hair is porous and can harbor bacteria.

Also, showering is safer than taking a bath because bathtubs tend to harbor bacteria as well.

 

Things to avoid


Avoid undue trauma such as friction from clothing, excessive motion of the area, playing with the jewelry and vigorous cleaning. These activities can cause the formation of unsightly and uncomfortable scar tissue, migration, prolonged healing, and other complications.

Avoid the use of alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, Betadine, Hibiclens or ointment. These items can be too harsh for your piercing. 

Avoid over cleaning. This can delay the healing process and irritate your piercing.

 

Avoid all oral contact, rough play, and contact with others’ bodily fluids on or near your piercing during healing.

Avoid stress and recreational drug use including excessive caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol.

 

Avoid submerging the piercing in bodies of water such as lakes, pools, jacuzzis, etc. Alternatively, you can protect your piercing by using a special waterproof bandage such as Tegaderm, which is available at drugstores.

Avoid all beauty and personal care products on or around the piercing including cosmetics, lotions, and sprays.

Don’t hang charms or any objects from your jewelry until the piercing is fully healed.

 

Helpful Tips About Jewelry
 

Unless there is a problem with the size, style, or material of the initial jewelry, leave it in place for the entire healing period. See us if any changes with the jewelry need to occur.

Contact us if your jewelry must be temporarily removed, such as for a medical procedure. There are non-metallic jewelry alternatives.

Leave jewelry in at all times. Even old, well-healed piercings can shrink or close within minutes after having been there for years. If removed re-insertion can be difficult or impossible.

With clean hands, be sure to regularly check the threaded ends on your jewelry for tightness. ("Righty-tighty, Lefty-loosey").

Should you decide you no longer want the piercing, come see us to help remove the jewelry. Continue cleaning the piercing until the hole closes. In most cases, only a small indentation will remain.

 

If an infection is suspected, quality jewelry or an inert alternative should be left in place to allow for drainage of the infection. Should the jewelry be removed, the surface cells can close-up sealing the infection inside the piercing channel, resulting in an abscess. Until such time an infection is cleared up, leave quality jewelry in place.

 

Helpful Tips for Particular Areas

Navel
A hard, vented eye patch can be applied under tight clothing (such as nylon stockings) or secured using a length of ace bandage around the body (to avoid irritation from adhesive). This can protect the area from restrictive clothing, excess irritation, and impact during physical activities such as contact sports.

 

Ear, Ear Cartilage, and Facial
Dress your pillow in a large, clean t-shirt and turn it nightly. One clean t-shirt provides four clean surfaces for sleeping.

Maintain cleanliness of telephones, headphones, eyeglasses, helmets, hats and anything that else that comes into contact with the pierced area.

Use caution when styling your hair and advise your stylist of a new or healing piercing.

 

Nipple
The support of a tight cotton shirt or sports bra may provide protection and feel comfortable, especially for sleeping.

Genital
In most cases, you can engage in sexual activity as soon as you feel ready. Comfort and hygiene are vital.

 

During healing, all sexual activities must be gentle. To increase comfort and decrease trauma, soak in warm sterile saline solution or plain water to remove any crusty matter before sexual activity.

 

Use barriers such as condoms, dental dams, and Tegaderm, etc. to avoid contact with a partner’s bodily fluids, even in long-term relationships.

Use clean, disposable barriers on sex toys.

Wash hands before touching on or near the piercing.

Use a new container of water based lubricant. Do not use your saliva as a lubricant.

 

After sex, an additional saline soak or clean water rinse is suggested.

 

Prince Albert and Apadravya piercings can bleed freely for the first few days.

 

If using soap, urinate after cleaning any piercing that is near the urethra. Each body is unique and healing times vary considerably. If you have any questions, please contact us.

 

How to Care for Your Oral Piercing


Cleaning for Piercings That Are Inside Your Mouth

 

Rinse your mouth 4-5 times daily with an alcohol-free antiseptic mouth rinse for 30-60 seconds. Make sure to rinse after meals and at bedtime during the entire healing period. If you over clean, it may cause discoloration or irritation of the tongue.

 

 

Cleaning for The Exterior of Labret, Cheek and Lip Piercings

 

1. Clean your hands. Always wash your hands thoroughly before cleaning, or touching on or near your piercing. When cleaning your hands or the pierced area use a mild liquid antibacterial soap free of dyes and fragrances. 

 

2. Soak your piercing at least twice daily using a sterile saline or sea salt solution.
Invert a cup of the solution over the area (to form a vacuum) for a few minutes. On some areas of the body, it may be easier to apply with a fresh gauze or Q-Tip that's been saturated with the solution. Lightly rinse the area after to remove any residue. Use a sterile saline solution with no additives or a non-iodized sea salt mixture made by dissolving 1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon of non-iodized sea salt into an 8oz cup of warm distilled or bottled water. If the mixture is too strong, it can irritate the piercing.

 

3. Clean your piercing using a mild liquid antibacterial soap no more than twice a day.
Lather up a pearl size drop of the soap and gently clean the jewelry and the piercing. Leave the cleanser on the piercing no more than thirty seconds, then rinse thoroughly to remove all traces of the soap from the piercing.

 

4. Gently dry your new piercing with a paper towel or tissue.
Cloth towels can harbor bacteria and catch on new piercings causing injury.

These are some things that you may experience with your piercing that are normal
 

For the first 3-5 days you may experience significant swelling, light bleeding, bruising, and tenderness. During the healing process, some swelling or a light secretion of a whitish-yellow fluid (not pus) may occur.

 

A piercing may seem healed before healing is complete. This is because piercings heal from the outside in, and although it feels healed the tissue remains fragile on the inside. Be patient, and keep cleaning throughout the entire healing period.

Even healed piercings can shrink or close in minutes after having been there for years. If you like your piercing, leave the jewelry in place.

Here are a few tips to help you during the healing process: (Oral piercings)
 

To help reduce swelling allow small pieces of ice to dissolve in the mouth. Take an over the counter, anti-inflammatory such as Ibuprofen or Naproxen to reduce swelling. Sleep with your head elevated above your heart during the first few nights.

 

To maintain good oral hygiene use a new soft-bristled toothbrush and keep it clean. Brush your teeth, and use your rinse after every meal. During healing floss daily and gently brush your teeth, tongue, and jewelry. Once healed, brush the jewelry more thoroughly to avoid plaque buildup.

 

Things to avoid


Do not play with the jewelry. Long-term effects of playing with, and clicking the jewelry against your teeth can result in permanent damage to teeth and other oral structures.

Undue trauma such as excessive talking or playing with the jewelry during healing can cause the formation of unsightly and uncomfortable scar tissue, migration, and other complications.

 

Avoid any mouthwash containing alcohol. It can irritate the area and delay healing.

 

Avoid oral sexual contact including wet kissing or oral sex during healing, even with a long-term partner.

 

Avoid chewing gum, tobacco, fingernails, pencils, sunglasses, etc.

 

Avoid sharing plates, cups, and eating utensils.

 

Avoid smoking. It increases risks and lengthens healing time.

 

Avoid stress and all recreational drug use.

 

Avoid aspirin or alcohol, and large amounts of caffeine as they thin the blood and can cause excessive bleeding.

 

Avoid submerging in bodies of water such as lakes, pools, hot tubs, etc.

 

Helpful Tips About Jewelry
 

Once the swelling has subsided, it is vital to replace the original (longer) jewelry with a shorter post.

This necessary jewelry change may occur during healing. Do not attempt to change the jewelry yourself. Please see us first.

 

With clean hands or paper product, be sure to regularly check the threaded ends on your jewelry for tightness.

 

Contact us if your jewelry must be temporarily removed, such as for a medical procedure. There are non-metallic jewelry alternatives.

 

Should you decide you no longer want the piercing, come see us to help remove the jewelry. Continue cleaning the piercing until the hole closes. In most cases, only a small indentation will remain.

 

If an infection is suspected, quality jewelry or an inert alternative should be left in place to allow for drainage of the infection. Should the jewelry be removed, the surface cells can close-up sealing the infection inside the piercing channel, resulting in an abscess. Until such time an infection is cleared up, leave quality jewelry in place.

Helpful Tips About Eating With Your New Oral Piercing
 

Slowly eat small bites of food, placed directly onto the molars.

 

Avoid eating spicy, salty, acidic, or hot temperature foods or beverages for a few days.

 

Cold foods and beverages are soothing and help reduce swelling.

 

For tongue piercing, try to keep your tongue level in your mouth as you chew and swallow.

 

For labret, cheek and lip piercings be cautious about opening your mouth too wide as this can result in the backing of the jewelry catching on the teeth.

 

Each body is unique and healing times vary considerably. If you have any questions, please contact us.