Everyone is different so each person heals unique to one another. So common sense says keep is simple.
Theres many ways to properly heal a tattoo and a few on your piercings as well. But heres a few things that are for sure.
Written on July 17th, 2019
ALWAYS Wash your hands before touching your tattoo or piercing.
99.9% of infection comes from the client once they have left the tattoo studio. The laws and requirements used by licensed shops prevent any chance of infection. The main cause of tattoo infection comes from cell phones, car keys, pets and your bedding. These are things that often don't get proper disinfecting, if at all.
Remove bandage after 1 hour-24 max, unless it is a Saniderm type product then do as directed by your artist.
Immediately wash tattoo with your hand and soap and water.
Pat dry with a clean paper towel do not rub.
As we get into the next suggestions or ways of healing that have worked for others, it is IMPORTANT TO KNOW that each place in the world has different climates, some places are dry and some are humid. This can play a huge role in how you heal your tattoo.
For example skin may need more moisturizer in Colorado USA than in Florida USA. In Florida too much moisturizer can clog pores, causing pumps or pimples to occur. In Colorado the air is thin and dry, so neglecting using an ointment or moisturizer of some kind could cause cracking leaving scarring in the tattoo.
So do your own research for your area.
MOST OF ALL... a color tattoo will need more attention than a black and grey (wash), or just outline. These tattoos tend to heal faster and require a bit less care, colorful or even black and white, using whites mixed with blacks to create grey(opaque), cause more trauma to the skin and leave behind a lot more ink. This ink or pigment is foreign to your body, it must be taken care of in order to except the ink and heal properly.
Let your tattoo air dry before applying ointment or moisturizer.
Rub in a small amount of ointment or lotion recommended to you by your artist, rub this in until it is gone (there should not be a layer left on top of the skin this will clog pores and prevent the tattoo from breathing)
During your healing it is okay to wash your tattoo 5 to 10 times a day in the manner that is described above.
Wear clean, loose clothing to protect your new tattoo
Do not expose your tattoo to direct sunlight, oceans, pools or hot tubs, do not SOAK in the shower or bath letting too much water absorb into your skin , this will soften the tattoo causing it to flake off too early.
We recommend using A&D or Aquaphor ointment, as it seems to agree with most people when used properly. It is very important that it is rubbed in until it's gone because of its texture and petroleum base.
If you prefer a lotion that is water-soluble we recommend H2 ocean lotion. But I have had many people over the years who have their own regiment that works well for them.
Some examples would include: Aquaphor Healing Ointment, Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion, Lubriderm Daily Moisture Lotion, Tattoo Goo Salv, Cetaphil Fragrance Free Moisturizing Lotion, After Inked Moisturize, Eucerin Intensive Repair Lotion, Hustle Butter, the list goes on. Please use what is recommended or what you know has worked in the past.
The most important thing is to wash it often, this prevents plasma buildup which causes scabbing. Some tattoos will scab no matter what you do but washing often will help. This is to be done using your hand and light soap and water ONLY!
Avoid the gym or working out for a day or so after your tattoo to avoid stretching it or infection from the equipment. This also depends on the placement and size of your new tattoo.
Some people have even reported getting sick, because they pushed their body at the gym while it was trying to heal a tattoo.
What you can expect …
Light peeling and / or scabbing do not pick or even help the skin fall off.
Itching (but do not itch)
The ink may appear to be coming out of the tattoo this should be minimal, if it seems like it is excessive please stop in so we can take a look
Your tattoo may appear a different or lighter color while healing, this is usually just a layer of skin over the tattoo as part of the healing process.
It may have a “sunburn feel” in the first few days, this is normal
The skin may feel tight in this area, do not attempt to stretch the skin or over moisturize
Healing can take as little as 5 days and as long as 2 months, full healing is when the tattoo is no longer shinny and looks like the non tattooed skin around it.
TIPS TO KEEP YOUR TATTOO LOOKING GOOD for years to come...
After your tattoo is healed...
Use sunscreen directly on your tattoo when ever it's exposed in UV light such as tanning beds or outside for any period of time. The sun or UV light is the main cause of fading.
Using a moisturizer daily
Every few months or so you may use a light exfoliate on your tattoo
(A SPF stick is a great tool for medium to small tattoos , it allows you to draw on just the tattoo allowing a suntan everywhere else if desired)
Free Touch Up...
We do free touch up here at In Living Color Studio. The quality of your tattoo is very important to us, so we recommend that you come back for this, it is usually a quick procedure and can be scheduled over the phone.
However we do try to limit it to no longer than two months after getting your new tattoo, this is because anytime longer & the whole tattoo may need to be redone, as it will settle into the skin over time making any new ink look different than the other.
(this is a guid line time frame for us, so if you have past your 2 month mark let us know and let us see the tattoo, to see if we can still honor your free touch up.)
PIERCINGS: All piercings done at In Living Color are done with implant grade surgical steel (316lvm) or titanium. We choose to use jewelry with only smooth inclosed jewels instead of prongs to insure that there are no crevices for bacteria to harbor.This is also why we prefer to use our own jewelry or jewelry that we special order to insure the quality.
The body is an amazing thing, let it do it's job. By leaving your new piercing alone and keeping the instructions given here to a minimal, Your body will heal itself.
Do not touch or play with your piercing the only time you should touch your piercing is after you have washed your hands and you are actually washing the piercing
Wash your hands, then wash your piercing using Head-To-Toe Baby Wash or any gentle soap and water with your hand. Some piercers recommend antibacterial soap for the piercing itself and that may work fine for you or, some find it too abrasive to put on the open wound daily. Just make sure to wash your hands with the antibacterial soap and the piercing it self with any gentle soap.
Do not move the jewelry around while doing this it will move slightly anyways, you will want to avoid getting soap inside of the piercing, the outside is the only contaminated part, the soap will irritate the entree and exit wounds of the piercing. Rinse well with water, the shower is a good place to wash your new piercing.
When rinsing with water, this is very important, you may now slightly move your jewelry around to make sure all soap is removed from the outside and inside of the piercing. Make sure there is no soap left in or on the piercing
Dry and / or press on with a clean paper towel, this would be a good time/only time to tighten balls. Since your hands and the piercing area are clean.
You should tighten the balls ever so often.
You may use sea salt and water or H2Ocean Sterile Sea Salt spray after cleaning this will help you heal and soothe your piercing, sea salt has healing minerals in it.
You may develop a crusting around the entry and exit points of your piercing this can be removed with a Q-tip and salt-water.
We recommend having a sealed zip lock bag full of Q-tips, a bottle of water or something with sea salt water in it, this will allow you to clean and soothe your piercing anywhere anytime. This will also help you to keep your fingers off of it.
Touching your fresh piercing just one time can get it infected, your car keys and cell phone have built up bacteria on it....think about it.
Always avoid Beta-dine, hydrogen peroxide, alcohol and anything containing alcohol, such as hairspray or gel for anything done near the hair.
Anything near the hair should be rinsed thoroughly, making sure all shampoo and any other hair products are rinsed off of the piercing.
Use an alcohol (and fluoride) free mouthwash 3 to 5 times daily for up to 60 seconds, including after meals and at bedtimes.
Use warm water & vigorously rinse mouth every time you are done eating, this is to ensure that no small particles of food are left in the piercing area.
Avoid tobacco, alcohol, large amounts of caffeine, oral sexual contact (including kissing), chewing gum, and playing with your jewelry during the initial week of healing.
You may also use a sea salt rinse, sea salt will help it heal faster and gives a soothing effect.
Sea salt does not replace mouth wash, but can be alternated between the two.
Always check balls to tighten them, read instruction in piercing (above) for more info.
Optionals & Extras:You may put Neosporin on the entry and exit points, but only for the first three days
Drinking water is always good for healing and overall health, at least 8 glasses a day
Take a plant based, organic vitamin
Always wash hands before touching
When changing jewelry, soak jewelry in a small cup of rubbing alcohol before switching
Ever so often, check the two balls to ensue that they are tight
DISCLAIMER:Healed piercings can shrink or close in minutes, even after having been in for years. This varies in each individual, if you like your piercing keep your jewelry in and clear up the inflamed or infected area, using sea salt water & Head To Toe Baby Wash.
*infection comes from touching, the only way bacteria can transfer is by contact, think about what you have touched. Discontinue it and clear up the piercing.
If you are not sure always treat your piercing like a new piercing, even years after healing a piercing can get snagged and reopened, leaving it open to get infection.
Thanks so much for visiting, please call or stop in if you have any questions or concerns.
In Living Color Studios
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