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TATTOO AFTERCARE

First of all, CONGRATS on your new tattoo!

 

  I use the highest degree of care and quality before, during, and after a tattoo procedure to make sure that my client's skin receives the least amount of trauma possible and is above all else clean.

But out in the wild, germy world, many professional tattoos have encountered healing problems due to carelessness.

Please be diligent with your aftercare!

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What to expect after getting your tattoo:

 

After finishing your tattoo, I will rinse your tattoo with an antiseptic solution and apply a breathable polyurethane-acrylic adhesive medical bandage - Saniderm or similar. The wrap is a protective bandage that goes over the tattoo, keeping germs out and keeping blood, ink, and lymph fluid in, which promotes healing. It's just like an artificial blister for that new skin, and it should ideally stay on for the first 3-5 days of your healing. Longer won't do your tattoo any harm, it's just overkill and can be irritating to the skin at the borders of the bandage.

Please be aware - the "tattoo soup" that collects under the bandage can look thick and gross, but it's completely normal and healthy! Most fluid buildup stops within 24-48 hours. The wrap may "spring a leak" and cause fluid to drain out through a small crease in the covering. Don't worry! Gently clean the skin around the bandage and leave the edges as intact as possible. However, if the wrap has pulled fully away from your tattoo in a flap and leaves parts of it exposed, follow instructions for removal and roll on with the rest of the aftercare regardless of how many days the wrap was applied.

Your tattoo may be warm and sore; that's normal! You may continue normal activities and showering, but do not submerge or saturate your bandaged tattoo. Sweating can also weaken the adhesive, but light workouts 24 hours after application are fine. Avoid anything that could be abrasive to your new tattoo, including tight or rough seams on clothing - take a break from tight cuffs or skinny denim.

If you have an allergic reaction (redness or irritation) to the adhesive, take the wrap off and continue with the rest of the aftercare. 

You'll see the fluid under the bandage drying up, some reabsorbed in the skin, and some remaining on the surface. A dry, crinkly surface to the bandage is a good sign that the wrap is nearly ready to be removed! Read on for the next steps. 

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Tattoo Aftercare:

  1. Do not fully submerge your tattoo while healing - no swimming pools, hot tubs, or any other body of water. Keep it safe from abrasion, and out of the sun for at least the first two weeks of healing. Sunscreen is crucial later, but during the initial healing you want clothing over your new tattoo, even while it lives under the wrap 

  2. At 3-5 days, you are ready to remove the bandage

  3. Wash your hands before handling your tattoo 

  4. Find an edge of the bandage, and gently pull it back over itself in the direction of hair growth. If you're having difficulty removing it, try running some warm water over the area, or using a small amount of soap to loosen the adhesive. Peel down gently

  5. Next, wash your tattoo. I recommend a mild liquid antibacterial soap like Dial or Softsoap without heavy dyes, scrubbing beads, or fragrances. Lather the soap in your hands and Gently cleanse the surface of your tattoo, totally dissolving any remaining fluid buildup on your skin. ** This is especially important if the wrap needed early removal **  you don't want any body fluids to dry on your new tattoo and contribute to scabbing. It should be smooth and dry like a baby's booty! Wash twice a day at a minimum, more often as needed

  6. Pat your tattoo completely dry with a fresh paper towel. Do not use a cloth hand                   or face towel - they harbor bacteria!

  7. Use a tiny amount of any fragrance-free, alcohol-free lotion or balm. Lubriderm and Aveeno make great options. Use a light hand to apply over the entire tattoo and then pat your tattoo dry again with a clean paper towel to absorb any excess. You can always add more as your tattoo heals, but too much moisture prevents your skin from being able to breathe, and can still contribute to scabbing even at later stages of healing. The light moisturizer will keep the skin from feeling too 'tight' or 'crispy' as it is healing, and will help soothe the itchiness that accompanies a healing tattoo.

**Do not use Neosporin. It has components that draw foreign particles out of wounds, which is necessary for cuts and scrapes. However, the ink particles need to stay IN the skin and not drawn out, which could leave empty patches.**

Anything that comes in contact with your fresh tattoo should be clean and dry, including clothes, furniture, and the sheets on your bed. I speak from experience when I say that while it's great to have puppies and kitties that like to cuddle on your bed, their paws bring everything they step in, right into your bed. That is NOT something you want to invite into the healing skin of a fresh tattoo.

Avoid any jewelry, tight clothing, or seams that will press or rub against your new tattoo.

I recommend clients follow some physical restrictions for 10-14 days while healing: avoid the sun entirely or cover your new tattoo with a layer of clothing. No sunscreen yet. Avoid intense workouts and physical contact with shared gym equipment, water activities, gardening, or similar outdoor activities with exposure to dirt. Limit contact with pets/animals. 

Signs and symptoms of infection include but aren't limited to: pus drainage, fever, inflammation, extended tenderness/redness/swelling, red streaks to the heart. See a medical pro right away if any of these symptoms pop up. Minute clinics and urgent care can get you treated fast.
If physician care is required, LET ME KNOW! Prioritize your health first. Your tattoo can always be fixed.

 

Typical Things You'll Notice While Your Tattoo is Healing:

  • After a few days, you'll see some peeling and possibly light scabbing. DON'T PEEL IT. 

  • "Fish Food Flakes":  The skin flakes that fall off your healing tattoo will have the same ink pigments as your skin has, which is why I call them "Fish Food Flakes" 

  • You will start to itch, just like a sunburn when it begins to heal. DO NOT SCRATCH OR PICK! Continue to wash your tattoo and apply a small amount of lotion as needed

Protecting Your Tattoo:

After your tattoo has healed, you'll want to keep it protected from the sun's ultraviolet rays from now on. These can fade and damage the color of a brilliant tattoo very fast, regardless of your skin's natural pigment. Protect your investment in the art with a minimum of 30 SPF sunblock. I like mineral-based sunscreens  Sunblock will keep your tattoo vibrant for many years to come.
 

 

If you have ANY questions or issues with healing your new tattoo, feel free to contact me!

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