•Remove the bandage after one hour, two maximum.
•All wounds need to breathe if they are to heal properly.
•Wash the tattoo using your fingertips or hand only.
•Use a mild antibacterial soap and warm water.
•Take care to remove all traces of blood as this will cause scabbing.
•Do not scrub the tattoo with a washcloth during the two week healing period.
•Always gently pat the tattoo dry with a clean soft cloth or just let it air dry.
•Apply a thin coat of non-scented lotion to the tattoo, Just enough to make it shine, a little goes a long way.
•Dab off all the excess with a paper towel. You should barely be able to tell that it's there... This is just enough to keep the tattoo moist and to keep it from scabbing. Your body heat will liquefy the ointment and it may become glossy looking or runny. This means there's too much on there. Dab more off. Too much lotion will only suffocate the tattoo and liquefy any scabs that may have formed causing the ink to fall out and look blotchy. There is no need to re-bandage the tattoo.
•Lotion can be applied whenever the tattoo is feeling stiff or dry but beware of over-moisturizing. Your body will absorb what it needs where it needs it. Do not use lotions that contain color or fragrance or sparkles until the healing is complete. (Usually anywhere from ten days to two weeks;Possibly longer for slower healers.)
•Your skin will form a protective layer no matter what you do. If you do not keep it moist or if you keep it too moist (it's a personal balance, different for each individual), it will form a thick, hard scab that may crack when you move. When you form this kind of a scab the ink sits within it and slowly heals into the skin. When the tattoo is kept moist it doesn't have a chance to form a scab but does form a thin membrane to protect the tattoo while it heals. This layer peels off very similar to a sunburn (do not peel your tattoo, you will pull the ink out!) and it is perfectly normal to see small flakes of colored skin falling off during this stage of healing.
•You must keep your tattoo clean, however, long showers or baths must be avoided for 2 weeks. Prolonged soaking can and will loosen scabs if any have formed, or will soak through the soft tissue turning it into a soggy mess and cause your ink to flow down the drain. This includes swimming in the ocean or a pool, hot tubs, and saunas. Short showers are best, under ten minutes if possible.
•Please refrain from scratching or picking at the tattoo. Scrubbing with a washcloth can be very harsh on a tattoo and will cause your colors to fade. Disrupting the tattoo while it's healing can also cause scar tissue. It is normal for the tattoo to become very itchy during the healing time. To relieve this, slap it with your hand (this will sting it and take away the itch).
•The sun is BAD for your tattoo, PERIOD!!
Even if you've had it for a loooooong time. A sunburn on a new tattoo can cause a lot of problems. It will dry out your tattoo and cause it to form a horrendous scab much of the time causing the tattoo to fade before it is even healed. It will take much longer to heal completely. It promotes scarring in a new tattoo. Wait until it is fully healed to go back in the sun or a tanning bed and make sure you put on a high quality SUNBLOCK (not sunscreen). But, do not apply sunblock while the tattoo is healing.
The tattoo is under your skin, and your tan will form above it. If you get too dark, some colors (white, yellow, pink, and orange) may not show up as brightly as they could. Over time, excessive exposure to sunlight will cause your tattoo to fade no matter what colors are used.
Just a note:
Remember that hands and feet reproduce skin cells much faster than other parts of the body. A tattoo in these areas will sometimes take an extra two weeks to heal. During this time refrain from washing dishes, wearing gloves, or wearing socks and shoes (sandals must not rub the tattoo). Any friction of this type WILL wear away the tattoo within a very short period of time.
Tattoos in these areas are almost never guaranteed.
Body Piercing Aftercare
• WASH YOUR HANDS thoroughly prior to cleaning or touching on or near your piercing for any reason.
• SALINE soak at least two or three times daily. Simply invert a cup of warm saline solution over the area to form a vacuum for a few minutes. The longer you soak the better. For certain placements it may be easier to apply using fresh gauze or a cotton ball saturated with saline solution. A brief rinse will remove any residue.
•Use SOAP no more than once or twice a day. While showering, lather up a pearl size drop to 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.
• Dry with disposable paper products such as gauze or tissues, because cloth towels can harbor bacteria and catch on new piercings causing injury. Pat gently to avoid trauma.
What is normal
- Initially some bleeding, localized swelling tenderness or bruising.
-During healing: some discoloration, itching secretion of a whitish- yellow fluid (not pus)that will form some crust on the jewelry. The tissue may tighten around the jewelry as it heals.
-Once healed: the jewelry may not move freely in the piercing; DO NOT FORCE IT.If you fail to include cleaning your piercing as a part of your daily hygiene routine, a normal but smelly bodily secretion may accumulate.
- 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 within minutes after being in place for years! This varies from person to person; if you like your piercing, leave the jewelry in place.
What to do
- Wash your hands prior to touching the piercing; leave it alone except when cleaning. It is not necessary to rotate the jewlry while healing except possibly during cleaning.
- 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.
- Make sure your bedding is kept clean and changed regularly. Wear clean, comfortable breathable clothing that protects your piercing while you sleep.
- Showering is safer then taking a bath, because bathtubs tend to harbor bacteria. If you would like to take a bath, clean the tub well before each use.
What to avoid
-Avoid undue trauma to the area 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 of the piercing prolonged healing, and other complications.
- Avoid the use of alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, Betadine, Hibiclens or ointment.
- Avoid over cleaning. This can delay healing 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. . Or protect your piercing using a special waterproof bandage* such as TEGADERM, which is available at drugsores.
- Avoid all beauty and personal care products on or around the piercing including cosmetics, lotions, and sprays.
- DO NOT hang charms or any object from your jewelry until the piercing is fully healed.
Be safe, be clean and enjoy your piercing!