TATTOO AFTER CARE
Wash and Treat
Remove the bandage in two to four hours. After you remove the bandage, you will want to wash your tattoo. Use lukewarm water and antibacterial soap to gently wash away any ointment and completely clean the area.
Do not use a washcloth or anything abrasive. Your hand is your best tool in this case. Then pat (do not rub) the area firmly with a CLEAN towel or paper towel to get it completely dry. Apply a very light application of ointment, A&D; vitamin enriched ointment (medical grade – not the kind used for diaper rash) bag bomb is also acceptable. **Do not use Neosporin. This is a wonderful product for cuts and scrapes, but not for tattoos. Some can have an allergic reaction to the Neosporin. Continue this procedure at least twice a day for two or three days. After that, continue to keep it clean, but you can use lotion when needed instead of ointment, to keep the skin soft.
TATTOO AFTER CARE
Scabbing and Peeling
After a few days, you will notice some peeling and possibly a little scabbing. No need to panic. You will also start to itch, just like a sunburn when it begins to heal. The advice here is, don't pick, and don't scratch! If the skin itches, slap it. If it is peeling, put lotion on it. And if it is scabbing, just leave it alone. Your tattoo is almost healed, and now is not the time to ruin it!
A mild liquid antimicrobial/germicidal medicated soap such as Provon or Satin, and water. Inferior alternatives include products such as Almay Clearly Natural, Hypocare, NutriBiotic; or other mild, fragrance- and color-free liquid antibacterial soap. These should possibly be diluted with distilled or bottled water, depending on product strength. Also, mild non-iodized (no iodine) sea salt soaks as described below.
Protection from the Sun
After your tattoo is healed, from now on, you will always want to protect it from the sun's ultraviolet rays. These can fade and damage a brilliant tattoo very fast. Before spending a lot of time in excessive heat, protect your tattoo with a minimum 15SPF sunblock. This will keep your tattoo vibrant for many years, and it will continue to be a source of great pride.
Rinse mouth for 30-60 seconds with solution (see Cleaning Solutions above) after meals during the entire minimum initial healing time. Do not use more than 4-5 times daily and use it over intervals spaced throughout the entire day. Rinse mouth briefly (10-15 seconds) with the mild sea salt mixture (see recipe above) no more than twice a day. If you are cleaning too often, the top of your tongue will start to turn a white to yellowish color. Continue to clean your piercing, but reduce the number of times you are cleaning it per day. A new soft bristled toothbrush should be purchased, to help reduce the bacteria that is introduced into your mouth.
TATTOO AFTER CARE
BODY AND FACIAL AFTER CARE
Mild sea salt water soaks are strongly suggested at least once a day to accelerate healing and increase your comfort. This may also help to reduce irritation in the area. Dissolve a pinch (1/4 teaspoon) of sea salt into one cup (8 oz.) of warm or hot water in a clean cup.
Distilled water is optimal. A stronger solution is not better as you can burn your piercing with too much salt. Invert it over the area to form a vacuum and soak directly for a few minutes. For certain placements it is easier to use a clean cotton ball or gauze pad soaked in the salt water and applied to the pierced area. Follow with a clear water rinse or splash then pat dry with paper products. Salt water soaks help to stimulate air and blood circulation which facilitates healing. You can do a brief salt water soak before your daily cleaning(s) as well as several additional times a day. It is particularly advisable to soak before you do anything active, as it will prevent crust from being pulled inside the piercing as you move around. Salt water is the only additional product (other than the cleanser and water) we suggest you use to care for your piercing. One soak per day should be for at least a few minutes. Additional soaks can be brief (1 minute or so) and still be effective for soothing the area and removing matter.
BODY AND FACIAL AFTER CARE
Body piercings need to be cleaned once or twice daily, every day, for the entire initial healing time. Most people clean morning and/or night, in the shower. Do not clean more often as this can irritate your piercing, and possibly delay your healing. For once-a-day cleanings, do it at the end of your day. Optimal frequency will depend on your skin sensitivity, activity level, and environmental factors. Before cleanings wash hands thoroughly with liquid antibacterial soap and hot water. If you wish, you may wear disposable latex or vinyl gloves and/or also use a hand sanitizing gel. Never, never touch healing piercings with dirty hands. This is vital for avoiding infections. Prepare the area for the cleansing by rinsing or soaking with warm water and be sure to remove any stubborn crust using a cotton swab and warm water. Never pick with fingernails! This step is important for your comfort. Apply a small handful of cleaning solution to the area with your clean hands. Cleanse the area and the jewelry, and gently rotate the jewelry back and forth a few times to work the solution to the inside. (You do not need to rotate your jewelry during the first several cleanings). Allow the solution to cleanse there for a minute. You may bathe normally, just don't purposely work anything other than the cleanser onto the inside of the piercing. Rinse the area thoroughly under running water, while rotating the jewelry back and forth to completely remove the cleanser from the inside and outside of the piercing. Gently pat dry with disposable paper products such as gauze or tissues, as cloth towels can harbor bacteria. Please try to be patient. Each body is unique, and healing times can vary considerably. If your piercing is tender or secreting you should continue the care regimen, even if it is past the stated average healing time range.
What to avoid
Don't use alcohol, peroxide, Betadine or Hibiclens as they are overly strong and drying which can hinder healing. Don't apply any ointment such as Bacitracin, Neosporin or any triple antibiotic ointment on your piercing. These prevent oxygen from reaching the wound and form a sticky residue which can cause complications. They are not designed for use on healing piercings. Don't over clean. Cleaning more often than once or twice a day is NOT better. This can delay your healing and irritate your piercing. Don't use too many different products; select and use only one cleaning solution (such as Provon or Satin) plus sea salt. Avoid oral contact, rough play, and contact with others' bodily fluids on or near your piercing during healing. Don't use bandaids on a healing piercing. They limit air circulation and the adhesive can irritate the surrounding area. Avoiding sleeping on a piercing during healing is advisable. Don't hang charms or any object from your jewelry until the piercing is fully healed. Avoid submerging your piercings in water such as pools, lakes, jacuzzis, etc. unless you feel confident that the water is clean enough for you and an open wound (which is what your piercing is while it is healing). Most bodies of water harbor large amounts of bacteria. If there is sea life, motor oil or children in the water it is not clean enough! If you are going to be in water of questionable cleanliness, use a breathable, non water-permeable wound sealant such as Tegaderm or Clean Seals (available at drugstores and pharmacies) before you go in, to protect yourself and prevent dirty water from getting inside your open wound. Cleaning afterwards is not likely to be effective in preventing infection. Exercise during healing is fine, just "listen" to your body. Try to avoid activities that put undue stress on the area. Your own sweat and bodily fluids are not harmful to your piercing, provided you clean daily as directed.
TATTOO AFTER CARE
ORAL AFTER CARE
An alcohol-free antimicrobial or antibacterial mouth rinse should be used according to package instructions. Two examples are Tech 2000 and Biotene. These may be available in the oral medications section of your local drugstores. Check with your piercing studio; many studios sell these products for your convenience. Also: Mild sea salt water rinses. Dissolve a pinch (1/4 teaspoon) non-iodized (iodine-free) sea salt to one cup (8 oz.)
Warm to hot distilled or bottled water. (Avoid hot water for the first few days.) If you have high blood pressure or heart problems, you will need to eliminate the sea salt, and use only plain warm water rinses. Rinse mouth for 30-60 seconds with solution (see Cleaning Solutions above) after meals during the entire minimum initial healing time. Do not use more than 4-5 times daily and use it over intervals spaced throughout the entire day. Rinse mouth briefly (10-15 seconds) with the mild sea salt mixture (see recipe above) no more than twice a day. If you are cleaning too often, the top of your tongue will start to turn a white to yellowish color. Continue to clean your piercing, but reduce the number of times you are cleaning it per day. A new soft bristled toothbrush should be used, to help minimize the introduction of bacteria into your mouth.