- Prepare a clean gel pack in the freezer for the first six hours of healing.
- Bring Ibuprofen with you (or similar anti-inflamatory) for the first twelve hours of care.
- Take care of yourself and relax for the day before your tattoo appointment.
- Drink plenty of water before, during, and after your session.
- Eat well and limit alcohol intake before and after your session.
- Wear comfortable, clean clothing to your appointment.
- Let me know if there is something I can do to make you more comfortable.
- Prepare clean bedsheets.
- Come hungry, dirty, hungover, sunburnt, or in a hurry.
- Take a blood thinner like Ibuprofen before your session.
- Tan, swim, or soak for at least two weeks after your session.
- Wear tight clothing around your tattoo during or after your session.
- Never touch on or near your tattoo without having just washed your hands.
- My instructions abstain from applying anything (besides soap) to the tattoo until after the wound has sealed and begun to seperate and dry.
- Avoid using soaps (an irritant) unless it has actually gotten dirty, or until enough time has passed that natural oil build-up need removal. When washing with soap:
- Thoroughly wet the tattoo.
- Use a gental facial soap that washes away easily.
- Thin the soap in your hands, then massage gently across skin surface.
- Rinse scrupulously multiple times so that no soap is left.
- Immediately wash with gentle soap if your tattoo has become contaminated.
- Animal fur and dander are a fast way to get your tattoo to react.
- Be wary of your bedsheets. Wash them before you sleep, or lay down a large clean garment you don't mind possibly staining. This is most important in the first 72 hours.
- No swimming or soaking for two weeks.
At End of Session
Hydrate and eat. Take a recommended dosage of Ibuprofen (or similar anti-inflamatory) if your health allow so. Apply a frozen gel pack over the bandaged tattoo, separated by a layer or two of clean clothing or a towel (not directly to the tattoo). If the chill is painful, or too intense, listen to your body and add more layers between the gel pack and the bandaged tattoo. Finally, if you can, elevate the tattooed area to rest above your heart. Now gently occupy yourself for the next six hours. Binge watch some movies or a tv series. :)
6 Hours After
- Take another recommended dosage of Ibuprofen (again, only if your health allows it). If you go to sleep before this time, take it in the morning.
- Get to a clean bathroom and remove the bandage. Do not re-bandage.
- Wash your hands throughly. Run comfortable body temperature water over the tattoo.
- With clean hands, slough off the bandaging ointment and massage the affected tissue until all congealed blood, plasma, and ointment is no longer clinging to the surface. Skin should feel like wet rubber once all ointment is gone.
- Pat dry with a clean paper towel or clean bath towel. Do not use a dirty or linty towel. Do not re-apply any ointment.
First 48 hours
Wash using the same methods described above about once per day. If you find the texture to be becoming not quite dry in appearence, but goosebump like, this is likely coagulated residual weeping from the swelling and perforation. Gently break it up when washing by making many many SMALL circular movements (as if finely sanding wood) using a soft paper towel soaked with water. DO NOT PRESS DOWN- be soft, and let it take a few minutes. The healing tattoo cannot be soaked, so restrict shower time to seven minutes or less. Use soap very sparingly. Apply no kind of ointment or cream- nothing.
Next Three weeks
Shower time should remain at less than seven minutes for at least nine days after the session. Once the tattoo begins to feel dry with a distict texture it's begun to peel. You'll want to keep it comfortably hydrated to avoid fissuring while it peels for the next two or three weeks by applying a fragrance-free moisturizer of your discretion. Always wash and pat dry the tattoo as well as your hands before applying anything. Options include:
- Coconut Oil (my personal choice)
- Cetaphil Facial Moisturizer scent-free
- Aveeno fragrance-free
There are many good choices but the right one is the one that doesn't cause a breakout or reaction. You will have to do your own testing to find what what your body likes best. I don't recommend using A&D, Aquaphor, Vasaline, or any other Petroleum based product for tattoo healing. Check the ingredients list of anything you're considering. Be sure to continue drinking enough water daily, as this will do as much good as anything you can apply to the surface. In the rare event there is a persistant red area lasting more than ten days, contact me so that I can evaluate the situation.
Contact me if you have any questions or concerns.