Libby's Tattoo Aftercare
Now you have your fresh new tattoo, and you want to take good care of it! From this point on, your artist is not responsible for any infection or problems you may have with your tattoo if you don’t take proper care of it. It is very important that you follow these guidelines. A really beautiful tattoo can turn into a disaster if the proper aftercare is not taken.
The most important thing about caring for your new tattoo is always wash your hands before you touch it. Your new tattoo is essentially an open wound, therefore any germs on your hands can potentially contaminate your tattoo and cause an infection. I highly recommend that you use a low to non fragrant soap (Dove, Dial, Softsoap, Cetaphil, Dr. Bronner’s, etc). Chemicals in fragrances can sometimes interfere with the healing process.
You should only wash your tattoo once in the morning and once at night unless you feel like you have contaminated it throughout the day. If you’re going to be doing an activity (mowing grass, gardening, exercising, etc) within the first few days you may want to cover your tattoo with a non stick bandage to prevent any damage to it. Do not leave the bandage on your tattoo for extended periods of time.
Leave the bandage on your tattoo overnight and resume your regular daily care the following morning.
I highly recommend redemption, Tattoo Goo, or Aquaphor for your aftercare. The key to healing out your new tattoo is to keep it consistently moisturized throughout the day. Anytime it feels tight or looks dry you should put a very thin layer of the aftercare salve of your choice. DO NOT over-apply or put a thick layer of salve on your tattoo. It needs air to help heal and smothering it will impede healing. You only need to apply enough aftercare to make the skin shine. Do not let your tattoo dry out completely this can lead to scabbing and color loss.
If you tattoo itches, slap it, do not scratch!!! This can cause you to pull pieces of the tattoo out while it is still healing and could damage it. Do not pick at the peeling skin this can also damage your tattoo. Let the skin fall off on its own, it is normal to see flakes of colored skin fall off after a few days. Do not be concerned if this happens as it is a normal part of the healing process.
If anything gets stuck to your tattoo (sock, shirt, pant, sheet) get it wet and let it come off on its own. You can pull parts of the tattoo out of the skin if you do not heed the above. This can potentially lead to infection and color loss.
Do not submerge (no swimming, hot tubs, beach, baths etc) your tattoo while it is healing. This can damage it and also increases the chance of infection. Showering is fine; it is the waterlog effect that you want to avoid as well as the potential for bacterial exposure from the above sources.
I recommend that you use the aftercare salve of your choice until you think it is completely healed (when you tattoo is no longer shiny or dry).
Autumn’s Piercing Aftercare
Healing time for the following piercing(s): Please keep in mind everyone heals differently. The amount of time your piercing(s) takes to heal may differ from others. No two people heal the same. These are suggestive times.
Ear Lobes: 6-8 wks
Ear/Helix: 6 mos – 1 yr
Nostril: 6 mos – 1 yr
Septum: 6-8 wks
Eye Brow: 6-8 wks
Navel: 6 mos – 1 yr
Tongue: 4 wks – 6 mos
Lip/Multiples: 6 wks – 6 mos
Cheeks: 6 mos – 1 yr
Smiley/Webbing: 6 wks – 6 mos
Surface/Anchor: 1+ yr(s)
Nipples: 6 mos – 1 yr
Male Genitalia: 6 mos – 1 yr
Female Genitalia: 6 mos – 1 yr
What to AVOID during the healing process of your piercing(s):
- NO rubbing alcohol, peroxide, Neosporin, Bactine, or ear care solution. !!!EVER!!!
- NO hot tubs, Jacuzzis, lakes, oceans, swimming pools, bathtubs, or any standing pools of water. This also includes the use of tanning beds, and spray tanner. (FOR AT LEAST 31 DAYS)
- NO pets on the bed for 31 days.
- NO bodily fluids on the area of the piercing(s) as well.
- That means NO ONE is allowed to touch your piercing(s), but you; and the only time you are allowed to touch it is with clean hands while cleaning your piercing(s).
For ORAL piercings, follow all of the above guidelines, as well as these additional ones:
- NO alcohol mouthwash for the next 31 days.
- NO kissing, or other things that will require your mouth for the next 31 days.
- NO sharing drinks, food, or utensils with anyone for the next 31 days.
- We would like for you not to drink alcohol, for the next 31 days. (If you do please keep in mind you will have to swish after your drink(s).)
- We would like for you not to smoke, or use smoking products (ALL Smoking Products) for the next 31 days.
What is NORMAL during the healing process of your piercing(s):
- Redness, soreness, bruising, and swelling is NORMAL. You may use a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory such as Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, etc…) to help minimize swelling and reduce discomfort.
- There may be a yellowish-white discharge from the entrance and exit point of the piercing(s). This what we call the crusties (A by-product of skin cell development). This is NORMAL. DO NOT PICK AT IT!! It will come off when you clean your piercing(s).
- Keep tight clothing off your piercing(s) for 31 days. It will slow your healing process.
- Change all bedding every 5 to 7 days, for the first 31 days of your piercing(s). You do not want that bacteria to get into your piercing(s), and cause problems.
- Do not sleep, lean, or put pressure on your piercing(s) for 31 days, or as much as possible.
How to clean your piercing(s):
- Water (from a running tap, or in the shower)
- Soap (liquid antimicrobial or antibacterial [color free, fragrance free] soap)
- Your Hands (NO cotton balls, Q-tips, gauze pad, wash cloths, or sponges)
- Thoroughly wash your hands with your soap (if you are showering do all your shower washing first), before touching your piercing. Do not be concerned if your wash/shampoo runs into your piercing(s). You are cleaning your piercing after your shower.
- Pour a small amount of your soap (liquid antimicrobial or antibacterial) into your hands, and make into a lather.
- Place lathered soap around the piercing(s), the entrance and exit points. Please do not force it to move.
- Rinse the area thoroughly under running water to remove all soap and residue, then pat dry with a clean paper towel. Avoid hand towels, and bath towels. They can harbor bacteria.
- You will need to clean your piercing(s) twice a day for the next 31 days to optimize healing results. After 31 days you can start to cut down how often you clean your piercing(s).
- Also if you are cleaning your piercing(s) in the sink, you must pull water from the faucets head, not from the sinks basin.
How to take care of your ORAL piercing(s):
- Alcohol-Free Mouthwash (Crest Pro Health, Tom’s of Maine, Biotene, or Act) – With NO peroxide, or whitening agent
- New Toothbrush
- Ibuprofen (any anti-inflammatory medication)
- Ice Chips, or Ice Cubes
Additional Tips for ORAL Piercings:
- It is going to swell. It depends on you how long that swelling will be. If you remove your jewelry to soon, that could hinder the healing of your piercing(s). Always leave your jewelry in unless told otherwise, by your piercer.
- Be careful when eating, drinking, or talk you may bite down on your jewelry, and break, or chip your teeth. Also you could rip, or tear your tongue. Please be careful with pasta noodles, they could choke you, so cut them up before eating. Chew slowly, and take your time when eating. You may eat what you like just be cautious.
- Make sure you can feel the back, front, top, or the bottom of your jewelry. It can embed into your lip, cheek, or tongue.
- Sometimes the jewelry may sit awkward, but after the jewelry is changed it will sit like it should. Either close, or flat to the surface of the piercing(s).
- Keep all make-up, lotion, facial cleaner, or lip products off your piercing(s).
- Clean all phones before putting up to your mouth.
Other things to help your piercing(s) to heal:
Sea Salt Soaks
Take 1/4 teaspoon of uniodized sea salt, with distilled water. Mix items into shot glass, or relish cups. Place the cup in the microwave for 10 to 20 seconds, or until warm to the touch (not boiling hot). Place cup upside down, or place cup on piercing(s) and soak for 5-10 minutes. Remove cup, and let piercing(s) air-dry. You will only need to do this once a day if need be.
H2Ocean Aftercare Spray
Follow directions as indicated on the side of the can for best results.
TIPS FOR PARTICULAR AREAS
NAVEL — Avoid tight, cinching belts, waistbands, and inflexible clothing on the area during healing. When getting up from a table, push away first, before standing. Also try not to sleep on your stomach.
EAR, HELIX, CARTILAGE AND FACIAL — Avoid getting lotion, makeup, and other foreign substances on your piercing(s). Avoid contact with your piercing(s) with phones, headsets, and earbuds. Clean them first, use the other side, or not at all.
NIPPLES — It is advisable to sleep in a tank top, t-shirt, or for ladies a sport bra. Mothers with newborns will still be able to breastfeed without any problem after the piercing(s) are healed.
GENITAL — Sexual activity is not prohibited, but must be gentle, and hygienic. LISTEN to your body! If it feels good, ok, if it hurts, stop. You may need to ease up, or stop for a time. Use condoms and dental dams for all sexual contact during healing to prevent sharing bodily fluids. This is required even if you are in a monogamous relationship.
- It is mandatory for your health, and safety during the entire minimum initial healing time. Avoid condoms and lubricants containing Nonoxynol 9, as it is very strong, and can irritate healing piercing. Use water-based lubricants like water base KY jelly.
General Information: Always be patient with your new piercing(s). No two piercing(s) heal the same.
These guidelines are based on a combination of past professional experience, common sense, research, and extensive clinical practice. This is not to be considered a substitute for medical advice from a doctor.
Beware, however, that many doctors and dentists have no specific training, or experience regarding healing patterns of body piercings and may not be educated on how best to assist you. For a happy and healthy piercing please keep in mind you need to be healthy as well. Proper diet, staying hydrated and getting enough rest will actually help aid the healing process. Also please DO NOT remove piercing until told to, or unless you have seen your piercer