Prepping and caring for your tattoo or piercing.

Preparing for your tattoo.

   

  • Please don’t drink heavily the night before your tattoo appointment. Even if it’s not enough to make you hung-over, it could still thin your blood the next day.

  • Get to bed on time and make sure to get plenty of sleep. Sure it might feel like Christmas Eve and be hard for you to get to sleep, but getting plenty of rest tends to make it easier to sit calmly the following day.

  • If you have an appointment, but are unsure about anything please call the studio well ahead of time to verify your appointment time. Make sure you know exactly when to be there and how much it will cost.

  • Make sure to print off any reference material you might need to help the artist create your artwork, the more the better.

  • Some people have medical conditions which require a doctor’s note beforehand. If you fear this may apply to you, please call the studio ahead of time to verify if your condition requires a physician’s authorization form. If necessary you may have come into the studio to obtain the form to have your doctor sign before getting tattooed.

Caring for your tattoo

 

Please consider that everyone heals differently and each tattoo should be given the appropriate attention to aftercare every time. It should not be assumed that all heals will be the same even if you have previously been tattooed! The following aftercare is a general guide for the average heal. However, when necessary, you may have additional steps which will be addressed during your session.

 

  • Clean your tattoo. Remove the bandage after three (3) hours, but no more than twelve (12). DO NOT remove the bandage until you can properly clean the tattoo with mild soap and warm water. Rinse it well with cold water, thoroughly cleaning off all of the slimy coating that may have formed over the tattooed area while underneath the bandage. Gently pat it dry with a clean paper towel, then allow it to air-dry for ten (10) minutes.

 

  • Apply healing ointment to the tattoo. Sparingly, but thoroughly, massage a very small amount into the skin to keep the tattoo slightly moist, but NOT smothered. Use just enough ointment to give the tattoo a slightly satin shine, and blot with a clean paper towel. Your skin will take in all the ointment it needs, so do not leave excessive ointment on the skin. For the next three (3) to seven (7) days, clean and apply ointment to your tattoo every six (6) hours, (about 3-4 times daily), blotting the small amount of excess fluid that may be secreted from the tattoo in between cleaning.Ensure that extra moisture doesn’t get trapped under the ointment by blotting and air-drying after every washing. Only apply ointment for as long as it takes for your tattoo to peel or become flakey, usually three (3) to seven (7) days. When the peeling begins, the tattooed skin will flake like a sunburn. AT ALL COSTS avoid picking at the cracked and flaking skin.

 

  • You are now in the peeling phase. DO NOT apply any more ointment. The area will become dry and itchy, sometimes very itchy. A good quality, fragrance-free lotion (Lubriderm for Sensitive Skin) can now be used three (3) to four (4) times daily INSTEAD of the ointment. Repeat each day until the skin returns to its normal texture.If you feel a heavier lotion is required to prevent over drying in between application (physically dry to the touch and not just skin that feels tight), you may either apply additional Avocado Oil to the driest areas or switch up to a heavier lotion like Lubriderm for Normal to Dry, or Dry Skin.If you get any pimples in the area tattooed during this phase, you need to decrease lotion application times or switch down to a lighter or different lotion.

 

  • Scabs are the body’s natural way of protecting wounds while they are healing. HOWEVER, it is very important to maintain the appropriate aftercare to PREVENT scabs from forming as they can prolong and complicate the healing process which can lead to uneven healing and even scarring.The first signs that may lead to scabbing often are moisture bubbles that appear during the first few days of a new tattoo, usually caused by negligent cleaning or the over application of ointment. At the first sings of these, clean the tattoo thoroughly and allow to completely dry. Do not waterlog (soak) the tattoo. Only apply ointment sparingly to the areas of the tattoo that do not have bubbles, allowing the bubbles to dry on their own.If scabs do form, once the tattoo is in the full peeling phase, sparingly apply lotion to the entire area making sure to thoroughly massage and not over apply or soak scabs with lotion. Any developed scabs should not be picked at or prematurely removed.

Preparing for your piercing

 

  • If you’re getting an ear piercing and have long hair, it’s always a good idea to bring an extra hair tie and some bobby pins to help keep your hair out of the way.

  • The area around your new piercing will need to be cleaned before being pierced. If you’re wearing any makeup, (foundation in particular) you should be prepared for it to be scrubbed off during the cleaning. (Please don’t ever reapply makeup on or near a fresh piercing!)

  • If you spray tan, be aware that you will have a large spot scrubbed clean around the piercing area. If you plan on spray tanning while you’re piercing is still healing, you’ll need to make sure it’s sufficiently covered.

  • The area around your new piercing might be difficult to shave for awhile after it’s been pierced. It might be helpful to ensure its clean shaven beforehand.

  • Not just with a fresh piercing, but also during the time it’s healing it’s usually best to wear comfortable clothes that aren’t going to rub or otherwise constrict the piercing. Some piercing areas can be hard to get to, make sure the clothes you’re wearing to get pierced in don’t make it even more difficult to get to. (If getting a piercing below the belt, it’s best to wear a comfortable pair of underwear you don’t mind getting stained.)

  • It might seem to go without saying, but please make sure you shower or bathe beforehand, particularly if you’re doing any piercings below the belt. Also, if you’re getting an oral piercing don’t forget to brush your teeth too please.

  • Always eat a meal at least six hours before heading in to get pierced!

  • We will not pierce anyone under the influence. It’s actually illegal. Even the smell of one beer could get you turned away. If you follow the directions and warnings on the bottle you can take a small amount of Tylenol, Ibuprofen, Midol or other similar product, but don’t expect it to help with the piercing’s pain. Besides, swelling relievers are usually best saved for after the piercing. If you are on any regular medications, you might consider asking your doctor ahead of time.

  • Don’t drink a bunch of caffeine or energy drinks before coming in! It will not only thin your blood; it will make it harder to sit still.

Caring for your piercing

 

CLEANING SOLUTIONS:

• Use one or both of the following solutions for healing piercings: • Packaged sterile saline solution with no additives (read the label), or a non-iodized sea salt mixture: Dissolve 1/4 teaspoon of non-iodized (iodine-free) sea salt into one cup (8 oz.) of warm distilled or bottled water. A stronger mixture is not better; a saline solution that is too strong can irritate the piercing. • A mild, fragrance-free liquid soap—preferably anti-microbial or germicidal.

 

CLEANING INSTRUCTIONS FOR BODY PIERCINGS:

• WASH your hands thoroughly prior to cleaning or touching your piercing for any reason. • SALINE soak for five to ten minutes once or more per day. Invert a cup of warm saline solution over the area to form a vacuum. For certain piercings it may be easier to apply using clean gauze or paper towels saturated with saline solution. A brief rinse afterward will remove any residue. • SOAP no more than once or twice a day. While showering, lather up a pearl size drop of the soap to clean the jewelry and the piercing. Leave the cleanser on the piercing no more than thirty seconds. • RINSE thoroughly to remove all traces of the soap from the piercing. It is not necessary to rotate the jewelry through the piercing. • DRY by gently patting with clean, disposable paper products. Cloth towels can harbor bacteria and snag on jewelry, causing injury.

 

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 part of your daily hygiene routine, normal but smelly bodily secretions may accumulate. • A piercing may seem healed before the healing process is complete. This is because tissue heals from the outside in, and although it feels fine, the interior remains fragile. Be patient, and keep cleaning throughout the entire healing period. • Even healed piercings can shrink or close in minutes after having been there for years! This varies from person to person; if you like your piercing, keep jewelry in—do not leave it empty.

 

WHAT TO DO?

• Wash your hands prior to touching the piercing; leave it alone except when cleaning. During healing, it is not necessary to rotate your jewelry. • Stay healthy; the healthier your lifestyle, the easier it will be for your piercing to heal. Get enough sleep and eat a nutritious diet. Exercise during healing is fine; listen to your body. • Make sure your bedding is washed and changed regularly. Wear clean, comfortable, breathable clothing that protects your piercing while you are sleeping. • Showers tend to be safer than taking baths, as bathtubs can harbor bacteria. If you bathe in a tub, clean it well before each use and rinse off your piercing when you get out.

© 2016 by BLACK DAHLIA TATTOO GALLERY. All Rights Reserved.