- Famous Tattooed People
- What is a GOOD tattoo?
- Deciding on a design
- My kid wants a tattoo
- Finding an artist
- Finding a shop
- In Preparation
- Surrender to the moment
- The process of tattooing
- Permanent Cosmetics
- The school of tattoo
- Glossary of terms
Be careful to touch the area only after you have washed your hands. Remember this is an open wound. Any heebie—jeebies that have made their way onto your hands will then be transferred onto your broken skin and from that portal into your body.
Butt Fingers. I give a little speech to all of my customers to bring home the necessity of cleanliness. People are gross. They pick their noses; scratch their rear ends, cough, sneeze, dig in their ears, don’t wash their hands after using the restroom, and sometimes have awful personal hygiene. They then, put these hands in the same places that you put your hands. Shopping cart handles, the railing at the mall, doorknobs and handles, and counters are all teeming with bacteria. When you put your hands on these same places you are transferring the sweat, mucous and other body fluids of all of these people onto your hands. When you touch your new tattoo or piercing with these hands you are transferring all of this disgusting crud onto these areas. Never touch a new tattoo or piercing without first washing your hands. Otherwise you are putting someone else’s butt juices onto and potentially into your body.
You can expect a little oozing. The area will be ‘weepy’ for a couple of hours. Usually the first morning after you get tattooed you will wake up with a lovely print of your tattoo on your sheets. This is a little extra groovy present you get free with your tattoo. So think about that before you roll into those 400 thread count Egyptian cotton sheets. Clean cheap sheets are a plus when healing your tattoo. If the weepiness goes on for a few days you need to leave the tattoo alone. You are probably monkeying with it too much, cleaning, wiping, and feeling it. Leave it alone so it can heal!
For most people the weeping will stop after a few hours. You just blot it with a clean disposable tissue; disposable, one time use being the key. You don’t want to use a towel because they are rough and probably have a lot of dead skin cells on them to potentially transfer to your new tattoo and start some problems. Let the tattoo dry out a bit and seal.
It should feel like a mild sunburn afterwards. Don’t let other people touch your tattoo while it‘s healing. For some people looking is not enough and they must feel it. Kindly tell them they can look but not touch. Lord knows where their hands have been.
Every artist has his own way of healing a tattoo. Listen to what your artist tells you and follow his advice.
l tell people to take off the bandage after 2 hours and do not re-bandage. Wash the area with mild soap and using your fingers gently remove all of the ointment and dried blood. Blot it dry with a paper tower, or other disposable cloth, and then leave it alone until morning. In the morning you can rub a small amount of plain white hand lotion into the tattooed area. Make sure you use water or cream based lotion and not an oil based lotion. Rub the lotion into the skin until there is no excess lotion on the surface of your skin. Do this twice a day, once in the morning, once at night until your tattoo is healed.
We suggest hand lotion, because it is basically fool proof. It helps with the dry skin it is hard to create a problem with lotion.
Dry skin is a normal pan of the healing process. You will shed skin like you’ve been sunburned, and if you have a colored tattoo it will be multicolored. This is just the top layer of skin shedding. You are not losing all of your color! Trust me, it’s in there. Don’t help this skin come off. If it is not ready, you will take off extra layers, prolong your healing time and compromise the integrity of your tattoo. Don’t pick your tattoo!
You can shower normally, washing the tattooed area also. Don‘t let the spray of the shower beat down onto your new tattoo. no matter how good this feels. The whole idea in healing a tattoo is to keep it moisturized but not wet.
Your artist will most likely, suggest that you don’t soak your new tattoo. This is because waterlogged tattoos become tattoos with big scabs. Big scabs come off in chunks, get caught on clothing, and are harder to resist picking. Big scabs are more likely to take some ink with them when they leave. When you were a kid and you scraped up your knee and your mom made you take a bath that night, your knee wound up with big bubbly scabs. Injured skin will soak up the water and create big scabs.
Pools contain chlorine, which is a bleach put into the water to negate some of the disgusting stuff in pools that come off of and out of people. The ocean is full of microorganisms that may or may not chill with your own. Remember this when planning a tattoo. It is not a good idea to get tattooed the day before you leave for Maui. All that sunshine waiting to burn your tender new flesh; all that tropical water teeming with exotic tropical microorganisms waiting to get into your body.
So no swimming, surfing or hot tub until all of the flaky stuff is gone. Once that has happened you can call yourself healed. It tales about 3 to 4 weeks to lose the shiny appearance and be truly healed. but once the scabs are gone; you can go back to your previous lifestyle.
Most people reach the scab free part of healing in 7 to l0 days. I’ve seen people heal in as few as 4 days. This is the exception, not the rule.
There are many factors that can cause your healing time to vary. Obviously, cleanliness plays an important role in this. lf you have poor circulation it may take longer to heal. If you are diabetic, it may take longer to heal. Some people swear that taking vitamins helps them to heal faster.
I have one customer that insists on shaving over a new tattoo and cannot figure out why that would affect the healing time. Duh, you’re shaving off that scab. You can go a week with a hairy patch on your legs.
I think that everyone heals at his own pace and once you figure out what that is it stays pretty consistent. If you screw with your tattoo, it will take longer to heal. Make sure that you put sun block on your healed tattoo. It is important if you’d like to keep the tattoo brilliant. The darker that your skin gets the less contrast there will be between the colors of your tattoo and your skin and the tattoo will look duller. Do not go in the sun with a healing tattoo and do not put sun block on broken skin!
I suggest that people do not use antibiotic ointments. First of all petroleum based products are bad because your skin cannot absorb them completely and they will leave a residue that will attract dirt. Secondly, there is no infection present. lf you use ointments that kill bacteria, they do so indiscriminately, killing good bacteria that you need to heal properly. Also overuse will create drug resistant mutations that will weaken your immune system. Thirdly, and lastly, if you read the packaging on these ointments you will see that they are not meant for use over a 2-week period, continuously.
Alcohol or hydrogen peroxide are not good either as alcohol dehydrates healing tissue, and peroxide corrodes healing tissue, both extending healing time. If you are having trouble healing a tattoo and don’t know if what you are going through is ‘normal’ go back to the shop and show it to the artists there and ask what’s up with it. If you go to a doctor who is not ‘tattoo friendly‘ you are liable to get any number of erroneous tidbits of advice along with some crazy scare tactics.
Tattoo artists have seen thousands of tattoos healing and at various stages in the healing process. W e have seen the stellar, awesome, couldn’t ask for a better healing job, and we have seen the scary ones too. We know what advice to give you to help promote proper healing.
Unless your doctor works with tattoo artists and around tattoos, they will not have seen nearly as many, in nearly as many different healing stages. Sometimes they give people really wacky advice on how to heal them. l have known some doctors who like to scare the crap out of people by telling them that they have probably contracted Hepatitis C or some other equally scary thing. The average HMO doctor rarely studies anything after leaving medical school.
If an artist that is up to date and conscientious about aseptic procedures tattoos you in a reputable shop, you should not have to worry about being contaminated with anything. If you are in your buddies basement with his 2 tubes and 2 needles and bottle of rubbing alcohol, then you are a fool and your doctor is probably right.
Tattooing has been around for thousands of years, longer than there have been doctors. Plenty of people were tattooed in very primitive situations and still managed to do fine. Granted, this was in the past, before many of the new exotic bloodborrne diseases, and before the sheer volume of people getting tattooed in one place.
So make sure that your doctor is ‘tattoo friendly‘ before asking for his advice. Otherwise he could give you a diagnosis based on his incomplete knowledge, religious leanings or to scare you out of this ‘nasty habit”. Many doctors don’t believe in tattooing in their personal lives and these feelings sometimes spill over into their professional lives, where they give you advice based on their personal feelings and not their professional knowledge. Doctors shouldn’t be tattooing or piercing because they are not trained or skilled in it.