Always wash your hands before touching your tattoo!
When you get home: Remove bandage within 2-3 hours after getting your tattoo. Do not re-bandage.
Wash your tattoo with anti-bacterial liquid soap. Be gentle, do not use a washcloth or anything that will exfoliate your tattoo. Only use your hands.
Gently pat your tattoo dry with a clean cloth or paper towel. Do not rub, or use a fabric with a rough surface.
The first 3-4 days: Rub a small amount of ointment on your tattoo. You may use Bacitracin, A&D, Neosporin, or Tattoo Lube– whatever you know you’re not allergic to. Always use clean hands and do not place your fingers back into the ointment after touching your tattoo. Make sure to rub the ointment in so that it is not shiny, or greasy– you want the thinnest amount possible. Pat off any excess ointment with a clean cloth or paper towel. Do not use Vaseline, petroleum or Bag Balm. Wash, dry and apply ointment 3-5 times daily, as needed
On the first night, you may want to wrap your tattoo in saran wrap to prevent sticking to your bedding. Do not use any cloth bandages or pads, as the fibers of this material can adhere to your open tattoo and hinder the healing process.
Wear clean, soft clothing over your tattoo for the first 2 weeks– nothing abrasive or irritating. For a foot tattoo: go barefoot as much as possible. If you must wear shoes, first wrap your clean tattoo in saran wrap, then cover with a clean cotton sock before putting on your shoe. Avoid sandals or flip flops for this period to prevent chafing and damage to the tattoo.
After day 4: On the 3rd or 4th day your tattoo will begin to peel. This is normal! Do not pick at the skin. Begin using a mild, white, unscented lotion, free of dyes or Perfumes.
Use lotion for minimum of 2 weeks, 1-2 times daily.
Things to avoid:
Do not pick, scratch, peel, slap, rub or irritate your tattoo.
You can shower, but you may not soak your tattoo for 2 weeks. No swimming, soaking or hot tub.
You may not expose your tattoo to the sun for at least 3 weeks, after that you must use sunblock.
Do not wear abrasive materials, jewelry, or shoes that rub against your tattoo.
Do not let anyone touch your tattoo unless they wash their hands.
Beware of gym equipment, wash it well before using it.
You can also
Ice your tattoo to reduce swelling.
Elevate your tattoo, to reduce swelling.
Take short showers.
If you do not take care of your tattoo, it may become infected or damaged. Infections are very red around the outside of the tattoo and may have thin red lines extending from it. It may ooze, pus, or bleed abnormally. If you think your tattoo is infected, seek medical attention immediately.
If you have any questions about your tattoo or the healing process, please call or e-mail. Islandcity tattoos
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.
WHAT TO AVOID
• Avoid cleaning with Betadine®, Hibiciens®, alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, Dial® or other harsh soaps, as these can damage cells. Also, avoid ointments as they prevent necessary air circulation. Click here to download information on triclosan dangers • Avoid Bactine®, pierced ear care solutions and other products containing Benzalkonium Chloride (BZK). These can be irritating and are not intended for long term wound care. • Avoid over-cleaning. This can delay your healing and irritate your piercing. • Avoid undue trauma such as friction from clothing, excessive motion of the area, playing with the jewelry, and vigorous cleaning.
These activities can cause the formation of unsightly and uncomfortable scar tissue, migration, prolonged healing, and other complications. • Avoid all oral contact, rough play, and contact with others' bodily fluids on or near your piercing during healing. • Avoid stress and recreational drug use, including excessive caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol. • Avoid submerging the piercing in unhygienic bodies of water such as lakes, pools, hot tubs, etc. Or, protect your piercing using a waterproof wound-sealant bandage (such as 3M™ Nexcare™ Clean Seals). These are available at most drugstores. • Avoid all beauty and personal care products on or around the piercing including cosmetics, lotions, and sprays, etc. • Don't hang charms or any object from your jewelry until the piercing is fully healed.
HINTS AND TIPS
JEWELRY: • Unless there is a problem with the size, style, or material of the initial jewelry, leave it in the place for the entire healing period. See a qualified piercer to perform any jewelry change that becomes necessary during healing. See the APP website to locate an APP member, or to request a copy of our Picking Your Piercer brochure.) • Contact your piercer if your jewelry must be removed (such as for a medical procedure). There are non-metallic jewelry alternatives available. • Leave jewelry in at all times. Even old or well-healed piercing can shrink or close in minutes even after having been there for years. If removed, re-insertion can be difficult or impossible. • With clean hands or paper product, be sure to regularly check threaded ends on your jewelry for tightness. ("Righty-tighty, lefty-loosey.") • Carry a clean spare ball in case of loss or breakage. • Should you decide you no longer want the piercing, simply remove the jewelry (or have a professional piercer remove it) and continue cleaning the piercing until the hole closes. In most cases, only a small mark will remain. • In the event an infection is suspected, quality jewelry or an inert alternative should be left in place to allow for drainage or the infection. If the jewelry is removed, the surface cells can close up, which can seal the infection inside the piercing channel and result in an abscess. Do not remove jewelry unless instructed to by a medical professional.
FOR PARTICULAR AREAS
NAVEL: • A hard, vented eye patch (sold at pharmacies) can be applied under tight clothing (such as nylon stockings) or secured using a length of Ace® bandage around the body (to avoid irritation from adhesive). This can protect the area from restrictive clothing, excess irritation, and impact during physical activities such as contact sports.
CARTILAGE AND FACIAL: • Use the t-shirt trick: Dress your pillow in a large, clean t-shirt and turn it nightly; one clean t-shirt provides four clean surfaces for sleeping. • Maintain cleanliness of telephones, headphones, eyeglasses, helmets, hats, and anything that contacts the pierced area. • Use caution when styling your hair and advise your stylist of a new or healing piercing.
NIPPLES: • The support of a tight cotton shirt or sports bra may provide protection and feel comfortable, especially for sleeping.
GENITAL: • Genital Piercings—especially Prince Alberts, Ampallangs, and Apadravyas—can bleed freely for the first few days. Be prepared. • Urinate after using soap to clean any piercing that is near the urethra. • Wash your hands before touching on (or near) a healing piercing. • In most cases, you can engage in sexual activity as soon as you feel ready, but maintaining hygiene and avoiding trauma is vital; all sexual activities should be gentle during the healing period. • Use barriers such as condoms, dental dams, and waterproof bandages, etc. to avoid contact with your partners' body fluids, even in monogamous relationships. • Use clean, disposable barriers on sex toys. • Use a new container of water-based lubricant; do not use saliva. • After sex, an additional saline soak or clean water rinse is suggested. Each body is unique and healing times vary considerably. If you have any questions, please contact your piercer.
These guidelines are based on a combination of vast professional experience, common sense, research, and extensive clinical practice. This is not to be considered a substitute for medical advice from a doctor. If you suspect an infection, seek medical attention. Be aware that many doctors have not received specific training regarding piercing. Your local piercer may be able to refer you to a piercing-friendly medical professional. For more information, see the APP Brochure Troubleshooting For You and Your Healthcare Professional.
Tattoo Aftercare Instructions
If you have any questions about your tattoo or the healing process, please call or e-mail us at islandcity tattoos