Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Tattoo Aftercare, And What Not To Do.

So you just got a tattoo. You blithely leave the shop and realize that either the artist didn't tell you what to do, didn't CLEARLY tell you what to do, or you didn't listen. So you're trying to figure out what to do. Here's what I tell my clients.

What you'll need:
Dial antibacterial handsoap (unscented)
unscented, alcohol free, sensitive skin lotion. (I generally give out Eucerin, or Cereve)

Take your bandage off after 45 minutes to an hour. Take a shower (no baths), washing the rest of your body FIRST with whatever you normally use. Then, on the tattoo, use your fingers (no loofahs, washcloths, sandpaper, ect...it'll hurt like a bitch) to wash your new tattoo using a circular motion. Try to use rather warm water, the warmest you can stand, but not OHMYGODMYSKINISMELTINGOFF hot.when done, rinse, letting the water hit your skin ABOVE the tattoo, not directly on it, and then switch to cold water. Using warm water opens your pores, letting excess ink that isn't in the right layer of skin out, and then cold water closes your pores. Pat your tattoo dry with a clean towel, and then apply a very thin layer of the Aquiphor, just enough to cover the tattoo, but not stifle it. Kind of glisteny, but never shiny like you just took a vaseline bath. Use the Aquiphor for the first three days plus the day you got the tattoo, about 3-4 times a day. In other words, do it the day you get the tattoo, and then the next three days. Try to take at least a shower a day, and if you think your tattoo is dirty, it is. Wash it.
Now, three days have past, so put your aquiphor to the side, as you can use it on your next tattoo, and many others as well, and go to lotion. Try to put the lotion on 4-6 times a day, or whenever your tattoo is looking kinda dry. Your tattoo will peel, flake, it may have scabbed. Do not pick at your tattoo. Once again, do NOT pick at your tattoo. And also, here comes the worst part of ever getting a tattoo, worse than the linework, worse than the shading. It will itch. It will itch so badly that you want to rip your skin off. Do not scratch your tattoo. You could fuck it up. Once it is done peeling, generally it's done healing. If it is a particularly awesome piece, this is when you go back to your artist so they can look at it, and take healed pictures. We appreciate that.

Now, any questions? Feel free to email me. Supernummy@gmail.com
I don't care if I have never met you, even if I did not do your tattoo, I don't mind shooting you an answer to a question about your healing tattoo. But generally, it is best to ask your artist, unless you got the tattoo in a house by your uncle's best friend's wife's son's homie.

This is what can happen with improper care of a tattoo:

Oh, and before you ask, neosporin, vaseline, triple antibiotic are your enemies when it comes to healing tattoos. Don't do it.


Mishy said...

Yeah, but what do you do if it DOES get infected like that? Or at that point do you just have to go to a doctor and do what they say?

XeviousTheGreat said...

Yep, at that point it's do what the doctor says (most likely ingested antibiotics) and hope your tattoo doesn't heal up as shitty as it can.

TNLogan said...

Ooh, that is PAINFUL to see! I'm really glad I had good instructions on aftercare for my tats. I can't believe people would be so irresponsible with their bodies.


Anonymous said...

okay... now why not vaseline? vaseline is made out of the exact same thing as A & D ointment.


everyday420 said...

I'm getting a tattoo on the side of my body sort of between my hip and armpit in a couple of days. What do you recommend is the best way to look after a tattoo in this position? I'm a little worried about clothes sticking to it or rolling over onto it in bed, any advice would be appreciated?

davemon21 said...

Is it possible to continue using the Aquaphor AFTER the initial 3 days, and still obtain a good result? Also, if that isn't an option, what do you think of pure organic coconut oil?