General guidelines to healing your new tattoo, Piercing, or Cosmetic tattoo
Please note that your artist may give you supplementary instructions
based on your skin type, experience, body placement, etc.
Please call us if you have any questions. We are here to help!
For fast and proper healing:
1. Maximum 4 hours after your tattoo is complete, take off the bandage and wash your tattoo with cool water and a mild soap (unscented basic stuff). Use your hand, NOT a cloth. Gently pat dry with a clean paper towel. DO NOT BANDAGE AGAIN!
2. Put a THIN layer of Tattoo Goo or unscented Lubriderm lotion on your tattoo. Apply a THIN layer of lotion to a maximum of 2 times a day. Do not over-cream. Make sure to wash your hands before touching your new tattoo.
3. Continue step #2 for the first 7 - 10 days. Try to keep your tattoo as dry as possible during this period. Keep it out of the direct stream in the shower and do not soak it. If it gets wet, pat it dry with a clean paper towel.
DO NOT tan for 4 weeks after being tattooed.
DO NOT go swimming or in a hottub for 2 weeks after your tattoo.
DO NOT go into a steam room, sauna or do extensive workouts for 2 weeks.
DO NOT soak your tattoo in water for 2 weeks. If you are having a shower, keep the tattooed area dry as possible. Yes, we know how awkward and difficult this can be depending on the location of your tattoo, but it's important to keep it dry while it is healing. When water soaks into a new tattoo, it may form scabs that could swell and come off prematurely, pulling out ink and resulting in a patchy tattoo.
DO NOT scratch or pick at your new tattoo! Again, this can cause scabs to come off prematurely and pull out ink.
Use at least SPF 30 sun-block on your tattoo when in the sun or indoor tanning. You know how awnings and paint fade in the sun? Same thing with your tattoo. Over time and exposure to the UV rays your tattoo will fade and lose it's vibrancy. A relatively fresh tattoo will also burn faster than the rest of your body because it's composed of new layers of skin.
So cover up and wear sunblock!
Just because your tattoo LOOKS healed, DOES NOT MEAN IT IS!!!
It could still be healing under the surface; the layers of skin that you cannot see.
Your tattoo will take a MINIMUM of 2 - 4 weeks to heal.
PLEASE CALL US IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS OR CONCERNS
REGARDING YOUR HEALING TATTOO. WE ARE HERE TO HELP.
WE ALSO CARRY VARIOUS PRODUCTS FOR SALE FOR YOUR TATTOO AFTERCARE NEEDS!
FOR NON-ORAL PIERCINGS:
The Quick Version:
Rinse your piercing in the shower once a day to remove any crust or debris.
Wash your hands then swab/rinse your new piercing with a STERILE SALINE SOLUTION on a Q-tip or cotton swab 3 times throughout the day.
DO NOT TOUCH, TURN OR PLAY with your new piercing, and watch out for physical irritation (i.e. Do not sleep on it and do not allow it to get caught or whacked!)
The Full Version:
DO NOT USE: rubbing alcohol, iodine, Bactine, hydrogen peroxide, Neosporin, Polysporin, Hibitane etc.
Anything with “active ingredients” will be good at killing bacteria, but will also be great at killing the new skin cells that you are trying to grow to heal your piercing. Until it heals, your piercing is an open wound held open by the jewelry, meaning that anything you put on it goes right into your body through this open wound. If you use hard chemicals like the ones just listed above, you will basically keep burning your piercing and you will prevent it from healing. The standard rule of thumb is that if you wouldn’t put it directly in your eyes don’t put it on your piercing, which leaves us with SALINE!
Saline solution is comprised of water and non-iodized sea salt mixed to your body’s ph balance. Also known as Sodium Chloride .09%, the salt content kills and neutralizes bacteria, and the fact that your body is mostly made of saline means that it wont hurt the new healing piercing. Doctors and hospitals use saline to clean wounds and your body even uses saline to flush your eyes to keep them from getting infected on a daily basis. The best form of saline to use can usually be found in pressurized spray cans which prevent the inside from being contaminated and make it easy to carry around. We generally stock some here in the shop, but you can also find various brands at Shoppers Drug Mart and other pharmacies. Just ensure that there are no other added ingredients, that it is 100% saline solution.
You do not need to use soap on your new piercing, but if for some reason you really want to, only use a mild glycerin based soap, and try not to rub it directly into your new piercing.
Don’t worry about the crust that will form around your piercing. This is called lymph and it’s your body’s natural way of flushing the piercing from the inside out. It may appear like a clear to yellowish fluid that dries into a crust around the outside of your piercing. Don’t pick at it! You can gently wipe it away with a cotton swab or Q-tip full of saline, or simply soak the piercing in the shower and gently wipe away the lymph when you dry off afterwards.
For daily cleaning of your piercing, rinse your piercing in the shower to remove any debris or dried lymph at least once a day. Then 3 times a day gently flush your piercing with saline solution. That’s ALL you really have to do!
Other things to consider: DO NOT TOUCH OR PLAY WITH YOUR NEW PIERCING!!! This is VERY important because when you touch your piercing you transfer all the germs and bacteria from your hands into your new piercing; this is how you can get an infection. Furthermore, you should not twist or turn your new piercing. Turning your new piercing will not help you heal, all it will do is irritate the newly grown skin and drag crust and debris into your open wound. If for some reason you want to adjust how your jewelry is sitting, clean and saturate it first with saline or soak it in the shower first so that you don’t aggravate it. This is mainly for your piercings healing period. Once your piercing is fully healed, it is safe to twist, turn and play with. Also, avoid any oral contact on your new piercing! This should go without saying, but someone else’s mouth and bodily fluids are full of bacteria and if you get that bacteria into your open wound, you are much more likely to get an infection!
Avoid irritating your new piercing! The more your piercing gets bumped, twisted, turned, whacked, or slept on, the longer it will take to heal and the more complications you will have. Avoid getting makeup, hair products, lotions, moisturizers etc. anywhere near your new piercing! All these things will irritate your new piercing and lead to complications! Also, swimming in chlorinated or brominated water (pools/hot tubs) is NOT recommended as the chlorine or bromine will damage the healing piercing.
FOR ORAL PIERCINGS:
Mix LISTERINE half and half with BOTTLED WATER, then rinse your mouth for at least 30 seconds, 3-5 times daily
(5 times daily for smokers).
Avoid kissing and oral contact for at least the first two weeks.
Take Advil/ibuprofen and use ice to help with any swelling.
To clean your new oral piercing, use brand-name Listerine mixed half and half with bottled water. Listerine on its own is far too strong for your new piercing and will not only damage newly forming skin cells, but will kill all of the “good” bacteria in your mouth and hurt the enzymes in your saliva. If you water it down halfway with clean bottled water, it is still strong enough to kill the harmful bacteria in your mouth without hurting the piercing. With your watered down Listerine, rinse your mouth for at least 30 seconds, three to five times throughout the day. It should go without saying, but do not swallow the Listerine! For a tongue, oral frenum, smiley or frowney, this is all you have to do to clean it. For a lip, labret, monroe, medusa, or cheek piercing, follow both the oral care instructions for the inside of your mouth and the regular aftercare instructions for the outside.
For oral piercings such as tongue, monroe, lip and labret, it is normal to see some swelling. This swelling will last anywhere form a few days to a couple weeks. To help keep the swelling minimized feel free to ice your new piercing and/or take Advil/ibuprofen. If you are taking Advil or ibuprofen, follow the instructions on the bottle, and only take it if it is safe for you to do so. Alcohol, aspirin, and large amounts of caffeine will make your swelling worse, so it’s advisable to avoid these for at least a few days after getting pierced. Likewise, you should avoid spicy, acidic, salty or hot temperature foods for the first bit, but don’t go on a three day hunger-strike because your piercing is swollen; you need to eat in order for your body to heal!
If you have any questions or concerns, don’t ask you friends, ask us!
We are professionals and we’re here to help!
Follow these instructions carefully, as proper aftercare will greatly affect the outcome of your healed tattoo.
For the first 3 – 6 days, the colour of your tattoo will appear much more intense (brighter and/or darker) and it may also look larger and sharper than what is expected of the healed product. This is normal!!!
Crusties or scabbiness is also normal during the healing process. DO NOT PICK / TOUCH / RUB at it! Crusty bits will come off on their own, in their own time! If you try to speed the process us by picking at it, you will pull pigment out and compromise the look of the healed tattoo.
Although it will LOOK healed after about 10 days, it will not be fully healed for 4 – 6 weeks (up to 8 weeks for lips).
One procedure typically cannot guarantee the exact desired outcome. In some cases, we need to see how our clients skin reacts to the pigments and healing process, and review it after it has healed. This is why we offer one free touch up session (within three months). In more complicated procedures (involving colour correction, scar tissue, removal, iron disorders, and camouflage) additional touch ups may be required for an additional cost.
FOR ALL PROCEDURES: The first 10 – 14 days
Keep the area moisturized. Use Vaseline or Vitamin A & D Ointment. Gently apply a thin layer every couple of hours, OR whenever you feel itchy, tender or dry. This will provide pain relief, prevent infection, and promote healing and colour retention.
Before showering , use Vaseline or Vitamin A & D Ointment on your tattoo.
Do not directly shower the pigmented area.
Before sleeping , use Vaseline or Vitamin A & D Ointment to keep the area moisturized overnight.
Try to sleep on your back, and use dark clean pillowcases to avoid staining.
Avoid soaps and facial cleansers on pigmented areas.
Wash around the tattooed area, and pat dry with a clean paper towel.
DO NOT RUB, PICK, SCRATCH OR OTHERWISE REMOVE ANY CRUST ALONG THE TATTOOED AREA!
Early removal will result in colour loss. Let it come off on it’s own!
DO NOT apply makeup on the pigmented area during healing.
Avoid swimming, soaking, steam baths, eyebrow waxing / tweezing, and facials.
Avoid applying exfoliants or AHA/Glycolic Acid products to tattooed area for at least 2 weeks.
Avoid sun exposure (including tanning beds).
Eyebrows may be swollen for the first few hours. The colour will look darker and sharper for approximately the first 5 days, or until the scab peels off (on it’s own! Don’t pick at it!), then it will look smaller and lighter.
Do NOT use mascara or eye makeup of any kind for the first 10 – 14 days.
Eyelids will likely be puffy and swollen for the first few days. You can ice the area in 10 minute intervals during the first 3 days to help with swelling. Cover your ice pack in clean plastic wrap to ensure you are not transferring debris into your eyes and tattoo.
Avoid touching the area!
If you have ever had a cold sore / fever blisters / herpes on or around your lips, you must obtain an antiviral medication. Have your doctor prescribe Zovirox / Valtrex. Start the prescription 3 days prior to your procedure, and continue for 4 days after (or follow doctor's instructions). Failure to take this antiviral medication may result in an outbreak, which will compromise the results of your lip procedure.
For the first 2 – 3 days, lip colour will look very intense and bold. Swelling is also to be expected. Once the scab peels off (on it’s own! Don’t pick!), the colour will look quite pale. Be patient through the healing process. It may take up to a month for the lip skin to mature and show it’s final colour.
Use clean Q-Tips to apply antibiotic ointment (Polysporin) 3 times daily for the first 3 days. If you have an allergic reaction to polysporin (redness, rash, swelling) stop using it and see your doctor for an alternate prescription.
Avoid eating spicy or salty foods! Use a straw for the first 4 days.
LONG TERM CARE FOR ALL cosmetic PROCEDURES:
Use a good sunscreen daily on tattooed area. Sun exposure damages your skin, and fades the pigment.
The pigment used is Iron Oxide based, which your body naturally absorbs as mineral irons, so the colour will fade over time. You may want a touch up every 1 – 3 years. Fading time will vary from client to client based on skin type and exposure.
If you are planning a chemical peel, MRI, or other medical procedure, advise your medical professional that you have an Iron Oxide tattoo.
If you are planning to have laser treatment, tell you laser specialist to avoid the pigmented area, as laser contact may cause the pigment to turn black.
Please call us if you have any other questions or concerns regarding your healing tattoo! We are here to help!