POST-TATTOO PROCEDURE & WHAT TO EXPECT
Now that the exciting part of getting a tattoo is over, there are a few things that you should be educated about when it comes to post-procedure. New tattoos are susceptible to bacteria and if the wrong kind of bacteria gets into your skin it could lead to infection. Make sure your hands are always clean prior to touching/washing your tattoo. Do not rub/clean your tattoo with a towel, or loofah. Only use your hands, hot water, and anti-bacterial soap. After you are done cleaning it or getting out of the shower, pat it dry with a clean paper towel or let it air dry.
Also, your tattoo will be sore and may seep plasma and small amounts of ink and blood for a few days. This is normal. It will develop a scab, which will eventually fall off, leaving a milky white substance over the epidermis. This is referred to as the “Milk Scab” and will peel off like a sunburn, this process will make you itch, as it is healing. No matter what you do, do not scratch your new tattoo. You need to make sure that your tattoo’s scab falls off on its own. Also, when you are taking a shower, it is common for your tattoo to sting badly when the water hits it. Just try to keep your new tattoo out of the water other than directly washing it No baths, Jacuzzis, or lakes. Furthermore, it is also common for your tattoo to hurt when pressure is put on the surrounding area. For example; if you get a tattoo on your shoulder blade and you lean back in a chair/couch be prepared for it to hurt (be aware of areas you come in contact with, if your new tattoo contacts a chair/couch harboring bacteria, it may become infected!) Signs of normal healing process include, but are not limited to; a little bit of redness, itching, peeling, scabbing, and light swelling. Lastly, try to wear clothing that will not rub against it, it will help the tattoo to heal better and it will help your comfort level. Stay away from any activities that may hinder the healing process, such as recreational water activities, gardening, contact with animals or cleaning cages, sunbathing, mud wrestling, etc.
Remember your tattoo is an OPEN WOUND and can become infected! Clean clothes, sheets, pillowcases (free from dirt and animal hair/dander) are important! Always be aware of what your tattoo is touching! Germs and bacteria are everywhere; Consider what you do for a living – Will you need to cover your tattoo? Grease, oil, and drywall amongst many other things have been known to cause infections. If you think you have an infection, consult your artist or a physician. Signs and symptoms of infection include, but are not limited to; redness, swelling (normal for the first week or so), tenderness of the tattoo, red streaks going from the tattoo towards your heart, elevated body temperature, puss, or purulent drainage. Once again, if you experience any of these symptoms, you should seek medical attention.
Contact a physician if any signs or symptoms develop, such as the following: fever, redness at the site, swelling, tenderness of the procedure site, elevated body temperature, red streaks going towards the heart, and or any green/yellow discharge that is foul in odor.
Although you are free to seek medical attention on your own at any time, we highly suggest that you contact your artist first with any concerns regarding the healing or aftermath of your tattoo. Many common healing symptoms can be misconstrued to be worse than they actually are due to the location placement of your tattoo. If possible, please come by in person to speak with your artist about the concerns you have with your tattoo, and if seeking further medical attention is recommended.
Please listen to your artist regarding all aftercare, and do not hesitate to ask questions or contact them with aftercare questions. Ask your artist if they want you to heal using the Type A Method, Type B Method, or a combination of both. If you have ANY questions regarding your tattoo, call the shop or reach out through email/social media.
They are WATERPROOF and breathable. Live your life! It may be weird and scary at first, but once you get the hang of it, this is the best and easiest way to heal a tattoo. Not all skin types and locations can use this method, so talk to your artist!!
If your artist has used Saniderm, Tegaderm, Derm Shield, or anything similar on your new tattoo – listen closely to their instructions, which may include the following: Once your artist has applied your bandage, wait 24 hours to replace it with a new bandage. In that time, your bandage will fill with plasma, ink, and possibly a bit of blood. These fluids are completely normal and can collect into a scary-looking plasma-filled sack. This sack may leak as it fills, and you may pull a small portion of the bottom of the bandage out to drain it. After 24 hours, remove your bandage (like painter’s tape) this means, pulling it downward, against your skin. Once the bandage is removed, wash your tattoo with warm soap and water (Dial or Softsoap) dry it thoroughly, and replace it with a new bandage that ONLY COVERS SOLID, FRESH TATTOOED SKIN, AND ONLY OVERSHOOTS THE FRESH TATTOO BY ¼’ ONTO NON-TATTOOED SKIN. EXCESS BANDAGES ON NON-TATTOOED SKIN CAN LEAD TO SKIN IRRITATION. Bandages can overlap, and cutting smaller pieces can assist in applying to not leave too much bandage on non-tattooed skin. Once your second bandage has been applied on day two, it should stay on for five days. ****UNLESS**** should it fill with fluid again, repeat the last step, and wash and reapply the bandage. Some people will leak plasma more than others, so it is important to change the bandage each day that you are filling the bandage with plasma. Once you have stopped leaking, your last bandage will remain on for five additional days. When it is ready to be removed, you can simply hop in the shower and remove it with warm soap and water. Always work slowly, peeling from the top, down – never out. If you are not comfortable removing your own bandage, anyone at Strata Tattoo Lab LLC would be happy to help you in doing so!
If your skin becomes irritated from the bandage, contact your artist or the tattoo studio immediately!
- Only leave your bandage on as long as your artist instructs you.
- Remove the bandage– wash the tattoo thoroughly with anti-bacterial soap, (Dial or Soft Soap is best, due to their low amount of fragrance.) Use warm to hot water. This removes all the excess ointment and blood.
- With clean hands, cover with a VERY thin amount of Aquaphor.
- Wash your tattoo each day, until the tattoo is completely healed. Multiple times a day is ideal, Let the tattoo sit under as hot of water as you can stand for no longer than 10 seconds. During this time, you will want to wash it with anti-bacterial soap.
- Do not begin using lotion as aftercare until all scabbing is gone, and the skin is dry and peeling.
- After about a week, when your skin is peeling and no longer tender, apply fragrance-free lotion 1-2 times daily in small amounts. We recommend Curél, Aveeno, or Lubriderm.
- Good healing is key! It is recommended to take vitamins E and C for the general wellness of your skin. Also, drink plenty of water!!!
- For the first few days, your tattoo may leak a bit of blood, plasma, and ink. When the oozing stops, scabs may appear. DO NOT pick or scratch them!
- Once scabs disappear, a thick layer of skin will form and flake off like a sunburn. This is normal, however, it can be lightly irritating. DO NOT pick or scratch it!
- DO NOT soak in water! Stay away from soaking/submerging in baths, pools, jacuzzis, etc., as they can harbor bacteria that can cause infection. Also, animal hair, dander, soil, etc. can cause infections in fresh tattoos. (NO GARDENING!)
- Keep the heat turned down in the shower! The steam from the hot water can soften the scabs and cause them to flake off too early. If your tattoo scabs seem oozy and gooey, get out of there!!!
- DO NOT re-bandage the tattoo – it needs open air to breathe; however, it is best to keep the new artwork out of the sunlight. Wear loose, CLEAN, cotton clothing over the tattoo during the healing process. If your tattoo is located on your foot or ankle, keep shoes and socks AWAY from the area. LADIES – if your tattoo is located on your shoulder; please keep your bra straps AWAY from the area. (i.e., don’t wear a bra, or wear strapless). Any rubbing can cause the scabs to fall off prematurely resulting in color loss.
- Remember: This artwork is on you for LIFE, so protect your investment! It is your responsibility to follow these instructions and any given to you by the artist. Any deviation can lead to color loss, infection, and/or poor healing.