Prepping for your tattoo;
- Drink lots of water; keeping hydrated makes your skin softer and easier to penetrate.
- Get a good nights sleep. This will help your over-all mood and make the process be less stressful for you.
- Exercise the day before or the day of your appointment. Your muscles will have loosened up so you are not so tense.
- Eat before you come in. Getting tattooed on an empty stomach can cause dizziness and sometimes fainting.
- Wash tattoo 1-2 hours after it was completed. Use a mild antibacterial soap such as Dial.
- Pat dry with a clean towel, then allow it to air dry for about 30 minutes.
- Use a very small amount of ointment such as Aquaphor or After Inked, and dab it on over the entire tattoo. Proceed to rub it in gently until it is mostly absorbed into the skin.
- Apply ointment one-two times per day. Switch to a mild, unscented lotion after about 5 days.
- Keep the tattoo clean and free of irritants for the next two weeks.
- Try to allow the area to breathe as much as possible. Wear loose clothing, and try not to sleep on it.
- Do not go swimming or soak it in a tub.
- Keep it away from sunlight - but that's a lifelong precaution.
- Wash your hands thoroughly before cleaning or touching your piercing.
- Saline Soak* at least two times daily with a cup of solution or completely saturated gauze.
- Use soap no more than twice a day.
- While showering lather up a pearl size drop of un-scented antibacterial soap to clean the jewelry/piercing.
- Rinse thoroughly to remove all traces of soap from the jewelry.
- Dry by gently patting with clean disposable paper products (cloth towels can harbor bacteria and snag on jewelry).
- Do not over clean! Over cleaning can delay healing and cause irritation.
*Saline Soak: dissolve 1/4 teaspoon of non-iodized salt into 1 cup (8oz.) of distilled or bottled water. A stronger mixture is not better and can irritate your piercing
What to expect
- Initially: Minor bleeding, swelling, tenderness and bruising.
- During healing: Minor discoloration, itching, secretion of whitish-yellow fluid (not pus) that will form a crust around the jewelry. The tissue may tighten around the jewelry as it heals.
- Once healed: The jewelry may 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.