This aftercare is generalized, follow the specific instructions of your artist. Do not follow advice on aftercare from anyone but the artist who tattooed you or a licensed doctor.
Choose an aftercare product that is specifically formulated to be used on a fresh tattoo.
How do I take care of my new tattoo in the first 72 hours?
Never touch your new tattoo without first washing your hands thoroughly with a mild, unscented soap like Simple Cleanse.
Remove the bandage or wrapping applied by the artist in a clean, familiar environment before bed time on the same day you were tattooed.
Immediately wash tattoo with an unscented like Simple Cleanse.
Do not scrub your tattoo. Make sure you are washing it thoroughly enough to remove all the plasma and excess ointment that had been applied by your artist.
Continue to wash the tattooed area gently 2-3 times daily (or as needed) with a flat palm, and warm water, making a lather to remove any discharge from the area with Simple Cleanse.
Always wash your hands again after touching your fresh tattoo!
Apply a very thin coat of an aftercare product like Simple Shield to the tattooed area.
Rub the product in well. If the area appears glossy from the product, then you have applied too much.
Apply the aftercare product throughout the day as needed to keep the area from drying out. Apply additional aftercare product whenever the tattoo feels “tight” or “itchy”.
Do not over-saturate your new tattoo with aftercare products! This will only “smother” your tattoo and prolong your healing time.
If a scab should form, don’t pick at it!
Use one of the following solutions for healing piercings:
Simple Care Spray (available at the shop)
Packaged sterile saline solution with no additives (make sure you read the label)
Wash your hands thoroughly prior to touching your piercing for any reason. Your piercing should be soaked daily under fresh running warm water for 3-5 minutes, ideally at the end of a shower. This is the best way to gently remove any discharge from the area. It is also very beneficial to improve circulation to the piercing and help with drainage.
After soaking, spray the area with Simple Care Spray or sterile saline and allow to air dry. The piercing should be cleaned no more than twice a day, but typically once per day is sufficient.
Avoid using cotton swabs on the piercing as the fibers can gather on the area and the movement can irritate the piercing.
Initially some bleeding and localized swelling, tenderness and bruising are normal. During healing some discoloration, itching and secretion of a whitish-yellow fluid (this is not pus) will form and crust on the jewelry. This should only be removed when the piercing is being cleaned. The tissue may tighten around the jewelry as it heals.
Once the piercing is 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 your body heals from the outside in, and although it feels fine, the tissue remains fragile on the inside. 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 so if you really like your piercing, keep the 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 the healing, it is NOT necessary to rotate or move 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, but it is best to avoid direct contact with shared gym equipment and make sure you listen to your body!
Keep your bedding clean, and changed regularly. Wear clean, comfortable, breathable clothing that protects your piercing while it's healing!
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 your piercing off when you get out!
What to Avoid
Avoid cleaning with Betadine, Hibiclens, Alcohol, Hydrogen Peroxide, Dial or other harsh soaps as they can damage the cells around your piercing. Also avoid ointments as they prevent necessary air circulation.
Bactine, pierced ear care solution and other products containing Benzalkonium Chloride (BZK) and Benzelthonium Chloride (BZT). These can be irritating and are not intended for long term wound care.
Avoid over-cleaning your piercing! This can delay your healing and irritate the area, as well as 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 the healing period.
Avoid stress and recreational drug use, including excessive caffeine, nicotine and alcohol.
Do not submerge your piercing in any unhygienic body of water such as baths, pools, lakes and hot tubs. If you do, please make sure you protect your piercing using a water-proof wound sealant bandage (such as Tagaderm). These are available at most pharmacies.
All beauty and personal care products should not be used on or around the piercing -- this includes cosmetics, lotions and sprays.
Do not hang charms or any object from your piercing until it is fully healed.
Hints and Tips
Jewelry - Unless there is a problem with size, style or material of the initial jewelry, leave it in place for the entire healing period. See a qualified piercer to perform and jewelry change that may become necessary during healing.
Contact your piercer if your jewelry must be removed (such as for a medical procedure). There are non-metallic jewelry alternatives available.
Leave the jewelry in at all times. Even old or well-healed piercings 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, be sure to regularly check threaded ends on your jewelry for tightness.
Should you decide you no longer want the piercing, simply remove the jewelry (or have a professional remove it) and continue cleaning the piercing until the hole closes.
In the event an infection is suspected, high quality jewelry should be left in place to allow for drainage of the infection. If the jewelry is removed, the surface cell can close up, which can seal the infection inside the piercing channel and result in an abscess. Do not remove the jewelry unless instructed to by a medical professional.
For Particular Areas
Ear/Cartilage/Facial - Maintain cleanliness of telephones, eyeglasses, sunglasses, and anything that makes contact with the pierced area. Avoid anything that may put pressure on the piercing for the duration of the healing, such as sleeping, headphones, towels, hats, etc. After the initial swelling has subsided, it will be important to downsize the length of the post to minimize movement, and limit irritation in the area as the piercing heals.
Nipples - The support of a tight cotton shirt or sports bra may provide protection and comfort, especially for sleeping.
Genital - Genital piercings -- especially Prince Albert's, Ampallang's, and Apadravya's -- can bleed freely for the first few days. Be prepared. It may also be beneficial to drink plenty of water to dilute urine and prevent stinging with these piercings. In most cases, you can engage in sexual activity as soon as you feel ready, but maintaining hygiene and avoiding trauma are all vital. All sexual activities should be gentle during the healing period. To increase comfort and decrease trauma, soak in warm water to remove any crusty matter prior to sexual activity. Use barriers such as condoms, dental dams, and waterproof bandages to avoid all contact with your partner's bodily fluids, even in monogamous relationships. Use clean, disposable barriers on sex toys. Use a new container of water-based lubricant; due not use saliva.
After sex, a clean water rinse is suggested.
If you have any questions or concerns about any of the above policies or aftercare -- be it tattoo or piercing -- please call us at 780-482-2662 so that we may help you! We have four amazing front end that are all educated on our shop policies and the aftercare process who are more than happy to answer your questions!