LI Tattoo Aftercare & Healing | Long Island Full Sleeves
Tattoo Aftercare & Healing
With all art forms there is a before and after. If you want the best results possible from your ink work, you have to prepare before you walk through our Sanctuary doors.
Before & Skin Prep
Arrive on time.
Cleanse the surface area to ensure your tattoo stencil (if necessary) will stay in place on your skin – NO MOISTURIZING!
Remember cleanliness is best for all of us. You and your artist will be up close and personal. Your cleanliness is appreciated!
Leave the bottle at home. Coming in drunk or hung over only results in more bleeding, slower healing and possible required touch-ups.
Leave the weights for another day. Working out heavily prior to getting a tattoo may cause more bleeding due to increased blood flow. Again, this may cause required touch- ups.
Wear something comfy and worn so you can leave your tattooed area open and won’t care if ink gets onto your clothing.
It is important to notify your artist if you have any specific allergies to latex, nickel etc. that you are aware of. Your artist can easily switch to nitrile gloves. Also, it is not uncommon to experience sensitivity to certain inks. Red is among a popular one.
Everyone heals differently. It is important to properly care for the tattooed area to prevent infection and promote the quickest healing time. Depending on the size and location of your tattoo, your artist may prolong your aftercare or provide you with additional special instructions.
A few hours after your tattoo, you can remove the bandage and clean the area. To help reduce infection, our tattoo artists recommend washing the area with lukewarm water using an anti-bacterial liquid hand soap such as Dial. Use a light touch when washing but you want to remove any lingering blood, ointment or residue.
After washing, pat dry and apply ointment to the area. Avoid using petroleum jelly or Vaseline. We recommend you use an ointment like A&D or Aquaphor, which can both be found easily at your local convenient store. “A little goes a long way.” It is important to use a pea-size or less than amount of ointment to rub gently over the entire area creating a thin layer of sheen. Using too much ointment will oversaturate the area causing excessive scabbing or premature removal of existing scabs.
For the next 3-5 days, wash your tattooed area multiple times a day especially in the morning and at night before bed. Continuous washing will help prevent infection, excess scabbing and promote faster healing.
Initially, depending on the location of your tattoo, you may experience some swelling which can be eased by applying an ice pack, elevating the area and taking ibuprofen.
Between days 3 and 5 you should begin to notice some peeling similar to a sunburn except your skin will have coloring from the tattoo. At this point in the healing process you may stop using the ointment and begin using a non-scented hand or body lotion such as Curel, Lubriderm or Aveeno. For the next 2 weeks continue washing and applying lotion as needed to help prevent cracking and/or bleeding. Note that not all scabs are created equal and some may linger a bit longer. This is normal, just allow them to fall off in their own time.
The primary Tattoo healing process should take place within 2 weeks but for compete healing allow 4 weeks.
Don’t sleep on the tattooed area. Clothing and or sheets will get stuck to your tattoo leaving behind ink. If you should awake with clothing or sheets stuck in the area, do not rip them away. Apply water to the area to free the material and prevent ripping scabs off prematurely.
Absolutely no water submerging for 2 weeks! Take a shower but no swimming. No pool, Jacuzzi, ocean, or baths to keep away irritants and bacteria.
No sun exposure. A sunburn can cause unwanted problems for your skin and tattoo. If you are going outdoors, keep the area covered with loose clothing.
Deter from any material that will rub on the tattoo. The area will ooze as it is healing and needs to breathe to heal. Loose fitting clothing and open sandals that won’t rub the area are best.
Allow the area to fully heal (at least 2 weeks) before you begin that workout regimen again. If on your arm, avoid the bicep curls on that side. On your foot, save the running for another time. Working the area too much may result in slower healing, scabbing and bacteria from sweat.
Is it Infected?
After about 1-2 weeks if you are noticing a redness accompanied by white coloring on sections of the tattoo, more than normal scabbing that is greenish or yellowish in color, and/or a bad odor and puss, then you could have an infection. You can contact your artist and come into the shop to confirm whether or not your tattoo is indeed infected and get some tips on care, but the best course of action is to contact your physician. You may need antibiotics to help combat the infection.
You can help avoid infection by keeping the site clean and following our care instructions.
Getting tattooed is a process resulting in a piece of art displayed on your body. Following our suggested before and after procedures and keeping the area moisturized and protected from the sun’s rays with sunblock will help prolong the quality appearance of your tattoo for a longer period of time.