- Leave bandage on for 4-12 hours
- Wash your hands before removing your bandage and EVERY time before you touch or wash your tattoo. Remember, most infections are caused by dirty hands.
- After removing the bandage, wash your tattoo with non-scented bar soap, warm water & your finger tips. Be sure to remove any blood, ink or petroleum jelly from the surface. Rinse & gently blot or pat dry with a CLEAN towel or air dry.
- DO NOT bandage again or apply any sort of ointment or petroleum jelly.
- Continue to wash tattoo 3-5 times a day for the first few days. Keep your tattoo clean & dry.
- Weeping will occur the first 24 hours. Be sure to continue washing this off to avoid scabbing.
- After a few days your tattoo will start to become dry and flaky. When this occurs you should reduce the washing to about twice a day.
- DO NOT pick or scratch at your tattoo.
- DO NOT soak your tattoo or otherwise submerge it under water.
- DO NOT expose your tattoo directly to sunlight.
- After your tattoo has finished shedding any scabbing that may have developed, you may begin applying a small amount of fragrance free lotion when needed. Using too much lotion will not help the tattoo.
- If you have any questions before, during or after the healing process please contact your artist.
As your piercing heals you will have a white/yellow discharge drying on the jewelry and on the piercing. This dried discharge is a normal part of the healing process. As long as you have this discharge, you should clean your piercing twice a day as outlined below:
Many people find the following work well for cleaning their piercing:
- Provon Medicated Lotion Soap or other non-scented bar soap and
- Sea Salt
Twice a day clean your piercing with the soap you've selected (the shower is often a convenient place to do this):
- Wash your hands thoroughly
- Use warm water on a cotton swab to soften and remove all dried matter from the jewelry and around the piercing.
- Place a small amount of non-scented bar soap on your piercing and jewelry.
- Rotate the jewelry through the piercing 3-4 times to work the soap inside the piercing.
- Leave the soap in the piercing for a short amount of time; 30 seconds or so.
- Using water, rotate the jewelry through the piercing, rinsing all soap from the piercing and off the jewelry.
- Gently dry your piercing using a clean paper towel or Q-tip.
Once a day, soak your piercing in a solution of warm water and sea salt:
- Wash your hands (preferably with non-scented bar soap).
- Dilute 1/8 teaspoon of sea salt into 8 ounces (coffee cup full) of water (preferably distilled). Note: using too much salt will counteract the effectiveness of the soak.
- Directly soak your piercing for 15-20 minutes.
- The solution does not need to be rinsed off, but directly dry your piercing afterward.
Avoid the following during the healing process:
- Touching your piercing without prior hand washing
- Oral and bodily fluid contact from others on the piercing site
- Rubbing alcohol and hydrogen peroxide (harsh cleaning agents do more harm than good)
- Anti-biotic ointments (Neosporin, Bacitacin, etc)
- Submerging your piercing site in hot tubs, lakes or swimming pools for the first month of healing unless wearing a waterproof bandage.
Normal stages of your healing process:
- Soreness, tenderness in the first week or so (first month in the case of navel piercing)
- Redness and a slight swelling (especially on vascular tissue such as the eyebrow)
- Dried discharge for the duration of the healing
- Itching (for a short period of time)
Warning signs of infection:
- Greenish or discolored discharge
- Increased redness or swelling
- A pimple-like abscess forming on the piercing site
If you develop an infection
- Leave the jewelry in
- Contact a professional (local piercer, family physician, etc)
- Do not ignore infection warning signs! Listen to what your body is telling you.
General hygiene practices to promote the healing process:
- Wear clean clothing and maintain clean bedding and towels (avoid using laundry detergents with stain-removing enzymes; those enzymes can destroy the delicate new tissue your body is forming).
- Eat a nutritious diet (some professionals believe that a mild zinc supplement can aid in the healing process).
- Avoid toxins in your body (drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, etc; these chemicals reduce the body's natural immune system).
Avoid wearing clothing which will rub against the piercing and cause irritation. If you tan, be sure to keep all tanning ointments and oils out of the area. Certain movements, such as exercise and sexual intercourse, may also irritate the piercing. During the initial healing time, try to accommodate your piercing and keep it comfortable. Again, listen to what you body is telling you (if something hurts, it's probably damaging the tissue).
Be careful when pulling clothing over your head. Be careful combing and brushing your hair. If you use telephones or stereo headphones on a daily basis, wipe them off with Lysol at least once a day. Be sure to shield your piercing from any hair care products your use. If you are cleaning your piercing in the shower, do so after you shampoo.
Be careful pulling clothing over your head. Be careful combing and brushing your hair. Shield your piercing from any hair care products you use. It is imperative to keep all cosmetics out of the piercing area. Cosmetics or other facial ointments or lotions can cause serious irritation.
Male: Some men find that taping a piece of gauze over the piercing may prove to be more comfortable as it prevents the jewelry from moving or "bouncing" around.
Female: Most women find that wearing a well-fitted bra is more comfortable than not wearing a bra at all. Some sort of protectent (such as a sterile gauze pad or halved panty-liner) worn on the inside of the bra keeps the piercing and the bra clean.
If the bra is too tight, migration of the jewelry may occur; a larger size should be worn. Female nipple piercings typically take longer to heal than male due to the hormonal changes which occur during the menstrual cycle. Women may notice increased sensitivity, redness and/or discharge during or prior to the menstrual cycle. Be patient with your body. During your monthly self-breast exam examine the area behind your breast and under your armpit for any bumps or abnormalities. These can often indicate an infection in the piercing prior to symptoms near/around the piercing.
You may resume having sexual intercourse as soon as it is no longer uncomfortable. However, it is very important to practice protected sex, as exposure to other people's bodily fluids can easily start an infection. Also, remember to be gentle with your piercing as it heals. Too much abuse can result in a prolonged healing time. It is important to wear clean, preferably cotton, underwear during the healing period. You may experience some bleeding for 12-48 hours. If you experience heavy bleeding which does not appear to be clotting, please contact us or your physician. A light bandage can be worn to absorb bleeding. For women, a panty-liner changed frequently usually works well. For men, some gauze padding inside a rubber glove or condom usually works well. It is also a good idea to urinate after cleaning your piercing to flush any cleaning agents from the urethra; don't worry, your urine is sterile to your own body.
If you have ANY questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to call or stop in to see us.
After care products which work well for most people:
Listerine (diluted 75% water and 25% Listerine)
Lip, Labret and Beauty Mark Piercing:
- Items listed under tongue piercings and
- Provon or other non-scented bar soap
Note: The use of Listerine in full strength or other alcohol-based mouth rinse is not suggested due to the damaging effects on the newly formed tissue.
Cleaning procedures which work well for most people:
- For the first 3-4 weeks, rinse with Listerine and water solution every time you eat, drink or smoke. Use approximately one capful and rinse for 60 seconds. Do this 4-6 times daily (6-10 times daily if you are a smoker).
- Wash your hands with non-scented bar soap and check the tightness of your jewelry. Check tightness of jewelry at least twice daily. Talking and eating can sometimes cause the balls to loosen.
Lip, Labret and Beauty Mark Piercing
- Perform all the items listed under Tongue Piercings.
- Use a cotton swab with warm water to remove all of the dried discharge from the outer piercing site.
- Place a small amount of non-scented bar soap on the area and lather it in place.
- Gently move the jewelry back and forth several times.
- After moving the jewelry back and forth, rinse the area thoroughly.
- Avoid using harsh cleaning agents (hydrogen peroxide, rubbing alcohol, Neosporin, etc)
IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR ALL ORAL PIERCINGS:
- Keep your mouth to yourself for the next six weeks. This includes oral sex and deep, wet kissing. This also includes sharing smoking utensils, cigarettes and sodas.
- It is a good idea to quit smoking during the healing time. If you can't quit, cut back greatly. The sucking motion (as with straws or hard candy) will put unneeded pressure on the piercing.
- Do not play with your piercing while it is healing. This sort of excess abuse can result in a prolonged healing time, and cause the piercing to tear.
- It is a good idea to get a new toothbrush at this time.
Tongue Piercing general info:
- You will likely experience tongue swelling with your piercing. Ibuprofen and ice can help reduce the swelling. It is a good idea to reduce the amount of talking you do, and reduce your intake of hot foods and beverages. Eating soft foods will reduce the amount of chewing and make eating more comfortable. Be sure to keep your fluid intake high, even though you may not be eating as much as you normally do. Also, it is a good idea, when showing your piercing to people, to simply open your mouth and let them look - do not try to manipulate the jewelry in and out of your mouth while you are healing.
- You may notice a sore spot on the bottom of your mouth where the ball rests against your palate. This will toughen up, or callus, in a few days. If the irritation persists, contact your body piercer.
- You may notice a divot on the top of your tongue where the ball rests. This is very normal and will go away.
- Your tongue may develop a whitish or yellowish protrusion of skin out from the top or bottom of the piercing site. This is a normal part of the scar tissue forming, and will go away.
- Your initial jewelry is oversized to accommodate swelling. After 2-4 weeks, you may come in and purchase a shorter piece of jewelry. Downsizing your jewelry will save wear and tear on your teeth and gum line.
Lip, Labret and Beauty Mark Piercing general info:
- It is unnecessary to eat special foods, but take your time eating. Until you have adjusted to having the jewelry in your mouth, you could bite it while eating, slow down.
- If you have a labret stud in your piercing, be sure to check the tightness of the ball and the disk a few times daily with clean hands.
- It is very important to keep all cosmetics, lotions, perfumes, etc. away from your piercing as those products may cause severe irritation.
- You may notice irritation on your gum lines from the disc on your labret stud. The irritation should subside in a few days. If it doesn't, it is imperative that you come in and change to a different style of jewelry. Once the tissue of your gums is damaged, it will not repair itself.