Taking Care of Your Tattoo
When you leave the shop your tattoo will be bandaged. Leave the bandage on for about an hour. This is just to stop the initial bleeding and prevent contamination.
When you get home, remove the bandage and immediately wash your hands with an unscented, antibacterial soap like liquid gold dial or its generic equivalent. Using clean hands (no washcloths) gently wash the tattoo with the same unscented antibacterial soap and rinse with warm water. The warmer the water, the easier it will be to remove the dried blood and plasma.
After cleaning your tattoo, gently pat it dry with clean paper towels, do NOT wipe it. When it’s dry you can use a small amount of antibiotic ointment, such as Aquaphor or A+D. Using too much ointment will interfere with the healing process, so if your tattoo is still shiny after five minutes, you have used too much. Wash it off and reapply using a smaller amount.
You will need to repeat this process three to four times a day for the first few days. After that, you can switch to an unscented white hand lotion. Brands like Lubriderm, Aveeno, Cetaphil, Eucerin are all great; even Palmer’s Cocoa Butter works well. Lotion should be applied using clean hands whenever your tattoo feels dry.
For the first three to four weeks you will have to avoid the sun, the beach and pools. Submerging your tattoo in water or exposing it to the sun will destroy it. That being said, you can still take showers, just no baths. During the healing process, it may itch from time to time, do NOT scratch or pick at it. You can try patting your tattoo with your hand to alleviate the itching. Allow any scabs to fall off on their own; you don’t need to help things along by picking or pulling at them.
A tattoo heals much like a sunburn, so try to wear loose fitting clothing while it’s healing. Anything rubbing against it will irritate it resulting in longer healing time. If you have pets, their hair has a tendency to get stuck in fresh tattoos while lying in bed so covering it with a non stick pad/bandage while you sleep will help.
Saniderm FAQs >
Taking Care of Your Piercing
Use one or both of the following solutions for healing piercings:
Packaged sterile saline (with no additives, read the label) is a gentle choice for piercing aftercare. If sterile saline is not available in your region a sea salt solution mixture can be a viable alternative. Dissolve 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon (.75 to 1.42 grams) of non-iodized (iodine-free) sea salt into one cup (8 oz / 250 ml) of warm distilled or bottled water. A stronger mixture is not better; a saline solution that is too strong can irritate the piercing.
Cleaning Instructions for Body Piercings
• WASH your hands thoroughly prior to cleaning or touching your piercing for any reason.
• SALINE soak for five to ten minutes once or more per day. Invert a cup of warm saline solution over the area to form a vacuum. For certain piercings it may be easier to apply using clean gauze or paper towels saturated with saline solution.
• If your piercer suggests using soap, gently lather around the piercing and rinse as needed. Avoid using harsh soaps, or soaps with dyes, fragrances, or triclosan. • RINSE thoroughly to remove all traces of the soap from the piercing. It is not necessary to rotate the jewelry through the piercing.
• DRY by gently patting with clean, disposable paper products. Cloth towels can harbor bacteria and snag on jewelry, causing injury.
What is Normal?
• Initially: some bleeding, localized swelling, tenderness, or bruising.
• During healing: some discoloration, itching, secretion of a whitish-yellow fluid (not pus) that will form some crust on the jewelry. The tissue may tighten around the jewelry as it heals.
• Once 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 tissue heals from the outside in, and although it feels fine, the interior remains fragile. 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; if you like your piercing, keep 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 healing, it is not necessary to rotate 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; listen to your body.
• Make sure your bedding is washed and changed regularly. Wear clean, comfortable, breathable clothing that protects your piercing while you are sleeping.
• 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 off your piercing when you get out.
What To Avoid
• Avoid moving jewelry in an unhealed piercing, or picking away dried discharge with your fingers.
• Avoid cleaning with Betadine®, Hibiciens®, alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, Dial® or other soaps containing triclosan, as these can damage cells. Also avoid ointments as they prevent necessary air circulation.
• Avoid Bactine®, pierced ear care solutions and other products containing Benzalkonium Chloride (BZK). These can be irritating and are not intended for long term wound care.
• Avoid over-cleaning. This can delay your healing and irritate your piercing.
• Avoid 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 healing.
• Avoid stress and recreational drug use, including excessive caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol.
• Avoid submerging the piercing in unhygenic bodies of water such as lakes, pools, hot tubs, etc. Or, protect your piercing using a waterproof wound-sealant bandage (such as 3M™ Nexcare™ Clean Seals). These are available at most drugstores.
• Avoid all beauty and personal care products on or around the piercing including cosmetics, lotions, and sprays, etc.
• Don't hang charms or any object from your jewelry until the piercing is fully healed.
Outside of the normal limits of healing, any concerns that your body art has resulted in complications, infection, or disease should be reported to:
Chatham County Health Department
1602 Drayton St. Savannah, Ga 31401 (912) 651-2587
You may also report to your artist any concerns about complications, infections, or disease. The rules and regulations governing body art establishments and body artists require that the body artist report those conditions to the Department within 24 hours of discovery.