The first few days and weeks (of your tattoo or piercing) are probably the most important for your new tattoo or piercing. PLEASE make sure you care for it properly. BELOW are the healing procedures and “do’s and don’ts" we recommend. Each body is unique and healing times vary considerably.

We STRONGLY recommend that you follow the advice listed below, your artist or seek the advice from medical personal prior to getting your piercing.

 
 
  • Your new tattoo will leave with a thin layer of A&D ointment, and will be wrapped with plastic wrap. Leave the wrap on overnight. Take the wrap off the next morning, and gently wash the tattooed area with your fingertips and liquid antibacterial hand soap and hot water.
     
  • Keep direct water contact (i.e. showers) to 5-10 minutes to minimize water absorption by the tattoo. Soaking your tattoo (via actual water contact or humidity from showering) will result in scabbing and color loss. This means no baths, long showers (even if you're trying to keep the tattoo dry during), hot tubs, swimming, saunas, etc.
     
  • After gently washing, pat your tattoo dry and allow it to air dry for 15 minutes. Massage aftercare ointment into the tattoo area. Do this entire process 3-5 times a day for at least two weeks. Thoroughly massage the tattoo until the aftercare ointment has absorbed and then continue massaging for an additional 30 seconds.  If there is any aftercare ointment left on the skin after 60 seconds of massaging, you are using too much. The point of this exercise is more in the massage than the aftercare ointment.  Massaging breaks up blood clots, preventing scabs, and stimulates circulation which helps the healing process.
     
  • A tattoo is an open wound for a few days.  Treat it as such, do not touch your tattoo without washing your hands first! 
     
  • No sunlight or tanning beds for 3-4 weeks after being tattooed. The damage done to the skin while tattooing is similar to a sunburn and will be sensitive to heat (via tanning bed, hair dryers, etc) as well as sunlight.
     
  • Your tattoo will peel like a sunburn about a week after application.  It will look like your tattoo is peeling off. Don't panic!  Don't pick or scratch at it!  Just continue on with your regular wash and massage schedule.
     
  • A fully healed tattoo can be treated with sun block SPF 50 or higher.  UV exposure from sunlight or tanning beds will fade the color and decrease the longevity of your tattoo.
     
  • ALWAYS RESIST THE URGE TO SATISFY YOUR DESIRE TO SCRATCH, RUB, OR PICK AT THE TATTOO!
 
 

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. A brief rinse afterward will remove any residue.
  • SOAP no more than once or twice a day. While showering, lather up a pearl size drop of the soap to clean the jewelry and the piercing. Leave the cleanser on the piercing no more than thirty seconds.
  • 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 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 unhygienic 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.

HINTS AND TIPS JEWELRY:

  • Unless there is a problem with the size, style, or material of the initial jewelry, leave it in the place for the entire healing period. See a qualified piercer to perform any jewelry change that becomes 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 jewelry in at all times. Even old or well-healed piercing 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 or paper product, be sure to regularly check threaded ends on your jewelry for tightness. (“Righty-tighty, lefty-loosey.”)
  • Carry a clean spare ball in case of loss or breakage.
  • Should you decide you no longer want the piercing, simply remove the jewelry (or have a professional piercer remove it) and continue cleaning the piercing until the hole closes. In most cases only a small mark will remain.
  • In the event an infection is suspected, quality jewelry or an inert alternative should be left in place to allow for drainage or the infection. If the jewelry is removed, the surface cells can close up, which can seal the infection inside the piercing channel and result in an abscess. Do not remove jewelry unless instructed to by a medical professional.

FOR PARTICULAR AREAS  NAVEL:

  • A hard, vented eye patch (sold at pharmacies) can be applied under tight clothing (such as nylon stockings) or secured using a length of Ace® bandage around the body (to avoid irritation from adhesive). This can protect the area from restrictive clothing, excess irritation, and impact during physical activities such as contact sports.

EAR/EAR CARTILAGE AND FACIAL:

  • Use the t-shirt trick: Dress your pillow in a large, clean t-shirt and turn it nightly; one clean t-shirt provides four clean surfaces for sleeping.
  • Maintain cleanliness of telephones, headphones, eyeglasses, helmets, hats, and anything that contacts the pierced area.
  • Use cation when styling your hair and advise your stylist of a new or healing piercing.

NIPPLES:

  • The support of a tight cotton shirt or sports bra may provide protection and feel comfortable, especially for sleeping.

GENITAL:

  • Genital Piercings—especially Prince Alberts, Ampallangs, and Apadravyas—can bleed freely for the first few days. Be prepared.
  • Urinate after using soap to clean any piercing that is near the urethra.
  • Wash your hands before touching on (or near) a healing piercing.
  • In most cases you can engage in sexual activity as soon as you feel ready, but maintaining hygiene and avoiding trauma are vital; all sexual activities should be gentle during the healing period.
  • Use barriers such as condoms, dental dams, and waterproof bandages, etc. to avoid contact with your partners’ body fluids, even in monogamous relationships.
  • Use clean, disposable barriers on sex toys.
  • Use a new container of water-based lubricant; do not use saliva.
  • After sex, an additional saline soak or clean water rinse is suggested.

IN CLOSING:

  • DO NOT TOUCH ANY PIERCING WITH DIRTY HANDS!
  • DO NOT: Use Alcohol, Peroxide, Hibiclens, Betadine, or any Petroleum based products such as Bacitracin or Neosporin
  • AND DO NOT LISTEN TO YOUR FRIENDS ABOUT YOUR AFTERCARE