These are my pre-tattoo session mandatory steps to success. No.. I'm not kidding, I will ask you about these when you show up. Luckily for you, they are pretty easy.
Drink at least one to two (1-2) liters of water a day. When you are hydrated, your skin is hydrated and will be able to maintain a better heal and withstand longer sessions. Please start this step as soon as you can after making a deposit.
Lotion the area to be tattooed once or twice daily. I'd personally like you to start this one as soon as the day you put your deposit down just to be sure your skin is in perfect shape! The healthier your skin, the better the results. Your tattoo is only as good as the canvas its on, respect it!
Get a good night's sleep the night before (full 8-9 hours), and
DO NOT consume alcohol or street drugs.
Please eat a healthy meal at least a half hour but no more than 90 minutes before your tattoo session.
This is a massive workout for your body and you need the fuel for a big session. When you are hungry, pain management is much more difficult. We highly recommend you to bring drinks and snacks. You probably won’t have enough time during our short breaks to leave, get food, come back and eat it, so bring it with you!
Some suggested options to bring: Water, Soda, Ibuprofen/Tylenol (not both), candy, gum, snackable carb-based foods, juice, etc..
If any of these pre-care duties is going to be a issue, please contact me to change the dates that will allow you to perform the preparation needed.
As I know, most artists have different healing instructions on proper aftercare. These are just my guidelines that I know work for my clients and I. With that being said, this is my recommended healing procedure and should NOT be broken unless we come up with a proper alternative that we can agree on. Contrary to popular belief, artists can tell when you messed up.
NO PICKING ITCHING or SCRATCHING!
Leave wrap/bandage on for a full 24-36 hours. Ideally I would like the wrap to be taken off not the next morning, but the morning after that.
If the wrap starts prematurely releasing and the tattoo becomes exposed for more than a moment (I.e. if you wake up and it’s halfway off) remove the wrap and wash immediately.
When you remove the wrap, I have found that it is easiest in the shower with warm water running over the area. Then proceed to wash your tattoo for the first time.
When washing your tattoo, be sure to use an anti-microbial/anti-bacterial wash and also be sure to wash thoroughly*.
*I recommend as warm of water as you can handle without torturing yourself, and washing gently using the palm of your hands and pads of your fingers until there is no “slimy” feeling on your skin. The slime feel is plasma and this is what will scab if your tattoo dries out. Do not use a washcloth or anything abrasive as your skin is very sensitive (similar to sunburn) and washcloths and things of the like can harbor bacteria.
Be sure to rinse your tattoo thoroughly and pat dry with a CLEAN paper towel. I suggest just letting the area air dry for 10-15 mins.
***DO NOT RE-BANDAGE, EVER***
Wash like this 2-3 times a day, if you wash more, you risk upsetting the natural balance of healing helpers your body produces and your tattoo will kick your own ass. (Ask me if you need more info.)
After about 10-15 minutes pass for the area to dry, re-wash your hands with antibacterial soap and apply aftercare to the tattoo.
Put on a very thin amount of aftercare product as to not suffocate the wound. You are just moisturizing and protecting, not choking your enemy. Be sure to pay attention to the dryness of the area. Your goal is to keep the area moisturized properly so that you do not scab. Preventing scabbing will expedite the healing process and overall give you a better healing experience.
If you do scab, its not the end of the world but NEVER pick scabs or ink will come out and artists can tell when this happens!
Wear loose fitting clothing, no thermals or leggings for now if they will touch your new investment!
Your new tattoo will peel and flake, this is completely normal. During this period, it can have an extreme itch and you should NEVER scratch it. use of ice packs, lotion, or light tapping of the area with your freshly washed palm can help!
Once the tattoo reaches this stage, you can switch to plain white lotion. (i.e. Lubriderm) Be sure to moisturize almost twice as often. The reason you need to moisturize more is because lotion is thinner than aftercare ointment and will wipe off/soak in faster leaving the surface dry quicker.
*If you still have a good portion of your tattoo that is tender to the touch, continue the use of your aftercare ointment until the tenderness subsides, but be very careful not to prematurely peel any skin off while rubbing in the aftercare.
Some last minute bits of advice are:
DO NOT USE PETROLEUM BASED PRODUCTS LIKE A+D OR VASELINE.
DO NOT EXFOLIATE THE AREA!
Yes, there are people that thought this was a good idea.
DO NOT GO SWIMMING! NO LAKES, NO POOLS!
Chlorine is HORRIBLE for wounds, and bacteria and micro-organisms from natural bodies of water are worse. ask Bryce. ;)
DO NOT SUNBATHE/TAN FOR 2 WEEKS! Or even better, ever again... tanning beds included!
NO PICKING ITCHING or SCRATCHING!
Like I said above, tattoos are only as good as their canvas, don’t ruin that. If you have questions why, ask me!