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Old 03-12-2013, 12:23 PM   #1
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Default The definative healing thread!

Right as you all know every 5 seconds someone asks about how its best to heal a tattoo, so i thought we should start a thread to see what has and hasn`t worked for everyone, plus lets push the boat out and be TOTALLY HONEST with what we have done in the past. i.e if we have ever had an infection etc with any methods.

I personally have about 70% body coverage, by that i mean full arm and chest sleeve, both legs fully sleeved from feet to the old man and i have my stomach from belly button down to the old man again. very minimal skin in these areas left bare and over 200+ of work.

With the healing i have never had one infection or problem and i have always used the same method when healing. I may have just been "lucky" but i dont think so, im pretty sure its to do with how they are treated.

So here is my method.

1. Minimal booze the night before if any, as it can make you bleed like a bitch, which in turn is not good for the tattoo. Also you seem to produce excess plasma after a good deal of booze the night before so keep it to a minimum!
2. A good meal an hour or so before to help with the actual sitting, include some nice sugary tea or coffee to start them sugar levels going.
3. I scoff a choc bar just before i go in and take a back up, choc just in case i feel like i need a boost (no pun intended!)
4. Make sure you have a sugary drink with you for the session, again this is to keep sugar levels up which keep the oxygen pumping around the body to prevent fainting and feeling woosy, in turn it helps you keep going on those long sessions.
5. Tattoo - enjoy the ride.
6. Aftercare -So it begins!
7. The tattoo should always be wrapped in clingfilm and the artist will have dressed it correctly. Usually Vaseline and covered in clingfilm. Please dont have fucking kitchen towel on it, it can draw out ink and plasma by capillary action (thats what its designed to do remember!) I dont like this at all and it puts me off an artist who uses it.
8. Keep it wrapped for normally about 4 hours, i normally keep it wrapped from anywhere from 4 - 6 hours, due to travelling back from the artist to my home.
9. After this time, i remove and clean in the shower (dont soak in the bath! as this can play havoc on a new tattoo) i use an unscented showergel, nothing medicated, nothing exciting and just use your pre washed hands to gently remove all the ink and plasma (gooey snot) from the tattoo.
10. Dry yourself and the tattoo first, with a fresh and clean towel (none fluffy one as that can get bits on the tattoo and can lead to infection / irritation) pat the tattoo dry gently.
11. Take a quick picture of the new lovely fresh tattoo
12. I use a new tube of Bepanthan for every tattoo, to prevent any bacteria lurking around from previous tattoos.
13 Apply a thin layer of Bep around the tattoo and then cover with a new piece of clingfilm from a new roll. I use non pvc clingfilm but have used both and dont really have a preference, but i do not have an allergy to PVC.
14. Use medical porous tape to secure if needed and a piece of kitchen roll secured at the bottom of the tattoo to catch any leaks from spoiling your clothes or new trainers!
15. I keep mine wrapped for about 4 hours and then re shower and apply new Bep and then wrap again, repeat for 3 - 4 days. At night i clean before bed and then apply bep and wrap up, so this is the longest period being "under wraps" for about 7hours.
16. Dont go out on the piss the night after as this will have the same effect and will thin blood etc and i believe may effect your tattoo causing it to leak more than normal. Why risk it? its only one night.
17. This first stage usually takes about 3-4 days until you have the first peel. This is a very light peel of the skin and quite often i dont get it at all, i have found that it actually depends on the tattoo gun used for some reason?? classic tattoo machine, i dont get a peel, inkjecta etc, i do, but its only very light.
18. If the tattoo is totally healed and no broken skin is apparent then I dont wrap again and i go onto just applying Bep for about a further 2-3 days and i then switch to the cocoa butter normal stuff. After a couple of weeks my tattoo is totally settled down and looks spot on, no colour loss and fresh as a daisy!

Key points i take on board.
New Bepanthan - Use a resealable bag to keep it in, if your carrying the tube around in your bag etc, this prevents any dirt from getting onto the lid.
New Clingfilm - I use a new roll every time just in case!
Keep it moist but not soaked with Bep, a little goes a long way so i never over do it.

So that`s what i do and it works for me, never had an infection and a lot of work. All my friends stick to this method and have also never had any problems what so ever.

Of course its a ball ache, of course it means you need to remember a few things, but for something that you want to be there for the rest of your days then it must be worth it, surely.

Im sure next year someone will bring out a new method, but at the moment this works and has worked like a charm so i am sticking to it.

Please take a minute to post up what you do and lets guide people here to see what we all do to heal our work, rather than keep repeating ourselves a million times.

Phew!
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Old 03-12-2013, 12:47 PM   #2
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this is a great idea. Maybe it should be made a sticky so it doesn't get lost amongst the other threads in future.
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Old 03-12-2013, 12:50 PM   #3
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When I started getting tattooed in the late 80's over the years i've been recommended different things by different artists so i have used Preparation H, Savlon, Sudocrem and on a couple of occasions nothing at all.

I have never had an infection or a tattoo that hasn't healed correctly - with the exception of Sudocrem. DO NOT use that - EVER !!

Nowadays, my routine seems very simplistic when compared to all this clingfilm stuff, but it works for me. I don't wrap mine at all.

For what it's worth....

1. After arriving home (currently about 90 minutes drive), wash hands thoroughly.
2. Remove the dressing gently and wash the tattoo. I use unscented baby soap with fairly hot water. I give it a decent scub as well - don't be scared to wash it properly.
3. Rinse thoroughly with clean water and let it air dry.
4. Whilst the area is drying, drop a new tube of Bepanthan into a cup of fairly hot water.
5. Once dry, open Bep and apply a very thin layer to the tattoo. For the first couple of applications i like to really rub it in quite hard. The warm Bep will be very soft and easy to apply. As has already been said - less is best but make sure you really get it rubbed into the tattoo.
6. Put on a clean, cotton long sleeved t-shirt i don't care about - i will sleep in this as well.
7. Go to bed and forget about it.
8. Shower in the morning, give it another thorough clean with the baby soap.
9. Another layer of Bep and a long sleeved shirt - go to work and forget about it.
10. I do this for 2 - 3 days only. By then, i will start to peel. As soon as i see any peeling i stop the Bep and switch to Palmers cocoa butter. With the exception of elbows and dips i'm usually healed within a week.

I do think people, especially first timers, tend to go a bit mental with the aftercare.
Keep it clean, use the Bep and leave it the fuck alone for a few days.
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Old 03-12-2013, 01:01 PM   #4
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OK, I've never had any problems with my tattoos fortunately, so based on my most recent which is across the back of my shoulder:

Didn't drink alcohol the night before and took a fizzy drink with me to the studio.

Left the studio with clingfilm only over the tattoo. I removed this about 4 hours later at home.
I didn't shower , just very gently wiped the tattoo with wet kitchen towel to get off the gooey layer.
I let it dry and applied Bepanthan. I left it uncovered until I went to bed, re-covered it with cling film over night.

In the morning I think I showered, but made sure not to soak the tattoo. I don't think I used any soap over it, just rinsed it a little bit. I put on a thin layer of Bepanthan again and left it out uncovered all day again, then cling filmed over night.

And that's pretty much the routine I kept to - Wipe over with wet kitchen towel and dry, apply a thin layer of Bepanthan and cling filmed for the first few nights. After that I stopped cling filming it. I tried to leave it alone as much as possible, and the worst thing was the itching. I put some cool damp kitchen towel on it when it did. I think after a week I started using a moisturiser, something light and sensitive, nothing too thick and heavy. I'm lucky as I work from home at the moment, so could leave it out in the air all day, and I only really rinsed it once each day and applied Bepanthan only a couple of times a day.

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Old 03-12-2013, 10:33 PM   #5
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I'm pretty much with leithswanny.
Only clean twice a day, in the morning when I shower and before I go to bed.I don't cover it at all, my last artist didn't even need to cover it after working on it.Use normal shower gel but don't get too wet, followed by some bep.Chuck the tube of bep in the shower tray while I'm having a shower to warm it up a bit.After its heeled I might put some superdrug moisturiser on it once a week.
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Old 03-12-2013, 11:47 PM   #6
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This is my process,

1. Leave the cling film on for a couple of hours after getting the tattoo

2. Remove the cling film and wash gently with Luke warm water and pat dry

3. Apply thin layer of Bep

4. Repeat a few times a day until tattoo is starting to peel, usually 3 to 4 days

5. Switch to a moisturiser

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Old 04-12-2013, 03:37 AM   #7
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After the clingfilm comes off, I've found that I need to use moisturizer right out of the gate, then wash 3-5 times daily with plain soap until peeling.

Artists here generally use A&D ointment, but I've had a reaction to it before which I tenuously think has to do with the petroleum. I've heard good things about Aquaphor, but that also contains petroleum. I've never seen Bepanthan on the shelves here, sadly, but I noticed A&D has diaper rash cream available. It's just such a shame that sellers price gouge on baby items.

I've also heard about a dry heal method, but know no first-hand accounts of success/failure.
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Old 04-12-2013, 06:41 AM   #8
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I do almost exactly as easy does, except that I never touch the tattoo with a towel, even a clean one, until after the clingwrapping stage. I let it airdry on the first day or so after washes, and then pat dry with a fresh roll of kitchen paper.

My first two sessions finished quite late - between 10-11pm, so I kept the initial wrap on all night rather than clean and re-dress before bed. That worked out fine.

The only thing I don't see mentioned here is that I take care to eat well in the days following a tattoo - plenty of protein, fresh fruit and veg, lots of fluids (as I only have long sessions, and seem to lose a lot of lymph each time). Good nutrition is vital for wound healing and from a medical point of view, your new tattoo is basically a big wound.
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Old 04-12-2013, 10:15 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EmmaBemma View Post
I do almost exactly as easy does, except that I never touch the tattoo with a towel, even a clean one, until after the clingwrapping stage. I let it airdry on the first day or so after washes, and then pat dry with a fresh roll of kitchen paper.

My first two sessions finished quite late - between 10-11pm, so I kept the initial wrap on all night rather than clean and re-dress before bed. That worked out fine.

The only thing I don't see mentioned here is that I take care to eat well in the days following a tattoo - plenty of protein, fresh fruit and veg, lots of fluids (as I only have long sessions, and seem to lose a lot of lymph each time). Good nutrition is vital for wound healing and from a medical point of view, your new tattoo is basically a big wound.
Totally agree, a quality diet is essential to help out with the healing of a new wound. I find a nice meal after i have had a long session prevents any crash of adrenalin etc and helps you ten fold
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Old 05-12-2013, 09:40 AM   #10
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come on peeps get posting! we all have different methods that work for us so lets tell the peeps how we heal em, good and bad.
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