Congratulations on your next fresh ink adventure!

 

Once you have the ink in your skin; the care part is up to you!

 

Proper aftercare will dictate whether your tattoo is going to stay just as beautiful, require touching up, or need re-working altogether.

 

We are always available if you have any questions so do not hesitate to ask! That being said! Please make sure you read the guidelines below, lest you the answer is provided.

Here are some guidelines to follow in order to make sure your tattoo heals properly...

 

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Average Healing Time:

 

About 3 weeks depending on the individual's healing rate and whether guidelines are followed.

(Fine Line Tattoos have a tendency to heal more quickly than shading, colour or heavier work, with proper care.)

*(Fresh tattoos should continue to be protected from sun damage for the first month or more of its life until new layers of skin can grow over top of the ink to prevent aging, bleaching or scar tissue formation)

 

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Things to Expect:

 

Flakes/Scabbing (Just a part of the healing process)

As a new layer of skin grows over top the new ink sitting in your skin, it will appear a tad less 'black' or 'pigmented'.

As your tattoo settles into the skin, the lines will soften slightly. This is why a lot of the tattoos we see from 50 years ago are so blurry today. The ink of the time was not as it is now. But don't worry, today's inks are designed for longevity and will only soften so far.

Depending on how the healing process goes, your tattoo may need a touch up. Don't sweat it. Healing related touch-ups are free (...so long as they aren't in excess and due to aftercare neglect).

Your tattoo will likely be a bit puffy, warm and tender after your session. All should recede over the first day of healing. (Ice can be applied to bring down puffiness and aid quick healing so long as their is a clean barrier between the ice and tattoo)

 

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

GENERAL RULES BEST FOLLOWED:

 

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Help Your Body Heal!

 

Keep hydrated, get enough sleep, reduce stress and make sure you are eating well and enough! (Solid rules for every day)

Your Immune System will Thank You & so will your Tattoo!

 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

AT THE END OF YOUR SESSION YOU WILL BE SUPPLIED WITH A 'SECOND SKIN'

to protect your tattoo for the first week or two of healing depending on your project.

 

1. We will place your first layer of second skin for you.

 

So long as the wrap doesn't irritate your skin, you will wear this first wrap for the first 6-7 days.

*(If the wrap irritates your skin at all or starts to come off, you can take it off at any point beyond the day after your session. At this point, you will have to do more work to care for your tattoo.

*READ GENERAL AFTER GUIDELINES FURTHER DOWN THE PAGE FOR WHAT TO DO AFTER REMOVING YOUR WRAP EARLY IF YOU CHOOSE TO DO SO. OTHERWISE STICK TO THE FOLLOWING:

 

EVEN WITH THE SECOND SKIN, YOU WILL STILL NEED TO AVOID: Direct sunlight/Heat:

 

Heat/UV exposure can cause the already irritated skin to become more irritated, inflamed and possibly cause skin damage. (Think sunburn on fresh road-rash. Not ideal.) This means no sun-tanning/tanning beds, hot yoga, saunas, heat lamps etc.

( If you are out in the heat, your tattoo does become irritated or if you would just like to cool it down and help circulation/healing. You can periodically ice your tattoo during the early stages. Just make sure your ice or cold pack is wrapped in something clean and gentle on the skin.)

*With your Second Skin on you will be able to swim and shower etc. since the bandage is waterproof. Just be sure to keep an eye on the edges of the bandage in case they start to lift and let water in.

*It will also help to illuminate some friction from clothes and activities but still be gentle with the area.

*If you find you are in a sweaty environment and moisture starts to pocket or build in excess under the wrap, remove the wrap to allow the skin to dry out to avoid infection or poor healing.

 

 

2. After 7 days, you will then remove the first wrap gently by peeling back one edge and pulling it back against itself:

 

-Next you will gently but thoroughly wash your tattoo and the surrounding area with a gentle soap. (Rubbing/friction may dislodge scabs so be gentle and don't let the skin get soggy)

 

-Pat the tattoo and surrounding area completely dry with a clean towel or paper towel. (Rubbing/friction may dislodge scabs so stick to patting)

 

*(if you are not provided with a second application of the bandage, you can continue from here with moisturizing your tattoo whenever it starts to look dry.)

 

-If you are provided with a second application of the bandage:

Remove the paper backing carefully to expose the sticky side of the bandage.

You'll know the bandage is good to go onto your skin because it is see through, the clear stiffer plastic layer is still on and one sticky side is exposed.

*try to avoid the sticky side coming in contact with anything other than your skin for cleanliness reasons.

 

-Hover the second skin over the tattoo to make sure it is placed where it covers all of your tattoo with an even frame around the tattoo to make sure any edges that start to come up won't expose the tattoo itself.

 

-Once in position gently place the bandage against your skin. Pressing from the center of the piece/tattoo outward to avoid bubbles.

 

-Apply the bandage from the center out or apply pressure in one direction to avoid bubbles (like applying a screen protector on your phone)

*if you do trap bubbles under the wrap, push the bubble away from the tattoo as mucha s possible then cut the tiniest possible hole to let the air out, and press the bandage back into the skin.

 

- Leave this bandage on for another 4-7 days (so long as it doesn't not irritate your skin.)

 

-When you remove the bandage again, do so gently, wash and dry your tattoo again and moisturize if skin is dry until skin returns to normal. Your tattoo should be nearly fully healed, say for some dry/dead skin.

 

*Continue to Protect your fresh tattoo from the sun for as long as possible. The first weeks/months your tattoo is more susceptible to sun damage, after that point you can choose to keep it out of the sun or use sunscreen to keep your tattoo from aging over time and exposure.

 

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

IF YOUR SECOND SKIN BANDAGE IRRITATES YOUR SKIN AT ALL, REMOVE BANDAGE AND REFER TO BELOW INSTRUCTIONS FOR FURTHER CARE

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

FINE LINE WORK GUIDELINES:

 

*Disclaimer: With Fine line tattoos we make a choice between working shallow in the skin in order to achieve the thin lines our clients crave and therefore possibly needing a tiny touch-up here and there depending on how healing goes, or having a thicker than desired line.

Since this is the nature of our fine line work; Healing related touch-ups (unless obviously and excessively neglectful) are free, so we consider this a fair trade.

 

Just follow these instructions as best you can and if you end up needing a line or two touched-up, don't sweat it!

 

1. GENTLY REMOVE THE SECOND SKIN

 

2. GENTLY RINSE YOUR TATTOO: upon removal of the wrap. You can use a gentle unscented soap if need be to gently wash away any residue, plasma, blood, or ink that may have pushed up overnight.

*if your skin is reacting to the adhesive of the second skin, make sure you use soap and do your best to remove any of the residue that may be irritating it.

*In the case of a reaction, be sure to gently wash the area that came in contact with the second skin at least twice a day for the first 2 days after removal to remove residue.

 

3. GENTLY PAT TATTOO DRY WITH CLEAN TOWEL/PAPER TOWEL... and allow tattoo to breath for a bit. Let your skin return to natural dryness after washing before applying aftercare when your tattoo first starts to look thirsty/dry.

 

4. APPLY A THIN LAYER OF COCONUT OIL (or chosen aftercare) whenever the tattoo starts to look dry/thirsty. (ideally about twice a day)

If the tattoo is still within the first 2 days of healing since your session, gently rinse your tattoo before applying aftercare to remove bacteria and old aftercare. If there are no signs of irritation or infection after the 2 day mark, you can skip rinsing before aftercare application.

With clean hands, gently/briefly massage a thin layer of moisturizer over your tattoo (limit friction).

*if you removed your bandage due to a reaction, stick to a light, unscented or hypoallergenic lotion. Apply very thin layers(with clean hands), less often to let the skin breathe. Wash tattoo and surrounding area before each application until your skin is recovered.

 

* FROM THIS POINT ON; SIMPLY KEEP AN EYE ON YOUR TATTOO

 

*ONCE SCABS AND FLAKES START TO FORM, BE WARY THAT EXCESS MASSAGING OR RUBBING CAN DISLODGE THE SCABS. TRY TO LIMIT FRICTION DURING APPLICATION.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

UNDERSTANDING YOUR TATTOO AND HEALING FURTHER:

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Keeping your Tattoo Clean, Cleaning your Tattoo & Over-Cleaning:

 

For the first day or so your tattoo is still fairly vulnerable to picking up infections off of anything from a pair of pants you wore previously while petting your dog, bus and classroom seats, work scrubs and school books or just a hug from a friend or cuddle with your partner.

We also want to be wary of over-cleaning fresh ink not only because of friction and moisture (covered below) but because you can actually create irritation.

 

Limit the majority of rinsing your FINE LINE TATTOO to the first few days as directed.

Thin line tattoos are much smaller 'wounds' and often much less susceptible to infection/irritation so they require a lighter touch and care than a shaded, solid or colour piece. Thin line tattoos usually close up by day two of healing so you don't need to fuss over cleaning your tattoo specifically outside of the incidental rinses when you go to re-apply aftercare or from the shower exposure it will likely get over the next few weeks, unless it comes in contact with something that could trigger irritation/infection, or appears to be irritated.

 

* ( We have provided a step by step walk though of the healing period and the aftercare instructions further along )

 

This also means you need to make sure that the clothes you wear and the surfaces your tattoo will touch are clean and irritant free while your tattoo is still an 'open wound'.

( People love touching tattoos! They just do! So try to keep your friends and family from getting handsy.)

 

* And very importantly; Make sure that you wash your own hands thoroughly before you apply moisturizer to your tattoo.

 

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Keeping your Tattoo Hydrated:

When to Apply, What to Apply and How to Apply...

*If you have an known allergies or sensitivities, make sure your aftercare product choice is free of those allergens.

 

FINE LINE TATTOOS:

 

What to Apply:

 

Our personal recommendation for keeping fine line tattoo projects hydrated during healing is to pick yourself up a jar of coconut oil. Unsweetened, virgin, organic coconut oil. If you have a jar at home that you want to use make sure that the jar in question has only been exposed to clean hands/spoons etc. If you can't guarantee whether your home jar has come in contact with something that may irritate your tattoo, opt for a new jar.

Coconut oil is our choice for a couple of reason;

It aids in the healing process and the faster we lock in that ink, the better.

It is naturally antibacterial, anti-fungal and antiviral.

It's natural, pure and simple.

It's nice and oily so we don't have to reapply it too often (the less we touch the tattoo, the better) but thin enough to allow your skin to breathe.

Tried and True, client's who are on top of keeping their tattoos hydrated with coconut oil often skip the flaking stage altogether.

*Disclaimer: If you have never used coconut oil on your skin before, give it a spot test on the soft skin of your inner elbow. If your skin reacts, opt for a hypoallergenic ointment.

 

Some alternatives that can work as well are:

Unscented Lotions (Hypoallergenic for those with sensitive skin)

Tattoo Goo, Redemption and other common tattoo shop aftercare products (Available at Shopper's Drug-mart etc.)

 

*Avoid: Petroleum Jelly, Vaseline, Scented lotions, even Aloe and other plant based healing aids if you don't know your skin is compatible.

 

When to Apply/How to Apply:

 

Every body is different and not everyone's skin is as dry or well hydrated. Our recommendation is to get in the habit of checking on your tattoo.

Start off by checking on it every half hour to 1 hour (or whenever the thought occurs to you), to see if your tattoo is starting to look at all dry.

If so, wash your hands, then gently apply a thin layer of coconut oil to the area. Massage the oil in very gently as to not disturb any flakes/scabs. You want to apply just enough oil to keep your skin from getting parched as opposed to laying a thick layer of oil that may choke your skin when it should be breathing.

Once you are in the habit of checking on your tattoo consistently you will can gage how frequently your tattoo needs hydrating. It will likely require more moisture after the first few days.

You can stop moisturizing once your skin has gone back to it's natural texture. If you wish to keep hydrating your skin for a few days after that point, I'm sure your skin will be grateful.

 

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Keep your Flakes/Scabs (if any):

 

To reiterate; In a nutshell; your new tattoo is an minor injury like any other scrape or cut and your skin has to heal at it's own pace. And like any wound that we want to heal happily and without leaving scar tissue or any signs of damaged skin, we need the scabs/flakes to stay put until they are ready to come off of their own accord.

Do not pick! Avoid friction on the area altogether to limit flake disruption. Depending on the location of your tattoo, this may mean wearing loose fitted (clean) clothes of a soft or smooth material.

 

DRESS TO ACCOMMODATE YOUR NEW INK:

 

For example; someone who has a new rib piece would want to avoid bra straps, a fresh calf piece means no high socks and a fresh hip piece will want to avoid even underwear if possible. This may mean wearing a long, high-waisted skirt of a soft material. Or at the least make sure the underwear they wear is soft and loose, though such an area as where the waistband of the underwear meets the tattoo will very possibly end up needing a touch-up.

 

AVOID: Friction/Activity/Itching:

 

Most scabs and cuts start to get a bit itchy as they heal. Try not to absent mindedly scratch that itch that happens to be where your new tattoo is. We don't want to lose any scabs/flakes, or irritate the skin any further. If it's itchy, give it a slap :) It looks ridiculous, but it works. Itchiness may also be a sign that your tattoo is getting a bit on the dry side.

As mentioned above! We need those scabs/flakes to stick around. That means no rough clothing, no rough-housing, no repetitive motions around/over the area.

Additionally, make sure you apply your moisturizer to your tattoo gently to limit rubbing anything the wrong way.

(If kept well moisturized and if all guidelines are followed, Fine Line Tattoos can often skip the 'flaky' stage altogether. This is ideal since fine line work sits much more shallow in your skin and with less ink to spare you could lose some flakes and therefore some ink. With Fine line tattoos we make a choice between working shallow in the skin and possibly needing a tiny touch-up here and there depending on how healing goes, or having a thicker than desired line. Healing related touch-ups (unless obviously and excessively neglectful) are free, so we consider this a fair trade.)

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

AVOID: Direct sunlight/Heat:

 

Heat/UV exposure can cause the already irritated skin to become more irritated, inflamed and possibly cause skin damage. (Think sunburn on fresh road-rash. Not ideal.) This means no sun-tanning/tanning beds (not without a cover over your tattoo and ensuring the skin stay at a cool temperature), hot yoga, saunas, heat lamps etc.

( If you are out in the heat, your tattoo does become irritated or if you would just like to cool it down and help circulation/healing. You can periodically ice your tattoo during the early stages. Just make sure your ice or cold pack is wrapped in something clean and gentle on the skin.)

 

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

AVOID: Chemical Irritants/Allergens:

 

Throughout your healing process, your skin may very sensitive and certain chemicals could irritate your tattooed skin and hinder healing, as well as damage the ink itself.

Be wary of what you put on your skin or put your body in until your tattoo is fully healed.

x No Chlorine (i.e Swimming pools, hot tubs, water parks/slides..etc.) until your tattooed skin is 100% back to normal.

x Keep your tattoo away from household cleaning products, scented lotions/soaps, deodorizers, spray tan...etc. Even Sunscreen until your tattoo is fully healed. Just keep your tattoo out of the sun or covered. (If you come in contact with these, gently rinse the product off immediately and keep an eye on any irritation that may follow)

If you are aware of your own sensitivities and allergies, make sure that nothing in your tattoo regimen will expose you or your tattoo.

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

AVOID: Laser/Skin/Hair Treatments:

 

(i.e. laser hair removal, laser dermal procedures) Not only do these procedures often irritate the skin and expose the skin to excess heat, but procedures like laser hair removal function via a laser that is reactive to darker pigments in the skin. I.e. hair, moles...ink. Make sure you go to a reputable source for your treatments and this will be common knowledge for them, and avoid the area surrounding your tattoo entirely until it is healed. Never allow a laser technician to go over your tattooed skin unless you would like your tattoo removed the hard way.

This one should go without mention; No Waxing, Shaving, Electrolysis, Plucking etc. until your tattoo is fully healed. Leave the area be!

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

AVOID: Excess Moisture/Dryness: (Showers/baths/saunas/exercise/etc...)

 

In a nutshell; your new tattoo is an minor injury like any other scrape or cut and your skin has to heal at it's own pace. And like any wound that we want to heal happily and without leaving scar tissue or any signs of damaged skin, we need the scabs/flakes to stay put until they are ready to come off of their own accord.

This means we need to keep your tattoo in the 'Goldilocks' zone: Not too dry, not too moist.

We want to make sure that we allow the skin to breath but also to keep everything well enough moisturized that we either (in the case of thin line tattoos) don't develop scabs or flakes at all! Or that the scabs that form are well enough moisturized to remain flexible as your skin moves and remain adhered to your skin as long as it needs to. If these scabs dry out they can crack and begin to detach. This is why we moisturize our fresh tattoos whenever they start to look like they are getting a tad thirsty/dried out.

The flip side is giving our tattoo too much moisture. Whether that means lathering it in too much ointment, trapping it in a sweaty wrap or clothes, baths, long showers, saunas, steam rooms, hot yoga or prolonged sweaty gym sessions. If the tattoo is kept moist too long the scabs/flakes will become soggy and separate from the skin. If left choked in moisture for too long a tattoo can become irritated and potentially become infected.

If this means skipping the gym, yoga, your after work bath or routine lengthy shower until your tattoo is healed, do it! If need be, swap intensive sweaty exercises for ones that allow you to stay dry. Pat yourself dry with a clean towel regularly if need be.

 

* If your tattoo has been trapped in a moist wrap/clothes/environment...

...Give it a gentle rinse to avoid any bacteria (perhaps with a gentle unscented soap)

Pat it dry gently with a clean towel and allow the skin to breathe and dry until it is back to it's normal state.

If your tattoo appears to be irritated; apply a thin layer of Polysporin and avoid any further damp situations. Allow time for the skin to breath in-between applications of further moisturizer or Polysporin if needed. Keep an eye out for signs of infection.)

 

* Showering with a Fresh Tattoo...

While in the shower; just try and keep water away from the tattoo as much as you can (hold the tattooed limb out or up away from the water as much as you can) If you have an unavoidable tattoo, just make sure your shower is quick and at a moderate temperature to keep the healing tattoo from getting soggy.

Gently pat dry after washing with a clean towel. Allow the skin to breathe and dry for a bit before applying aftercare. (But do not wait so long that the skin begins to look parched)

 

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Infections, Allergic Reactions & Irritation:

 

As explained above, there are a lot of ways your new beloved tattoo can get off track on it's way to being fully healed. 

If you aren't careful with your tattoo or if circumstance deals you a rough and unavoidable card, it's up to you to get on top of damage prevention and if need be, damage control.

If you have any questions about the state of your tattoo, don't hesitate to contact us. For a prompt response in more serious cases make sure you consult a physician quickly. Don't wait for our response since we are unfortunately not available 24/7 and response time can be limited.

Signs of Irritation:

If your tattoo is particularly sore past the first few days

Your tattoo is producing heat past the first 24 hours

The the area is raised or 'sweating' at all.

 

If the irritation is mild you can follow these steps based on the probable cause of the irritation:

Irritation due to excess moisture/dampness:

Remove anything any wrapping, clothing or other materials that may have trapped moisture to the area.

Rinse the tattoo with an unscented or hypoallergenic soap to remove any bacteria build up.

 

If your tattoo appears to be reacting to your aftercare product:

Immediately clean your tattoo of the product and stop using the product altogether.

 

If your irritated tattoo does not show signs of improvement, shows signs of infection or an allergic reaction...

...see your local physician immediately for care instructions specific to your needs. The faster your skin is treated and back to healing, the better, for both your tattoo and your own health and well being.

 

 

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

That's all for now! Until then!!