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Healing your tattoos 

There’s no absolutely right way to heal your tattoos, just what works for your skin based on the application by your artist. Now, there are wrong ways to heal that can lead to infections, so let’s look at some different methods together and figure it out!

My Aftercare Recommendation:

Keep it clean!

The number one most important part of your healing journey is keeping your tattoo CLEAN. Regular ol’ Dial soap will do it just fine! Scented soaps have a lot of chemicals in them for the perfume so it will irritate your skin, leaving it itchy, stingy, and dry. We don’t want irritated open wounds so gentle soap is fine. The first 3-5 days of your new tattoo are the most imperative because it’s not had a chance to regenerate any of the top layer of skin yet. It is more susceptible to infection during this time. Don’t touch it unless you’re washing it, use clean hands to moisturize it, and be gentle with it during your day to day activities.I personally don’t recommend going to the gym during this time frame because sweat is a natural vehicle for germs, including staphylococcus. And your average gym goer isn’t known for appropriate sterilization of gym equipment between uses.
Cleaning your tattoo after you wake up, and right before you go to bed is a pretty good idea. I would also clean it if you work somewhere that has a lot of dirt particles floating around or if you’re outside in the elements for an extended amount of time. 

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My Aftercare Recommendation:

Keep it moisturized!

Ok this is the part where people get tripped up. For years and years, we’ve been using A&D. I’m gunna go all out here and say: Don’t. Controversial, I know, but don’t. The petroleum base does not make for an efficient oxygen flow, which is how your skin heals. The petroleum tends to trap dirt and germs under the skin, as well, causing cute lil red and white bumps around the tattoo. Popping those, even accidentally can introduce brand new bacteria into the skin and potentially cause a skin infection. Eww. Who has the time?Instead, I like a water based, unscented lotion like Curel, Lubriderm, Aveeno, Jergans, etc…I have plenty of clients that use Aquaphor and have success with that as well. Use a very thin layer, fully rubbed into the skin so no excess is left on top. With clean hands, you just reapply thru the day as needed. I like to mix in a few drops of Vitamin E oil as well to fully color, fully saturated black and grey, or cover up/reworked tattoos as the skin can be a little more traumatized from the session. Vitamin E oil is great for soothing and assisting in healing keloided skin. 

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My Aftercare Recommendation:

DERM

Some artists use a clear, glue and latex application for healing. There are several different brands so you’ll know them by different names: Saniderm, Tagederm, Recoveryderm, View Guard, etc…Like every thing else, every tattooed may have a different way they want you to use this to heal so listen to their advice; This is just how I advise my clients.I apply the derm at the end of the tattoo session. I ask that my client leave it on for 3-7 more days. (I ask that they don’t go to the gym while it is on because sweat gets trapped under the derm.)The client can go the whole time it’s on without worrying about cleaning or moisturizing the tattooed skin. They’re even able to shower with it on. If the derm for any reason is torn, or comes off, exposing any of the tattooed skin, I ask that they remove it the rest of the way, and go back to the soap and moisturizer healing method.When they’re ready to take it off, I recommend getting in the shower and washing it with soap and water as they pull from the edge of the application, constantly working the soap in to help breakdown the derm. After they’re done, we’re back to lotioning the tattoo.  It’s my favorite method of healing heavily saturated and over worked tattoo areas.

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My Aftercare Recommendation:
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