Tattoos Plus

How Long will it take to heal?

The following piece was written by Gillian, inventor of Tinkture aftercare products that details tattoo healing and aftercare processes…

http://tinkture.wordpress.com/2012/10/30/how-long-does-a-tattoo-take-to-heal/

Preparation…

It is important to ensure you prepare yourself and your body for a tattoo because getting a tattoo is serious business. This image will be on your body for the rest of your life so you want to make sure you give yourself every opportunity to optimise a quality result. Therefore…

You should ensure you are well rested and hydrated prior to your session, so a good night’s sleep is a must the night before.

Drink plenty of fluids. Avoid drinking alcohol 24 hours before your tattoo as this dehydrates you and can compromise a speedy recovery and healing process.

Ensure you do not arrive at your appointment on an empty stomach as doing so can lead to cardiac and circulatory complications. Make sure you’ve eaten something at least a couple of hours prior.

Do not take any drugs on the day of your appointment, as well as the day before as there are chemicals that may alter your blood consistency and clotting ability which can lead to prolonging the tattoo process unnecessarily.

Do not get a tattoo if you have epilepsy, haemophilia or diabetes*.

*Having diabetes doesn’t mean you can‘t have a tattoo, but before deciding to have one done you must be well and ensure that your diabetes is well controlled. High blood sugar levels, for example, can complicate the healing process and increase the risk of infection.

You are obliged to inform your tattoo artist about any allergies or medical conditions (e.g. HIV or Hepatitis) you may have.

Timing…

Remember that most tattoos take some time to complete, so try to manage your schedule so that you are not stressed about having to be somewhere else by a certain time.

Try to avoid booking your appointment just before an important engagement and do not book immediately prior to a vacation that involves lots of sun exposure to your newly tattooed skin. Ideally the same should apply to any period just after a vacation where the skin has sustained sun damage i.e. a tan.

Environment…

There is going to be ink present so wear something that won’t mind a potential ink drip here and there. In addition, try to wear clothes that are loose fitting that won’t rub or irritate your newly tattooed skin. And of course whatever you wear, make sure it’s clean. We promise our artists will also be clean and wearing clean clothes for your comfort!

Once it’s over…

Once your tattoo has been completed, the onus is on you, the client, to take care of your new artwork by following proper aftercare procedures. If you do not properly take care of the tattooed area, it can lead to infection. By attending carefully to your tattoo by following some simple guidelines, it will retain its detail and colour for many years to come.

The first few hours…

Once your tattoo has been completed, your tattoo artist will apply a protective bandage to prevent airborne pathogens from infecting the wound. Leave this bandage on but only for the first three to four hours after your tattoo.

Cleaning…

After you have removed the bandage it is important to rinse the tattooed area gently with warm water. Antibacterial soap can be used but the less you touch and press on the tattoo the better, as this is likely to ensure the ink remains fixed in its correct place. There are several varieties of spray on / no touch antiseptics that lend themselves well to tattoo care but so long as the wound is cleaned regularly, the risk of infection is diminished. Simply pat the tattooed area dry with a clean towel. Do not rub, as this is likely to cause irritation to the wound and may affect the artwork.

It is ok to shower after a tattoo but just avoid prolonged submersion of the tattooed area.

Daily upkeep…

A moisturising product, according to the client’s preference, should be applied to the tattooed area three to four times daily. Keeping a light layer of moisturiser on the tattooed area for a full skin cycle (28 days) is highly recommended, as the tattoo will not heal completely until one full cycle has completed.

At Kakapo Ink we recommend the use of “Tinkture” to facilitate the speedy recovery of your tattooed skin.

The Flakey stage…

Usually by the start of the second week, your tattoo will start to flake and peel off. This is completely normal and natural. Although the flakes may look as though they’re coloured, this is not a sign that your tattoo is peeling off. These are just remnants of ink that stained the topmost layer of skin as the tattoo was being applied to the secondary, or middle layer. Do not pick or scratch the area – this will be difficult but try to be strong – just let the scab flake off naturally.

Finally…

Try to avoid exposure to the sun at all times but especially when your tattoo is new and healing. Remember it will take a full month for your body to run through a full skin cycle and for your tattoo to completely bed in.

Spas, pools and saunas are rich, bacteria breeding grounds so these are best avoided completely until your tattoo has totally healed (at least 4 weeks). While the same could be applied to baths and showers, so long as the submersion is kept to an absolute minimum, exposure to infection is greatly minimised.