New Tattoo Care

topic posted Tue, May 23, 2006 - 11:08 PM by  yvette
I just got a new tattoo and before I go out and buy stuff for it, I was wondering if anyone had some homemade care ideas. Specifically I'm looking for care for the first 48 hours and then for the next 48 hours. I've heard calendula cream is good for the second 48, but I don't know anything homemade that is good for the first 48.

posted by:
  • Re: New Tattoo Care

    Tue, May 23, 2006 - 11:20 PM
    Shouldnt your artist tell you this?

    I got a tat in september and I used Dial anti bactierial soap on it. Every four-six hours or so i would wash it gently and pat it dry for the first two days.. I was also told to use non scented lubiderm on it. That really helped. Do NOT scratch at it, no matter what the Voices inside your head tell you.

    Granted these are both products and not homemade, but when you are dealing with a tatoo and the possiblity of infections and the like, I dont think one should fool around.
    • Unsu...

      Re: New Tattoo Care

      Wed, May 24, 2006 - 1:35 AM
      "Granted these are both products and not homemade, but when you are dealing with a tatoo and the possiblity of infections and the like, I dont think one should fool around." have an open wound. i wouldnt treat it with anything experiemental because you could end up with an infection and lose parts of flesh or a limb or get septic and very sick....

      i would ask about coconut oil or raw honey. both antibacterial.
  • Re: New Tattoo Care

    Wed, May 24, 2006 - 2:29 AM
    Hmm, I'm surprsied to hear lubriderm was used as I've heard from a variety of tattoo artists that products with petroleum in them (like lanolin, mineral oil, etc.) cause the ink to bleed prematurely, which is why they say DON'T use baby oil. But then I've also heard tattoo artists swear by Bag Balm which is petro based. :-S

    I agree with directly asking your tattoo artist. They may, in fact, have some great "home based remedy" ideas of their own to share if they hear you want to try to stay natural with aftercare. Good luck and enjoy the experience! :-)
    • Re: New Tattoo Care

      Wed, May 24, 2006 - 6:11 AM
      My artist told me to use a very thin layer of A&D ointment the first 3 days (wipe it on, then wipe it off, leaving just a film of it), then switch to any unscented, uncolored lotion (I used Curel). Wash with Hibiclens. Use sunblock every time you go outside. It worked great for me.
      He said that it's mainly artificial colors and scents that cause tats to fade or bleed. He said that in shower, make sure I leaned forward (my tat is on my low back) when I washed my hair so that the shampoo & conditioner didn't touch it. He said they were deadly for fading....
      I'm learning that just about everyone has a different view on this. But, his recommendations worked great for me.
      • Re: New Tattoo Care

        Wed, May 24, 2006 - 9:41 AM
        Yes, any tattoo artist that doesn't give you aftercare instructions is a bit less than professional. That said, I've been told to use Lubriderm, which worked fine. Some of my tattoos seemed to heal without anything more than a light rinse in the shower.
  • Re: New Tattoo Care

    Wed, May 24, 2006 - 9:39 AM
    I didn't do anything unusual with mine and it's healed beautifully. No special soap. No lotion. For the first two days I washed the area with a tiny amount of soap (I use Chandrika) and with water every two hours. For the next week I washed it twice a day. I didn't put any lotion on it and it hasn't faded at all. I had little to no scabbing and no itching.
    blessings, Gina
    • Re: New Tattoo Care

      Wed, May 24, 2006 - 10:13 AM
      At what point did I say that my artist didn't give me care instructions? Never. I'm a bit taken aback by the suggestion that my artist is less than professional just because I was curious if there were homemade remedies instead of the ones he gave me. Please don't make assumptions; it is much better to ask questions when you're not sure.

      With that said, I do have care instructions and I have friends in the profession that I can turn to. I also have a previous tattoo that looks fantastic after 14 years. Since I've been moving to more homemade care overall, I wanted to see if anyone had any experience with remedies that work. Now I know to just use what I've been told. Thanks.
      • Re: New Tattoo Care

        Wed, May 24, 2006 - 5:54 PM
        At what point did I say that my artist didn't give me care instructions? Never.

        A simple question I asked, as there are tatoo artists that DONT give this sort of information to their clients. I live in Portland where we have a plethora of awesome and professional tatoo artists, but many places arent as lucky as we are.

        It seemed implied in your orginal post that you had no idea what to do with your new tatoo. I figured if you knew , you wouldnt have asked or would have googled it or something. Sorry if any of that train of thought was offensive somehow.

        ANYWAY. Enough said.

        What's the tatoo design?
        • Re: New Tattoo Care

          Wed, May 24, 2006 - 8:22 PM
          In my original message I specifically stated that before I go out and buy stuff for it, I wanted to see if anyone had a homemade recipe. I know what I could buy, but I wanted to check here first to see if I could use a more natural approach. Google doesn't really have as good information about homemade care as I have found on this tribe.

          The design is an Annubis Ankh with WWJD? 3.25.06 under it. WWJD? is for What Would Jesus/Jeremy Do? and the date is for the day of the Capitol Hill Shootings. My friend Jeremy (AKA Dirty Jesus) was killed in the shootings.
          • Re: New Tattoo Care

            Wed, May 24, 2006 - 11:29 PM
            What a great way to remember him.

            I know many people who knew the Chickenhed/Bluehouse crew. My condolences to you.

            I remeber a thread from long ago regarding some sort of balm someone made that had antibacterial properties and such. I have looked and cant find it. So either I havent looked hard enough, or I made it up in my head. That is apt to happen on occasion.
            Anyone recall that thread?
  • Re: New Tattoo Care

    Wed, May 24, 2006 - 10:35 AM
    wow violet that's pretty harsh prognosis! gawd i hope my chest doesn't fall off! hahaha... but seriously, i have had a lot of tats in a lot of places and different areas of the body heal differently and at different rates depending on circumstances....the flowers right under my bra strap area healed REALLY slow and it sucked...some scarring, because of the friction there....but then, the rest of it healed within 3 days, as is normal for me. the first chest peice healed badly because the artist sucked and was too heavy handed, went over it 3 times and it was STILL lame, currently doing a cover-up.

    if i have a 'easy' tattoo (resilient not sensitive skin that is easily protected from friction) i heal in 3 days with no ointments; i would *never* use petroleum based products for the obvious reason that it is petrol based, and i am going to use shea butter on my chest this time 'round. i have used lots of stuff, not found a huge diff with any one thing or another. i will use a light covering with the shea butter and leave it at that. i probably will not use it until my tat starts drying and getting itchy. i always leave the tattoo untreated with anything the first 24 hours after the post-tat gunk is washed off. you could even just use a light covering of jojoba oil and that would be fine. you are not going to lose body parts.
    • Re: New Tattoo Care

      Wed, May 24, 2006 - 11:36 AM
      i worked in a shop for about two years- reception goddess extrordinaire. or something...
      anyhow, any possible method for healing, any product, I have either tried myself or have watched in action. Me and my co-workers tried keeping new tattoos covered in saran wrap for varying amounts of time, second skin moist bandages, a&d ointment, petroleum jelly, lotions with lavender and other skin soothing herbs, plain old unscented lubriderm, etc. etc.
      and the best possible method for healing, in my opinion and experience, is just to leave the tattoo alone.
      your body is designed to heal itself. let it do it's job.
      typically a tattoo with have a few different healing phases- the first one where it throws a lot of heat and a little oozy (right after you get it), the second part where it is drying out, and is still pretty tender (the first 1-3 days), the flakey time (the 2-4 days after that), and the seasoning period, where it heals completely, but your tattoo feels pretty much like the rest of your skin (this actually takes a couple weeks).
      After getting tattooed, I remove my bandage ASAP, wait about 8 hours and then I give it a good wash with lukewarm water and a mild, mild cleanser (something non-soap) to remove any lymph that has accumulated. I follow that up with a splash or two of cold cold water to close up my pores, and let it air dry. After that I don't touch it. At all. Occasionally I have been tattooed in areas that get a little too dry for comfort during the flakey bit, in which case I have been known to use a teensy bit of unscented water-based lotion, just enough to relieve my urge to scratch. That being said, since I started leaving the tattoos alone and abandon use of different products, my tattoos just don't flake up while healing at all, nor do they become annoyingly itchy or do anything I thought was typical of the healing process...
      • Re: New Tattoo Care

        Sun, May 28, 2006 - 5:53 PM
        That's what I do for the most part. This last time I allowed it to air, washed with my neem soap and when it got itchy I used a small amount of organic coconut oil (I have dry skin anyway though.). Other than that I left it alone!
  • Re: New Tattoo Care

    Mon, May 29, 2006 - 11:22 PM
    Yvette, what did you end up using? Did it work? Although I make some healing salves myself, I'd be hard-pressed to come up with one or two things that would work nicely on their own.

    Calendula is definately a good one. Mixed with a little lavender and chamomile, it works wonders!

    • Re: New Tattoo Care

      Tue, May 30, 2006 - 10:13 AM
      I ended up using a type of diaper rash cream for the first two days and then Calendula since. It's been a little itchy the last two days, but other than that it's been healing great!
      • Re: New Tattoo Care

        Tue, May 30, 2006 - 10:26 AM
        and some more advice...

        i have 10 tattoos, and i think i have healed most of them in different ways.

        the last one i got, and the advice from my artist was the best and easiest healing with the least loss of color.

        wash the tattoo 3 times per day for the first 3 days. wash gently with any ole soap and water. is so the plasma doesn' build up, and you don't get a cookie like scab. after washing, gently pat dry and apply a very thin layer of aquaphor. (it's sold in stores by the cetephil and such) on the fourth day, stop washing the tat, even trying no to get it very wet. when needed, apply the thin layer of aquaphor until you are completly healed...which should be in about 3 or 4 more days.

        aquaphor is not natural, but it works SO well. i have seen my lover whose arms and chest are covered in tats use everything from a&d ointment to natural e.o. ...nothing has worked as well as the instructions above for either of us.

        what a beautiful tat you have...commemortive tattoos (i have one for my brother who died 6 years ago) are a wonderful way to remember loved ones forever.

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