LeapZipBlog: J Wu's blog: How to take care of new tattoos?

How to take care of new tattoos?

November 20, 2019 by J Wu  

Mr.Shi tells you aftercare for tattoos. What should you and your guest do to avoid infection? Read this article or watch this video, you will know how to take care of a new tattoo.

Mr.Shi: Why do I need to talk about aftercare? Many guests won’t pay much attention to tattoo aftercare once they leave the tattoo shop after the tattoo is finished, which will cause a series of changes. Actually, the guest should take care of his new tattoo form the very moment he gets out of the tattoo shop. So what is the most important part of tattoo aftercare? The most important is the time when you are making a tattoo for him, instead of aftercare itself. I have heard of many healing problems.
Tattoo aftercare
These healing problems appeared at the moment you are making tattoos for them rather than during the tattoo aftercare. But you didn’t realize it. For example, you didn’t use safe enough tattoo equipment when you are making tattoos. And you never know that. Were the tattoo needles or tattoo tips sterilized? Were they safe enough? The tissues, disinfectant liquids, and cleaning liquid that you use didn’t meet the medical standard? Your tattoo shop environment is not a sterile environment. The other tattoo equipment you use, even the dust, the power lines, the tattoo grips and the clothes next to you may bring germ to the tattoo wound. Our eyes can not see these germs. The skin damage is also a reason. You could not judge how serious the skin damage was when you were tattooing. Actually, you can find something wrong. The tattoo swelled. And the skin had a bit of bleeding which you think is normal. In fact, it means the skin damage had been serious. Even if some skin has been wiped off by you, you can not see the color attached to the tattoo. In a word, the most important thing for tattoo aftercare is whether the hygiene standard matches the high standard of tattoos or not.
Tattoo aftercare
If the hygiene standard is high, it will be easy to take care of tattoos. If not, there still will be healing problems even if your guests take care of tattoos well. Well, I won’t talk much about hygiene today. I will talk more about how to take care of the tattoos. Firstly, the tattoo machine has strong motivation when we are making tattoos. And the needles penetrate into the epidermis back and forth. The tattoo area will become swollen after it is penetrated so many times in such a long time.
Tattoo aftercare
Actually, not only the tattoo area becomes swollen, but also the epidermis will fall off if the needle penetrates too deep, too strong or too many times. Even the tissue fluid inside will continue to flow outside. So the first thing we have to do after the tattoo is done is to reduce swelling. We need to cool the tattoo area down as soon as possible. How to cool down? The best way is to ice it. You had better prepare ice packs. You can isolate tattoo wounds when the tattoo is done. You can use normal plastic wrap to isolate it. After that, we can apply an ice pack to the wound and scroll it. If you don’t scroll it, frostbite will be caused, even in summer. When you scroll it for 15 to 20 minutes the swelling will be reduced a little and the wound won’t heat. The hotter the wound, the more easily for bacteria to grow, the bigger the chance to get infected. First, apply an ice pack to the wound. After the application, the disinfection treatment of it should be carried out. There are many disinfection treatment methods. You don’t have to do this if you have already sterilized every equipment before tattooing.
Tattoo aftercare
If not, then you have to do disinfection treatments. If it is a colorful tattoo, we can't use iodophor. Iodophor is the best disinfection product. Iodophor liquid has dye which will infect the tattoo ink in the skin and cause the ink to shift. Someone use Diluted alcohol. Alcohol has strong irritation, and some people can not bear it. Sometimes tissue fluid will flow out because of irritation of alcohol. You can choose to use alcohol or not. Someone use disinfectant liquids. For example, Gentamycin. You can also apply disinfectant liquids to the wound as long as they have no bad effects on people. Someone uses hydrogen peroxide. You don’t need to apply anything if you have done disinfection during the process of making tattoos.
Tattoo aftercare
Then clean up his tissue fluid first because tissue fluid will flow out after you get the tattoo done. Ok, let me tell you what tissue fluid is and how long it will flow out. The tissue fluid is the yellow water and some bloodshot. The amount of tissue fluid depends on your strength, frequency, and depth during the tattooing process. If you just penetrate into the skin gently the tissue fluid will be a little. And it will be gone within a few minutes. If you just penetrate deep into the skin 2 or 3 times, the flowing of tissue fluid may last more than 10 minutes. If you repeatedly penetrate in one place which will cause subcutaneous tissue structure damage, then tissue fluid will flow out for 2 hours, 3 hours, even 5 hours. As a result, the tissue fluid will continue to flow out and discharge all the inks which are delivered into the kin. I will tell you how to judge it in my later class. So, the time of the flowing of tissue fluid depends on the depth, frequency, and strength when you are penetrating. Generally, tissue fluid will stop flowing within 1 hour. If you don’t clean up the tissue fluid in time, it will solidify and the wound will scab when it meets air. Maybe you find that some tattoos have thick scabs. The places with thick scabs are somewhere the tattooist penetrates too frequently, too powerfully. The places with thin scabs are somewhere the tattooist penetrates gently, shallowly, and lightly. You can know that by seeing the thickness of scabs. So you need to clean up the tattoo area and apply plastic wrap when you get a tattoo done. Then apply ice and scroll it for 15 to 20 minutes to reduce swelling.
Tattoo aftercareIf the tattoo area is too large, you can tell your guest to take some anti-inflammatory pills. If the wound still swells on the next day, you can ice it again. Ice is the best way to reduce swelling. And take some anti-inflammatory pills. A lot of tissue fluid will flow out after you ice it, then you need to clean it up with wet tissues. Wet tissues must be clean and hygienic. Do not use an unsterilized wet wipe, or it will cause second cross-infection Clean tissue fluid up with wet tissues timely. If you clean up it in time, it will form scab after solidification. After cleaning, the tissue fluid will stop flowing out slowly. Some students ask me how long they should keep cleaning. If you can keep cleaning for 2 or 3 hours, it will stop soon. If the guest goes out for a vigorous exercise or the wound keeps moving when you are wiping, there will still be tissue fluid. Don't let it get hot; don't cover it; don't do strenuous exercise; keep it quiet. Tissue fluid will disappear slowly. After we clean up the tissue fluid, if the tattoo area is large, the guest can take some anti-inflammatory pills. He may feel itchy during the tattoo healing. Why is it itchy? If he feels itchy at the beginning of you making a tattoo, then it means he has been infected. Then you must apply disinfectant liquids. You can use medical alcohol, but don't use iodophor. Firstly, you can wash it with hydrogen peroxide, then wipe it with alcohol. Rubbing alcohol can disinfect the wound and ease itching. Some students ask me: “ Can I apply gauze to it when I get the tattoo done?” No, we can't follow the medical steps to wrap the wound. The tissue fluid will be attached to it if you apply gauze. You will destroy your pattern when you tear gauze off. We can adopt another method. You can use a medical wrap. The medical wrap itself contains medicinal properties. It will pack the skin around the wound very tight, and the tissue fluid will be inside the medical wrap. Someone use plastic wrap to wrap it. Under what circumstances do you need to apply medical wrap or plastic wrap? First, the guest needs to go on working, do social media, or go back home after he gets a tattoo. and his tattoo area happens to be underclothes, then you can apply a medical wrap or plastic wrap. Because we need to separate it from the clothes. If the guest just has a rest at your studio or his tattoo is small, and it will heal within 1 or 2 hours, then you don’t need to apply a medical wrap or plastic wrap. Anyway, his open tattoo wound should not be exposed to air. Then his wound will form a thin scab soon. After forming a thin scab, the germs won’t infect the wound. And the tattoo is healing slowly. At that time, you don’t need to use a medical wrap or plastic wrap. You had better not use. It can’t be worse to wrap the wound with gauze. Don’t do that. Since gauze will destroy the tattoo pattern that we just have done.
Tattoo aftercare
Let’s make a conclusion, we need to disinfect the skin, ice the wound, and clean up the tissue fluid. Then make it naturally dried. If there is no wind, you can blow it with a weak cold wind. And ask the guest to take antibiotic medicine. This method is actually very practical. We have tried it for years. So you guys can also have a try. I will tell you another method. A new method to deal with the tattoo wound. After you finish making the tattoo, disinfecting the skin, icing the wound, and naturally drying tissue fluid, then apply plastic warp or medical wrap to the wound. And tell your guest to take off the plastic wrap or medical wrap when he is back home. Then use a clean wet tissue to clean the tissue fluid up. After that, he needs to disinfect the skin again with hydrogen peroxide, rubbing alcohol or gentamicin. Other disinfectant liquids are also fine. But do not have a disinfectant liquid with pigment. After disinfection, just dry it. If it is swollen, you can tell your guest to scroll ice packs or ice drink can on the wound. Ice packs and drink can be wrapped with plastic wrap. If the tattoo area is large, he can take antibiotic medicine to reduce tissue fluid. Someone asked:” Can I take a shower?” Of course, he can take shower. I once met a funny guy. A guest came to my studio. He said:” Mr.Shi, I have got a chest tattoo 4 days ago. Can I take a shower? It is too hot.” He smelled stinky. People can surely take a shower after getting tattoos. Because the tattoo wounds are not very deep. Needles just penetrate into the epidermis. We can take several measures when taking a shower. If the tattoo wound is neither deep nor large, you can tell your guest not to apply shower gel, soap or other chemical liquids on it. Just let water drip the wound, and water cannot be too hot. Don’t pour water on the tattoo area. He can also apply a medical wrap or plastic wrap to the wound if he doesn’t want his tattoo to be exposed to water. He can also apply vaseline to the wound and remove it after the shower. These can prevent water vapor from entering the wound. But he must disinfect his wound after the shower and dry it. Keep in mind, disinfect, dry, ice, and clean up the tissue fluid. But don't cover the tattoo area. Some guests deal with the wound very well, but they cover the tattoos with the quilt when they sleep. Next morning, they will find the scabs become thick. The tattoo areas are swollen and tissue fluid is flowing out. They are afraid that tattoos go wrong. If they cover their tattoos in the evening, and the tattoos will heat up, and the tissue fluid can not be coagulated without air. So the tissue fluid will flow out again. And the scab becomes thick if you don’t clean up. That is how tissue fluid comes out. So tell your guests not to cover their tattoos when they sleep. If the tissue fluid flows out the next morning, just disinfect it, ice it, and dry it again.  Someone asked me:” Can I take antibiotic medicine by myself?” Of course not. If your guest needs to take antibiotic medicine. He must listen to his doctor. As a tattoo artist, you cannot willfully tell your guests to take antibiotic medicine. Someone may be allergic to antibiotic medicine. Or, you will get in trouble.
Tattoo aftercare
In a word, the hardest thing to do tattoo aftercare is that the guest is out of your shop. He may meet a series of problems that will cause infection and complications. But he will attribute this responsibility to his tattoo artist finally. So the tattoo artist must tell the customer the aftercare method in detail and keep on telling him. You need to exhort him not to do strenuous exercise after he leaves your studio. Don't let other objects, even the clothes, rub the tattooed area. Some tattoos are placed in the joints. If your joints keep moving, the wound continues to squeeze back and forth. Then the wound will heat up and be inflamed and tissue fluid flows out. And the wound is hard to heal. So tell the guests not do strenuous exercise or expose the tattoo in the sunshine. It is forbidden to take a bath, go swimming, and take a sauna. since these will cause infection.
Tattoo aftercare
On the diet, don’t eat the foods which can promote blood circulation or increase body heat. For example, don’t drink alcohol, eat spicy or allergic food. They are forbidden and we must restrain. If the guest eats some dark foods after he just gets a tattoo, then tattoo ink will shift when his tattoo heals. For example, if you get a trauma, you need to eat bland foods before you recover. If you eat dark foods, such as coffee, soy sauce, a long time later, you will notice that your scar looks dark. Someone’s scar looks white. Someones look dark. Actually it is related to the dark foods you eat. Generally, if the tattooists make tattoos in the right way, a thin scab will cover the wound within 3 days. And it takes about 5 days for a thick scab to cover the wound. After that, a scab needs 7 to 15 days to fall off. I mean some parts begin getting rid of scabs 7days later. Some special parts, such as the ankle bone, feet, need more time to get rid of scabs. They may need 15 days or so. How to get rid of scabs? We generally ask the customer to get rid of scab naturally. So let that scab sit there. Eventually, it will fall off by itself. If you pick or pull at the scab, you can undo the repair and rip your skin again, which means it'll probably take longer to heal. What’s worse, the color difference will be greater. So don’t pick or pull at the scab during healing. Just leave it alone and it heals itself. Some scabs will crack because they are too thick. Especially the scabs in some joints, the carrier will feel pain if he touches them. He may feel itchy too. We can use some liquids to soften it if a scab is too thick and hard. Aloe vera gel and skin cleansing solution are good choices to soften it. So the scab won’t be hard and it won’t crack or cause pain. If a guest gets a tattoo in some joints, the scab will crack when his tattoo area moves back and forth. One and half months later, the scab falls off and his tattoo heals completely, he will find his tattoo has many cracks. And these cracks seem to not get inked. Well, let me make a conclusion now. Don’t pick the scab. Don’t do strenuous exercise. Scab can be softened. Let it fall off itself. If the guest scratches his tattoo, there will be a think scab. If the scab continues to grow, finally, the tattoo won’t look natural. The guest may feel itchy after he gets a tattoo. I have said several reasons why he feels itchy. If he feels itchy as soon as he gets it, that’s because he has been infected. If he feels itchy during the scab healing, the biggest reason is an infection. So he must disinfect the wound when it’s forming a scab. Even if a scab has formed, he can also apply disinfection liquids. Because germs may enter the wound through the cracks. When the scab is falling off, he may feel a little itchy. At that time the tattoo pigment is adapting to the subcutaneous tissue. Don’t scratch it when it is itching. You can tell him to take Antiallergic drugs if it is too itchy. If he scratches it, it will be swollen. There will even be a lump.
Tattoo aftercare
 If it is swollen, it may be a rejection reaction. Rejection reaction occurs when the pigment is rejected by the macrophage. The pigment is considered as “invasive species” by his immune system. In the process, the heavy metals in the pigment conflict with his immune system. Generally, the ejection reaction has 2 types. Type 1 is that the wound just itches. In this case, he needs to take medicine. then the wound will recover by itself. But it will take a long time. Even years. Type 2 is more serious. It will always be swollen which may cause pus. It is much more serious. We must deal with it carefully. I will tell you these details when I talk about complications in the future. Remember not to scratch it when it itches. It can be treated with some irritating drugs. Or take medicines, for example, Loratadine which can prevent it from itching temporarily. A month or one and a half months later, I will ask my guest to come back to my studio. Why do I do so? Generally, I will take a photo of the pattern before I make it. I will take a photo of the tattoo when it is done. A month or one and a half months later, I will take another photo. Why do I take photos? Because I want to make a comparison. So I need to remember the pattern I see, and the effects I make at that time. Only I know what tattoo needle skills and tattoo machine skills I have used. When it recovers finally, I will compare it with the effect at that time and the original tattoo draft. If you do so, you will find many problems. Many problems. Such as the line, the color, the shading, and rejection reaction. You will feel strange. Why do these questions occur? That is because you don’t have enough tattooing experience. Because the tattoo you have just done is not the same as it recovers. The original effect you see is not the one after the tattoo recovers. They are different. You need the experience to make it perfectly. After comparison, you will know the tattoo looks this is due to the tattoo techniques you use at that time. You will modify and adjust your method next time. The tattoo you make at that time may be totally different from the original one. But it may look similar to the original after one and a half months of recovery.

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