Posts Tagged ‘Tattoo Goo’

Tattoo and Piercing Aftercare Product Contradictions

Tattoo and Piercing Aftercare Product Contradictions

I get a lot of email asking about tattoo and piercing aftercare, and people wanting to know why there is so much contradiction from one studio to the next when it comes to bodyart healing. Admittedly, it can be quite confusing. However, there are legitimate reasons why there are so many different opinions out there, and this article will explore those reasons.

Many tattoo aftercare sheets recommend washing with anti bacterial soap and treating with A or Bacitracin Ointment for 3 5 days, and then following that up with skin lotion. Some will tell you that Bacitracin is a no no, and just to keep the tattoo clean and use a little lotion. Then there are companies out there that make products such as Tattoo Goo and Tattoo Lube that take out all the guessing work and claim their products are designed specifically for aftercare and are superior to any other ointments. There are so many different opinions out there, what is one to do?

The many different instructions are not just arbitrary guesses by people that know little or nothing about tattoos. Aftercare directions are designed by professionals with years of experience and who have probably tried several methods of aftercare before coming to a professional conclusion as to what is best. So, why is there such contradiction?

The first thing to consider is local availability. Not all products are available in every area, so you are limited to certain products. And also, people in lands across the world all have varied skin types which will react differently to these available products.

Through the years, as medical technology improves, new products have become available that are better than what was once considered the best method of aftercare. Petroleum jelly was once one of the most largely used products it was highly available, inexpensive, and seemed to do the job fairly well. What has been found since then, though, is that petroleum based products tend to drain the color from a tattoo and also have no healing agents.

Then, along came the over the counter triple anti biotic ointment, Neosporin. It had a healing agent that was good at fighting infection, and it didn’t pull the color out of tattoos like petroleum jelly. After a few years of Neosporin being the 1 product recommended for tattoo aftercare, it soon became apparent that it was falling short of its expectations. Several people were coming up with allergic reactions to the ointment, and were getting tiny red bumps on their tattoos. After these red bumps disappeared, they took the ink along with them and the customer was left with a “spotted” tattoo.

More recently, a new product showed up on the shelves. Bacitracin. Bacitracin showed promising advantages over Neosporin. Fewer people were breaking out with allergic reactions and the coloring results were beautiful. Even to this day, Bacitracin remains one of the most highly recommended products. So, why doesn’t everyone recommend it?

Bacitracin, good as it may be, still has its failings. There are still people having reactions to it, even though the numbers are fewer than with Neosporin. One of the main symptoms of a Bacitracin reaction is a “weeping” tattoo one that leaks a small amount of fluid from the wound even several days into healing. Some people just don’t take well to anti bacterial ointments. If this is the case with you, what else is there?

Tattoos and Tattooing

Tattoos and Tattooing

Tattooing has been around since ancient times. Today, the Mayo Clinic reports that as many as 20 million Americans are tattooed.

Permanent tattoos are applied by injecting color pigments (the same color additives used in cosmetics which are monitored by the FDA) into the skin using a solid, round tip needle attached to a motorized instrument that holds up to 14 needles attached to the pigments. Most tattoo artists use an electrically powered, vertical, vibrating instrument to inject the tattoo pigment. The pigments are injected into the middle layer of the skin at a rate of 15 to 3,000 times per minute.

A tattoo is forever. If you decide that you want a tattoo, know exactly what you want before you find a studio. After you have decided, you will need to find the right artist to do the work. Choose someone with a good reputation or someone whose work you have seen on your friends or other people.

Remember, just because a tattoo parlor is in business doesn’t mean it is maintaining safety and sterility precautions. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that gangrene, syphilis, tuberculosis and HIV are just a few diseases you could contract from contaminated instruments. To avoid these risks, ask to see a state license and accreditation from The Alliance of Professional Tattooing (or a similar organization). Look for basic equipment like germicidal soap, needle buckets, proper disposal containers, packaged gauze with the sterility intact and disposable gloves. The studio should also be equipped with an autoclave, a device that pressurizes instruments and kills viruses or bacteria. Finally, look for single use or disposable needles (single use are preferred).

Do not get a tattoo if you are sick or not feeling well. Also, make sure you’ve had food and rest. Getting tattooed on an empty stomach may cause you to feel faint, nauseated or dizzy. Do NOT take pain killers like aspirin, ibuprofen and anesthetics, which may possibly cause cause problems like increased bleeding.

Do not get tattooed under the influence of drugs or alcohol. It is extremely dangerous for your health and tattoo.

If not properly cared for during the first two weeks, the area has the potential for infection and scarring. Follow these steps to promote a healthy tattoo:

Remove the bandage after 4 to 12 hours, depending upon the size and location of the tattoo. Do NOT re bandage. Wash your tattoo with warm water and an antibacterial, unscented soap. Gently pat dry with a clean towel. Apply a thin layer of triple antibiotic ointment or a product designed specifically for tattoo aftercare (Tattoo Goo, H2Ocean and Tat Wax are just a few).

Use the same ointment three or four times per day during the first two days after cleaning the area. Also apply a thin layer of unscented water based lotion each time (oil based lotions like Vaseline will burn). Make sure your hands are completely clean before touching the tattoo. Apply the ointment and lotion three to four times daily for the next two to three weeks.

The normal healing time for a tattoo is two to four weeks. Do NOT pick or scratch your tattoo. Flaking or peeling is a natural part of the healing process.

Do not soak your tattoo during healing. That means no baths, hot tubs or pools.

Keep your tattoo out of direct sunlight while it’s healing.

Tattoos do fade over time, so moisturize your skin with lotion to keep the colors fresh.

If you have a tattoo but would like to get rid of it, there are various methods of tattoo removal. The removal method depends upon the pigment used, the amount of time the tattoo was on the skin, size, location and whether or not it was done professionally. It is important to remember that it costs more to remove a tattoo than to apply one and is not covered by most health insurance companies. Finally, total removal of a tattoo is not always possible. Your options for removal include surgical removal, dermabrasion, salabrasion or laser treatment.

Ask Your Physician

Please consult a physician at any sign of infection or allergic reaction, and report any infection or allergic reaction to the tattooist and your State Department of Health.