Thursday, September 8, 2011

Aftercare, an important part of owning body art.

     Owning a piece of body art, especially a new piece, comes with a set of challenges and responsibilities.  Many new tattoo owners, and even more new piercees have questions about how best to take care of their new body art.  For tattoos; the process runs for about three to five weeks, involving regular washing with fragrance/dye-free soap and warm (not hot water), and moisturizing with a plain unscented lotion at regular intervals throughout the day.  Keeping a fresh tattoo safe from direct exposure to sunlight will not only help it heal faster, but will keep the crispness of the lines, and the vibrancy of the colors intact.  Also, a healing tattoo needs freely-circulating air, avoid constricting clothing around your tattoo and it will heal beautifully.

     For piercings; the process runs a fair amount longer, typically between six and twelve weeks for most piercings, and most often consists of washing your hands before preparing a saline soak solution (1/4tsp iodine-free sea salt and 8oz of warn distilled water in a clean cup.) and soaking for 5-10 minutes (A longer soak make a piercing happy.), sometimes it's helpful to use a few cotton balls saturated with this warm saline solution to get to those hard-to-reach places.   This is followed by swabbing away the softened secretions/scabs, using a small amount of a mild fragrance/dye-free antibacterial soap helps. Finally; it is important to rinse the saline and soap off very well with fresh, warm water.  Rinsing removes traces of salt and soap from your skin, if salt recrystallizes on the skin; it will become dehydrated and will not heal as well as it should.

      There are many products out there on the market that bring a great degree of convenience and consistency to healing new body art, not all are created equally, and as with everything; one usually gets what one pays for, more expensive does not necessarily mean more effective, or safer, or better, however; a small amount of research into what others have had great success with usually result in upper-shelf products.  Treat yourself to convenience and peace of mind and protect your investment with quality aftercare, usually available at your body art studio, also online, and in specialty stores. It will make the process of healing your new piece of body art more enjoyable.
     It is important to note however, that keeping aftercare products free from contamination is of the utmost importance, hand-washing is a must! If you are using an ointment, be sure to not 'Double-dip', this will prevent  cross-contamination between any bacteria on your skin and the contents of your aftercare container.  When using a spray, or foam; be sure to never touch the nozzle directly as this will keep the contents as clean as can be.

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