Body Creations Ink

After Care Tips

by on Nov.04, 2009, under AFTER-CARE

Tattoo Aftercare Instructions

Do not re-bandage the tattoo.

Do not apply Vaseline, lanolin or petroleum based products.

Do not apply alcohol.

Do not rub, scratch or pick at the tattoo.

Do not expose the tattoo to direct sunlight, swim or soak in sauna, steam bath or bathtub for two weeks.

Be sure clothing touching your tattoo is clean and soft.

A tattoo is considered minor surgery. It may bleed a bit at first but it will stop within a couple of hours. Most artists recommend the tattoo be kept bandaged overnight or for at least two to five hours. Once the tattoo is exposed, wash it carefully in cold water, gently applying antibacterial soap with fingers (never use a cloth) to remove all surface blood.

Rinse with cold water, pat dry with a clean towel, and air-dry for 15 minutes. Then, gently and sparingly apply a thin layer of Tattoo Goo. Repeat 3 or 4 times a day for 7 to 10 days. After 5 to 14 days, the tattoo may start to peel (this is normal ñ like a sunburn) and scab. DO NOT pick or peel the skin away. Let it fall off naturally during washing or application of Tattoo Goo. Fresh skin will soon replace the dead skin. Colors may fade during the process, but will return when healing is completed.

Body Piercing Aftercare Instructions

Cleaning Instructions (Oral Piercing)

Rinse mouth for 30-60 seconds with Blue Wave Saline Cleansing Solution after meals during the entire minimum initial healing time. Do not use more than 4-5 times daily and use it over intervals spaced throughout the entire day. Rinse mouth briefly (10-15 seconds) with Blue Wave Saline Cleansing Solution after you are done smoking, or if you ingest anything except water or clean ice between meals. If you are cleaning too often, the top of your tongue will start to turn a white to yellowish color. Continue to clean your piercing, but reduce the number of times you are cleaning it per day.

What is normal? (Oral Piercing)

Swelling of the area is perfectly normal during the first part of healing an oral piercing. It can be greatly reduced by gently sucking (rather than chewing) on clean ice. Chipped or shaved ice or small cubes are best. The majority of the swelling usually lasts for only 3-5 days.

What to avoid

No oral sexual contact including French (wet) kissing or oral sex during the entire initial healing period, even if you are in a monogamous relationship. (If you had a large cut you would not allow anyone to spit into it! This is essentially the same thing.) Avoid chewing on gum, tobacco, fingernails, pencils, sunglasses, etc., during healing. Don’t share plates, cups or eating utensils. Reducing smoking or quitting is highly advisable when healing an oral piercing. Smoking increases risks and can lengthen the healing time. Avoid undue stress and recreational drug usage.

Stay away from aspirin, large amounts of caffeine, and alcoholic beverages for the first several days. Alcoholic beverages include all beer, wine and hard liquor. These can cause additional swelling, bleeding and discomfort. Refrain from eating spicy, salty, acidic, or hot temperature foods and beverages for a few days.

What is normal? (All Piercings)

Any new piercing can bleed off and on for a few days. There can also be some bleeding under the surface resulting in temporary bruising or discoloration. This is perfectly normal and not indicative of any complication. Some tenderness or discomfort in the area of a new piercing is not unusual. You may feel aching, pinching, tightness or other unpleasant sensations off and on for several days or longer. Don’t be alarmed if you see a fairly liquid, yellowish secretion coming from the piercing. This is blood plasma, lymph and dead cells, which is perfectly normal. Piercing may have a tendency to have a series of ups and downs during healing by seeming healed and then regressing. Try to be patient, and do keep cleaning during the entire initial healing time, even if the piercing seems healed sooner. Once initial swelling is down, having your piercer replace the style jewelry with something shorter. If you like your piercing, leave jewelry in at all times. Even healed piercing can shrink or close in minutes after having been there for years! These vary from person to person, and even if your ear lobe piercing stay open without jewelry your oral piercing may not!

What to do

An over-the-counter, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory such as Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, etc.) taken according to package instructions can reduce discomfort, and it can also help to diminish swelling the first few days. Check twice daily with clean hands to be sure the threaded ends on your jewelry are on tight. To clean hands, wash them carefully with liquid antibacterial soap such as Dial or Lever 2000. If your hands aren’t freshly washed, don’t touch your piercing during the initial healing time!

What To Do


WASH YOUR HANDS prior to touching the piercing

leave it alone except when cleaning. Never rotate the jewelry while healing except possibly during cleaning (in the shower).
Make sure that your jewelry and skin is free from any discharge before you attempt to move the jewelry. Irritation can occur when crusty matter is accidentally forced into the piercing.

Stay healthy! Eat a nutritious diet. The healthier your lifestyle, the easier it will be for your piercing to heal. Exercise during healing is fine, just listen to your body.

Make sure your bedding is kept clean and changed regularly. Wear clean, comfortable, breathable clothing that protects your piercing while sleeping.

Showering is safer than taking a bath, because bathtubs tend to harbor bacteria. If you would like to take a bath, clean the tub well before each use.

Cleaning Solutions

Use the following solutions for cleaning body piercings:
Packaged sterile sea salt solution with no additives (e.g. Blue Wave Solution) OR non-iodized sea salt mixture: Dissolve 1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon of non-iodized (iodine-free) sea salt into one cup (8 oz) of warm distilled or bottled water. A stronger mixture is not better! Sea salt solution that is too strong can irritate the piercing.

Liquid anti-microbial or germicidal soap, such as Provon.

Cleaning Instructions for Body Piercings

WASH your hands thoroughly with anti-microbial or germicidal soap prior to cleaning, or touching on or near your piercing.

SEA SALT soak at least two to three times daily. If using Blue Wave Solution, simply spray and let dry. If using sea salt mixture, invert a cup of warm sea salt solution over the area to form a vacuum for a few minutes. The longer you soak, the better. For certain placements, it may be easier to apply using fresh gauze or a cotton ball saturated in sea salt solution. A brief rinse will remove any residue.

SOAP no more than once or twice a day. While showering, lather up a pearl size drop of the soap to clean the jewelry and the piercing. Leave the cleanser on the piercing no more than thirty seconds, then rinse thoroughly to remove all traces of the soap from the piercing.

DRY with disposable paper products such as gauze or tissues, because cloth towels can harbor bacteria and catch on new piercings causing injury. Pat gently to avoid trauma.

What To Avoid

Avoid undue trauma such as friction from clothing, excessive motion of the area, playing with the jewelry and vigorous cleaning. These activities can cause the formation of unsightly and uncomfortable scar tissue, migration, prolonged healing and other complications.

Avoid the use of alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, Betadine, Hibiclens or healing ointment.

Avoid over cleaning. This can delay your healing and irritate your piercing.

Avoid all oral contact, rough play, and contact with others’ bodily fluids on or near your piercing during healing.

Avoid stress and recreational drug use including excessive caffeine, nicotine and alcohol (oral piercing).

Avoid submerging the piercing in bodies of water such as lakes, pools, jacuzzis, etc. Or protect your piercing using a special water-proof bandage such as Tegaderm, which is available at drug stores.

Avoid all beauty and personal care products on or around the piercing including cosmetics, lotions, sprays, etc.

Don’t hang charms or any other object from your jewelry until the piercing is fully healed.

Hints and Tips

Unless there is a problem with the size, style, or material of the initial jewelry, leave it in place for the entire healing period. A qualified piercer should perform any necessary jewelry change that occurs during healing.

Contact your piercer if your jewelry must be temporarily removed (such as for a medical procedure). There are non-metallic jewelry alternatives.

Leave jewelry in at all times. Even old, well healed piercings can shrink and close in minutes after having been there for years! If removed re-insertion can be difficult or impossible.

With clean hands or paper product, be sure to regularly check the threaded ends on your jewelry for tightness.

Carry a clean spare ball in case of loss or breakage.

Should you decide you no longer want the piercing, seek professional help in the removal of the jewelry and continue cleaning the piercing until the hole closes. In most cases only a small indentation will remain.

Immediately contact your healthcare provider at any signs of abnormal swelling, inflammation, or infection. Do not remove your jewelry if you have signs of infection. The holes must remain open to prevent an abscess from forming. Particular Areas

A hard, vented eye patch (sold at pharmacies) can be applied under tight clothing (such as nylon stockings) or secured using a length of ace bandage around the body (to avoid irritation from adhesive). This can protect the area from restrictive clothing, excess irritation, and impact during physical activities such as contact sports.

Ear/Ear Cartilage and Facial

Use the t-shirt trick: dress your pillow in a large, clean t-shirt and turn it nightly; one clean t-shirt provides four clean surfaces for sleeping.

Maintain cleanliness of telephones, headphones, eyeglasses, helmets, hats and anything that contacts the pierced area.

Use caution when styling your hair and advise your stylist of a new or healing piercing.


The support of a tight cotton shirt or sports bra may provide protection and feel comfortable, especially for sleeping.

Tongue/Lip (Labret)/Cheek

Swelling will normally occur within the first 72 hours. It is important to drink lots of cold liquids and gently suck on ice to help minimize the swelling. Use ice 30 minutes on, 30 minutes off to help keep maximum blood flow.

Don’t share plates, cups, or eating utensils with others. Replace your toothbrush and keep it clean during the healing period. Keep dirty fingers, pencils, sunglasses etc. out of your mouth.

Avoid excessive talking, playing with the jewelry and all oral sexual contact (including wet kissing) during the healing time.

Check that the threaded ends of the jewelry are on securely. Tighten them each day to ensure the jewelry stays in place.

Those with tongue piercing should be cautioned that playing with the jewelry excessively is frequently the cause of reported tooth and gum damage and should be avoided

Body Part Pierced

Time It Takes TO Heal

Ear lobe = 6 to 8 weeks

Ear cartilage = 4 months to 1 year

Eyebrow = 6 to 8 weeks

Nostril = 3 to 6 months

Nasal septum = 6 to 8 months

Lip = 2 to 3 months

Tongue = 4 weeks

Nipple = 3 to 6 months

Belly Button = 6 months to 1 year

Female genitalia = 4 to 10 weeks

Male genitalia = 4 weeks to 6 months

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