All the information found here is taken from the Black Moon Tattoos website and is the advice that we give out to all clients at the studio.
Please leave the dressing we applied after your tattoo until you have a shower. We have cleaned and sterilised the area repeatedly during the process and again after the tattoo has been completed, and the dressing will prevent any dirt or germs entering the tattoo site.
The moment you unwrap your tattoo it is open to all outside contaminants so please be very careful when removing the dressing.
You may shower to clean the tattoo on the evening of your appointment, please leave it at least 3 hours before removing the dressing.
DO NOT soak it in a bath.
If a lot of fluid forms under the dressing or it is a very hot day and you are sweaty, it is better to clean it sooner rather than later.
CLEANING YOUR TATTOO DAYS 1-3
Clean your tattoo with unperfumed soap (Carex or Dove are good) and just use your hand, make sure you get rid of the layer of gunk (plasma and excess ink) that has formed on the top. It will sting, but it is really important to remove it all or it will cause a heavy scab.
When the tattoo is clean you may pat it dry with kitchen roll (not a towel or anything that will leave bits of tissue stuck to it) OR allow to air dry with no clothing over it for 10 minutes.
DO NOT allow it to come into contact with animals, pet hair, clothing or furniture that could transfer germs onto the site.
Once the area is dry, re-apply fresh cling film to keep the tattoo clean, wrap it firmly but not so tight that it cannot breathe. You do not need to put any cream on the tattoo whilst it is wrapped, doing both could cause the tattoo not to be able to breathe and lead to irritation.
REPEAT this process two times a day for 48 hours (2 days).
On the morning of day 3 you need to clean the tattoo again, but you DO NOT NEED TO REAPPLY CLING FILM.
CLEANING AND CREAMING YOUR TATTOO DAYS 3-14
After you clean your tattoo on day 3 the fluids being released should have stopped and you can dry the tattoo and simply apply a barrier cream.
We recommend Butterluxe or Palmers Solid Cocoa Butter (comes in a tub not a bottle). We also recommend Hustle Butter, Penny Black Aftercare and Sorry Mom's Aftercare, all available to buy online.
You should continue to clean the tattoo twice a day and apply cream 2 times a day. If it is dry or itchy apply a thin layer of cream up to 4 times a day in total.
You do also need to wear loose fitting clothing over your tattoo for two weeks or until it is healed. This means no tights or leggings, bras that rub on the area, heavy work boots or wellies that may rub and cause irritation etc.
OTHER IMPORTANT THINGS TO REMEMBER
When you leave the shop your tattoo is cleaned, sterile and has not been exposed to any kind of germs or dirt, this means anything you do to the tattoo after you leave is your responsibility. Infections caused by poor aftercare or badly healed tattoos are not our responsibility and we cannot offer touch up’s for free in this circumstance. SO PLEASE LOOK AFTER YOUR NEW TATTOO!
You must not swim or expose your tattoo to sunlight until it is fully healed.
We recommend factor 50+ on healed tattoos as sun exposure can bleach tattoos.
We do not recommend any other type of aftercare, we cannot guarantee good healing if you do not follow our advice.
DO NOT allow your animals to come into direct contact with a fresh tattoo.
We offer a full Aftercare Pack and Aftercare Barrier Cream by Butterluxe at the studio, as well as a Quick Healing Guide. Please feel free to ask about these when you are getting your tattoo.
We want to try and educate clients on the best practices to avoid contaminating fresh tattoos with bacteria during aftercare.
Recently the issue of ‘Sepsis’ commonly known as blood poisoning has been in the media a lot, partly due to soap opera storylines about how getting a simple graze on your knee that you don’t clean properly turns into an infection at the site and eventually into potentially fatal sepsis or septic shock.
This kind of hygiene awareness is so important in hospitals, in day to day life but also in the tattoo and piercing industry.
We do everything in our power to ensure that you leave the studio with a perfectly clean, sterile, disinfected tattoo or piercing, tattoos are wrapped in sterile dressing and we then provide you with all the instructions needed to properly heal your tattoo.
We also offer a first day cleaning pack and Butterluxe antibacterial aftercare balm at £5 each.
Infections are very rare, and hardly ever picked up from tattoo studios or their equipment directly, especially not reputable ones like ours! This is because of the amount of disinfectant and antibacterial products used, we can confidently eliminate the possibility of bacteria growing anywhere that the tattoo is exposed to. You can rest assured that all of our equipment is single use for each client & disposed of in a clinical waste bin, machines and power units are sterilised after every client with medical grade disinfectant and an autoclave and all furniture and surfaces are double protected with fresh plastic wrapping and medical disinfectant after every client.
Infections are most commonly picked up after you unwrap your tattoo, in your own environments at home. Bacteria is commonly present on bathroom towels, clothing, skin, furniture and in pet hair, dander and saliva among other places. So we can do our bit to ensure you leave us with a perfectly clean and sterile tattoo, and the rest is up to you!
The point of making you aware of this risk is not to scare you, but to help encourage best practise when taking care of your new tattoo. It is extremely rare for tattoos to become infected, but arming every client with the knowledge and tools to prevent it is the best way to ensure that it happens as rarely as possible!
This is why we are overly cautious, and why we are constantly cleaning your tattoo during the process with medical grade soaps and disinfectants, and why we continue to clean it obsessively before we actually wrap you up! We aren’t just wiping it more at the end to cause more pain, we are trying to give you the best possible chance of a good healing environment!
WHERE YOU MIGHT PICK UP AN INFECTION
Animal hair, dander or saliva. Unclean hands used for cleaning or creaming the tattoo, Fibres and bacteria from bed linen, furniture, bath towels and flannels etc. Bath tubs, swimming pools, saunas and the sea. You may also pick up infections from bacteria living on your own clothing, especially tight fitting clothes over open tattoos. Tattoos can become infected if the wrong aftercare balm or soap is used and aggravates it, or from picking or itching healing tattoos.
Bacteria grows everywhere, and it only takes a very small amount to get into your open tattoo (and not be cleaned away properly) to multiply and develop into an infection.
We have information on the signs and symptoms to look out for in our 14 day aftercare guide.
Remember that bacterial infections are VERY rare, especially if you take good care of your tattoo so don’t panic about every little thing, some things are part of the normal healing process. That is why we have the 14 day aftercare guide to check what is normal and what isn’t!
We now offer a first day cleaning care pack at Black Moon, which we highly recommend you purchase. It’s £5 for the basic cleaning pack and £10 with aftercare balm included.
Purchase of these packs is not compulsory, but if you choose not to we do ask that you sign a consent form saying that you opted out of this offer.
We also always provide a 14 day aftercare guide, PLEASE read it carefully it is very important. Yes there is a lot of information in there, but it has the basic steps for cleaning and healing your tattoo as well as plenty of in depth information on what to look out for and how to care for your tattoo long term too!
You might also be surprised to know that if you are unwell or have recently been unwell or run down your tattoo could take a lot longer to heal due to a drop in your immune system response. Being unwell could also lead to an infected tattoo, so please be honest with us about your recent health and we will advise you on how best to treat your new tattoo.
You can use supplements such as vitamins C & A to help your skin and body heal quickly, and garlic and echinaecea which are powerful antioxidants and excellent immune system support. Zinc is also a useful supplement when encouraging healthy tissue repair in skin.
Eating lots of protein and drinking plenty of water leading up to and after your tattoo session is also really helpful for effective healing.
In short, please do ever not think that the tattoo process is complete when you leave the studio with your new tattoo clean and wrapped, it is really just beginning! The moment you unwrap it that evening you allow foreign contaminants to enter the tattoo site. Be as careful as we are. The healing process is JUST as important if not MORE important than the tattooing process.
For more information on healing tattoos, head to authoritytattoo.com/tattoo-healing-process or email me on firstname.lastname@example.org. If you'd like more information on sepsis, visit sepsis.org/sepsis-and/prevention/wound-infection-care.