Why aftercare is important

Tattoo aftercare is arguably the most important step of getting a tattoo as it dictates how well your tattoo will heal. If you don’t look after your tattoo in the healing stage, it can cause problems further down the line.

So what is aftercare?

Aftercare is the ‘treatment’ of your tattoo after it has been done. Your tattoo is an open wound and should be treated as such, which many people don’t think about.

Getting a tattoo means you have just been stabbed with a needle hundreds of times for the ink to go into your skin, and it bleeds, which makes it an infection risk. This is why aftercare is so important, and looking after your new tattoo is not a complicated process, but a vital one if you want your tattoo to be healthy and look great.

If you don’t follow your tattoo artists advice on aftercare, the quality of the tattoo could be affected. Your artist should always go through the aftercare with you on how to correctly look after your tattoo. 

What’s your advice?

Generally, most tattoo aftercare is the same, but different product brands are used for helping it heal.

Here is our aftercare advice:

  1. Leave the dressing of the tattoo on for a minimum of 4 hours or overnight if possible.
  2. Remove the dressing carefully!
  3. Wash the area gently with hot water (as hot as you can stand) with non perfumed, antibacterial soap until the tattoo has stopped feeling slimy.
  4. Rinse well and pat dry the area with kitchen towel or a clean towel. Do not rub the area.
  5. Once dry, dab on some of your choice of professional tattoo aftercare balm/cream. Do not rub in excessively as this can cause unnecessary trauma to the tattoo. We have balms by The Aftercare Company available to purchase for just £2.50 in the shop.
  6. Continue doing steps 3 – 5 two or three times a day for the next 3/4 days. Do not excessively clean the tattoo more than recommended.
  7. After day 4 you can stop using your aftercare product and switch to a non-perfumed moisturiser to help keep the tattoo soft and supple.

As expected, your tattoo will continue to seep fluid or ‘plasma’, which is normal for an hour or two after the tattoo. This can make the wrapping of the tattoo a bit messy, but it is important to leave the wrapping on for the recommended time. Make sure you always wash your hands before you begin cleaning your tattoo!

How will I know if my tattoo is infected?

While this isn’t a common thing, it still needs to be addressed. If your tattoo is infected you may get some irritating and painful symptoms. If you are worried and think your tattoo is infected always seek a medical professional. Here are symptoms of what might very well be an infection:

  • Heat & Redness – It is normal for your tattoo to be warm a couple of days after tattooing but it should never be hot. Likewise with Redness, if your tattoo has a red haze around it after a couple of days this is abnormal.
  • Discharge – Infected tattoos often have some sort of discharge coming from the area. Sometimes it could be clear yet golden in colour, or could come in white, green or yellow pus.
  • Odour – If your tattoo has discharge and a strange odour, it’s probably infected.
  • Blistering/Abnormal Scabbing – This can occur on top of the tattoo and come as red bubbled blisters or raised sores. Abnormal scabbing can also form over the tattoo, making it thick and bulbous.
  • Pain – If you are experiencing extreme pain with your tattoo over the next few days then it is likely infected.
  • Swelling – It is completely normal for your tattoo to swell, however if it increases in swelling over the next few days instead of decreasing in size then this could be a sign of infection.
  • Streaking – If around the area of your tattoo is red and small red lines start forming, then this is called streaking. If you notice signs of streaking in your tattoo, seek medical advice immediately as it could be a sign of blood poisoning.
  • Fever – If your temperature increases even by a small amount over the next few days, this could be a sign of your body battling the infection. 

Unfortunately, even if you are very diligent and follow the aftercare to the tee, you may still get an infection, although it is not common. There will be times in everyday life where you go to the hospital to visit someone and get an infection or virus just because you cannot control outside influences. All you can do is keep your tattoo as clean and healthy as possible to give it the chance to live its best life by following the recommended aftercare.

Any more good advice?

Some other good things to know while you’re in the process of healing your tattoo:

  • Wear loose clothing around the area if possible, for example, if you have a new leg tattoo try not to wear skinny jeans until it is fully healed to stop unnecessary rubbing and trauma to your new ink.
  • Do not pick or scratch at your tattoo and try not to touch it unless you are washing it.
  • Do not let other people or animals touch or lick your tattoo either! 
  • Do not soak the area. Showers are the best idea while healing your tattoo, but if you don’t have a shower, keep the tattooed area out of the bath. 
  • The same goes for swimming and saunas. Don’t go swimming, and don’t go out in the sun or on sun-beds until your tattoo is fully healed. Even then, make sure to always have UV protection on your skin, preferably Factor 50 to keep your tattoo vibrant.
  • Generally, we don’t recommend the gym or any strenuous activities whilst the tattoo is in its healing period.

Parting wisdom

We want you to have a great tattoo that will look good for years to come. You pay a lot of money to have some great artwork, so treat it right when its settling in.

Remember that these are guidelines for tattoo aftercare and all bodies are unique and heal differently. If you are ever unsure about your aftercare, contact us and we will be happy to help! You can contact us on 01332 204240 during opening hours or email us at octopustattooderby@gmail.com.

If you are ever seriously worried about having an infection, do not wait to hear from us but seek medical advice and treatment immediately.

 

 

Tattoo’s and Scarring

Throughout your life you may have racked up a few scars over the years from various things such as terrible accidents, surgical scars, or even just silly happenings. I for one have a long scar in my armpit from being overly vigorous when shaving my armpit, and one strange ‘V’ shaped scar on the top portion of my middle finger where I got it caught in a toaster!

Many people don’t think that they are able to convert their scars into a tattoo but it’s becoming increasingly popular to not just accept them as they are, but embrace them and sometimes develop them into a continuation of the story or memory that the scar left to begin with.

Credit: David Allen, Tattoo Artist @ Pioneer, USA.

 

There has been some fantastic work produced by tattoo artists all over the world who create beautiful or funny situations out of a terrible happening; Breast cancer survivors who have undergone a mastectomy who have chosen to get  tattoo’s over their scars to reclaim their bodies and to have a beautiful reminder that they are strong, they endured, and they survived. There’s been many clients who have had amputations and chosen to create funny artwork on their limbs, someone has even had a toe amputated and got a tattoo referencing that the little piggy went to market!

The possibilities are endless, and a good artist will want to create a special piece for you to fit your body, and incorporate your needs as a client. 

 

How long will it be until I can get a Tattoo?

Depending on the scarring, it can take around 12 to 18 months for a scar to fully heal. The best piece of advice is always check with your doctor/GP/surgeon before beginning the process of getting a tattoo over scarring, as it will always differ per person and per injury. To further help with healing, drinking plenty of water every day will help with hydrating the skin and the regeneration of cellular tissue. You can also try using BioOil on the scarring, as long as you have the go ahead from your Doctor.

It all depends on what the scarring was from. That being said, you should always have a consultation with your artist of choice to discuss everything regarding the scarring, so both parties are aware of the expectations of the tattoo.

 

Will it hurt?

All tattoo’s hurt to some degree, depending on your own pain tolerance and placement of the tattoo. Scar tissue is no exception, as it is a lot more sensitive than regular skin. 

Pain is relative, but beauty is pain, right?

 

How will it look?

Depending on your artist and design of tattoo and the actual scarring, it all depends. It’s always best to do your research on an artist, ask them questions about their previous work, if they’ve tattooed someone with scarring before and the outcome of that piece. Prepare, prepare, prepare. Do your homework and you’ll be much happier with the outcome instead of finding someone who is a back alley tattooist, is quick and cheap and puts you in a lot of pain to end up with something you hate in a couple of weeks time. 

Generally, if your scars are still more pink than white in colour, they required a little more healing time, and this would need to be taken into consideration with how it would affect the outcome of the design. 

Different scarring will alter the tattoo. If you have small stretch marks that are white or silver, the tattoo will look differently compared to when it’s on large bright pink or red stretch marks, so these factors need to be brought into consideration when you are having a consultation with your artist.

There are also other factors to consider such as how deep the scarring goes, if it’s from surgical or self harming wounds which will be a lot deeper than stretch marks. These will also need more time to heal from the inside out, so the longer you can let your scars heal before tattooing, the better. 

Check out Mat’s work on this lovely gentleman who came into us with some bad keloid scarring over his shoulders and back, which you can see is still pink in colour. He worked his magic and worked closely with the client to create something both of them were happy with, and from the result, you can see it worked perfectly and was a job well done! Having pinker scarring does not necessarily mean that it cannot be tattooed, but should be taken on a case by case basis.

 

How do you tattoo over scarring?

Tattooing over scarring can be very difficult, which is why we will stress that you should do your homework and consult your doctor and chosen artist beforehand. The ink can blur and alter the design of the tattoo if not careful by choosing the wrong type of design or artist for the job.

Finding the right artist for the job is the key to creating a design that you are proud of and having a quality tattoo to cover or embrace your scars.

As a final note, always talk in depth to your artist to make sure you can get the best outcome for you to get a great piece of art. 

 

If you would like to discuss getting a tattoo with one of the artists at Octopus Tattoo, check out our contact page for further details.

 

 

WE NEED YOU!

We are hiring! 

You heard it right folks we are taking on 2 new staff members aiming to start in early January. Both roles will have the same basic clerical duties but then will have different key duties. Both positions will be part time with a 22.5 hour working week at national minimum wage and will be Tuesday – Saturday. 

Responsibilities for both roles:

  • Making and amending appointments
  • Telephone, email and social media correspondence; keeping artists updated as to any changes to appointments.
  • Offering advice to clients as regards choice of artist, design, cost of tattoo.
  • Cash handling
  • Record keeping / sales etc

Clerical position 09:30 – 14:00:

As the first point of contact for all customers our ideal candidates will demonstrate a friendly and welcoming attitude toward the general public, no matter what their attitude or appearance. Excellent communication skills are essential and should be reflected in a good phone manner and prompt correspondence over emails and social media.

Precise record keeping and organisational skills are invaluable in the infrastructure of any business, and Octopus Tattoo is no exception.

Tasks will include:

  • Reminder messages to clients
  • Weekly banking
  • Regular stock check, rotation and ordering
  • Daily cleaning of the studio
  • Handling bio-hazardous material
  • Fire alarm checks
  • Utility meter reading, arranging PAT testing etc. 

Media and promotions role 13:30 – 18:00:

The key objective is to ensure Octopus Tattoo will stand out in the mind of the general public. This will involve extensive interaction with social media, and the creation, organisation and promotion of studio events throughout the year with a view to maintaining public interest and awareness. 
Applicants will need to have a demonstrable ability to use various forms of social media and other media platforms.
Candidates will be required to generate visual content, ie photography and video so editing and experience with adobe products (light room, photoshop etc) is desirable. Experience with WordPress is also preferable but not essential.

Tasks will include: 

  • Website interaction – news, blog posts, portfolio updates, galleries etc
  • Regular newsletter with articles and upcoming events etc
  • Regular social media interaction over all platforms
  • Creation and management of events, ie competitions, studio events.
  • Promoting different aspects of the artists, ie outside work and interests
  • Project managing and budgeting for larger events.

Please send a cover letter and current applicable CV to octopustattooderby@gmail.com and specify in your cover letter which position you would like to apply for. If you would like to be considered for both roles please state this also.

Please note that we will be unable to notify unsuccessful applicants. Those who are successful will be notified before the first week of January.