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rec.arts.bodyart: Tattoo FAQ 6/9--Care of new tattoos

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Archive-name: bodyart/tattoo-faq/part6
Last-modified: July 30, 2004
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The rec.arts.bodyart Tattoo FAQ is broken up into 9 parts:
 2/9--Getting a tattoo
 5/9--Artist list
 6/9--Care of new tattoos <---YOU ARE READING THIS FILE
 7/9--General care/removal
 8/9--Misc. info

Subject: WHAT THIS FILE CONTAINS This file is structured as a traditional FAQ in the form of questions and answers. Questions answered in this file: Rec.arts.bodyart FAQ Part 6/9: Care of your new tattoo: What should I expect with a new tattoo? General advice from a medical doctor What are some bad things for your new tattoo? Sauna or steamroom Sunlight Preparation-H hemorrhoidal ointment How do I care for my new tattoo? Suggested Method #1: The Minimal Moisturizer Method Suggested Method #2: The Huck Spalding Method Suggested Method #3: The Noxzema Method Suggested Method #4: The FAQ Maintainer's Own Method COPYRIGHT AND DISSEMINATION Under the Berne Convention, this document is Copyright (c) 1997 by Lani Teshima-Miller and Stan Schwarz, all rights reserved. Permission is granted for it to be reproduced electronically on any system connected to the various networks which make up the Internet, Usenet, and FidoNet so long as it is reproduced in its entirety, unedited, and with this copyright notice intact. Web sites are included. Individual copies may also be printed for personal use.
Subject: What should I expect with a new tattoo? A new tattoo is an injury to your skin. It's a lot like a scrape. Typically, when the artist finishes, he or she will cover the new tattoo with some sort of bandage. In the old days, this might have been gauze, but now we have non-stick bandages that are much better. Some will use clear plastic sheet, such as Saran Wrap (TM). This is all right, and has the advantage that you can look at your new tattoo without having to lift the bandage. The bandage is largely to protect the tattoo and your clothes, since new tattoos ooze a lot. Also note that tattoos will ooze ink along with the other fluids, and it is not unusual to find an imprint of your new tattoo on the inside of the bandage with you take it off. This is normal. Also, it is normal for the oozing to go on for about 24 hours.
Subject: GENERAL ADVICE FROM A MEDICAL DOCTOR The contributor for this question is Dr. Kai Kristensen <>, a pathologist recently retired lab director (after almost 30 years) of an internationally reknown medical center in La Jolla, California. While his professional expertise is not specifically in bodyart, Kai is a bodyart enthusiast: After the session, the best treatment is simply that which one would give a bad sunburn. For the first few hours (or overnight) leave on the protective dressing supplied. After removing that dressing, clean gently with soap and water and apply a thin film of antibiotic ointment (Bacitracin or any of the triple antibiotic ointments available over the counter). That can be repeated during the day for comfort and sticky clothing. The process is repeated the second and third days. After that, keeing the area clean on a daily basis and (if you wish) lightly lubricated with some vaseline to minimize crusting also helps minimize the itch. Plastic surgeons keep wounds clean and moist for least scar formation. Do not go swimming for the first day or two after tattooing. COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS WITH NO BASIS IN REALITY: 1. "Vaseline makes a tattoo faded". The ink is underneath the epidermis and the outer layer of dermis. There's NO WAY that vaseline can get down through the epidermis to draw out any of the ink. 2. "Swimming makes a tattoo faded". For the same reason as the above, pool chlorine does not get to the ink to fade it. Common sense precautions include not swimming in a public pool with a raw sore, such as a new tattoo while oozing or completely raw. After the first 2 days, the surface over the tattoo is impervious and (from personal experience as well as science background) it is OK to swim.
Subject: WHAT ARE SOME BAD THINGS FOR MY NEW TATTOO? SAUNA OR STEAMROOM Once it is healed, there is very little that will screw up a tattoo. The one exception is prolonged exposure to sunlight. (the other is scarring, but that is patently obvious). SUNLIGHT Well, unfortunately it is. The newer inks are better at resisting fading but whatever you do, if you spend lots of time in bright sunlight your tats will fade (over a lifetime, not over a week). Best to try and keep them out of bright sunlight. No one wants to become a cave dweller just to keep their tats looking good, so just use some common sense. Think of your tat as an investment--slather on that sunblock so it doesn't turn into a dark blob. Our culture has erroneously labeled the tan as healthy. Did you know that your tan is your skin's way of dealing with the damage caused by the sun? It's like the formation of a scab when you have a cut. You will pay for your years of sun exposure when you are in your 40s and 50s. Leathery, wrinkled, dry skin with freckles and liver spots. Melanoma. Skin cancer. Regular visits to the dermatologist. Like I say, "There's no such thing as a healthy tan!" Take it from a Hawaii local! I've seen my share of melanoma here, and they're not even from surfers or beach bunnies! Some people have gotten angry at me about this, telling me that they have a seasonal disorder that requires them to get some sun. A little bit of sun is okay (and it gives you a dose of Vitamin D). But all you need is a few minutes' worth. Tanning booths are not good for you! They are not regulated by the FDA, and the staff that work at these salons have been known to give out patently false information. Many salon operators will suggest dosages far exceeding industry recommendations, and the FDA would actually prefer that these booths be banned altogether. Do not believe the salon operators who tell you there is NO damage caused by their UV rays. There are indications that tanning booths emit rays that cause the type of damage that only shows up years later, when it is difficult to fault any one operator. Their industry motto is "tan safe." There is no such thing as a SAFE tan, folks. Sorry. Kai says: IT IS TRUE THAT SUNTANNING TO A CONSIDERABLE EXTENT NOT ONLY DAMAGES YOUR SKIN BUT FADES THE TATTOOS. The UV light rays that damage skin can get below the outermost surface of the skin (that's why skin cancers are promoted by excess suntanning). The following is information about suncare and sunblock, as well as some specific brand recommendations by RAB readers: o Try to use products that do not clog your pores. If your sunblock makes you break out or feel itchy, this may be the cause. o Avoid sunblock containing PABA, apparently found to be carcinogenic. o "SPF" stands for Sun Protection Factor. If you can normally stay out for ten minutes without getting sunburnt, then an SPF 2 should protect you for 20 minutes, an SPF 6 for an hour, and so on. HOWEVER, this does *NOT* mean an SPF 30 will let you stay out for five hours with just one coat. Keep your exposure limited to the minimum amounts, and always use an extra strong sunblock with at least SPF 30 for your tattoo. o "Waterproof" and "sweatproof" sunblocks protect you while in the water. However, reflections from the water add to your exposure. Make sure you use a high SPF number, and always re-apply your sunblock when coming out of the water. o Sunblock is not just for the beach! Make it a habit to carry one with you during the sunnier months so you can protect your tattoo always! The Watermelon Stick from the Body Shop is nice and portable, but in a pinch, a tube of lip balm (Blistik, etc.) will work, as long as it has an SPF. Dab a bit on your tattoo whenever you will be outside. Products recommended by some RABbits: o Banana Boat for Kids - SPF 50. o Banana Boat's SPF 50, for Extra Sesitive Skin o "Deep Cover" Super Sunblock, advertised in some tattoo magazines (distributed by Deep Cover in Long Beach, CA) o The Body Shop's Watermelon Stick o Bullfrog Moisturizing Formula - The Body Lotion (not the Gel Formula). o Neutrogena's Senisitive Skin SPF 17 o Schering-Plough's "Shade Sunblock" in various SPFs. PREPARATION-H HEMORRHOIDAL OINTMENT We have heard stories of tattoo artists recommending the use of Preparation-H in the healing of new tattoos. Preparation-H is a product marketed for the relief of hemorrhoidal tissue in the US, and comes in both cream and suppository form (I assume artists don't recommend the suppositories). Dr. Jeff Herndon <JHERNDON@Gems.VCU.EDU>, resident assistant professor at the Department of Medicinal Chemistry at Virginia Commonwealth University's Medical College, says Preparation-H should *NOT* be used for tattoos: According to the 1995 Drug Facts & Comparisons (Olin, et al., Facts and Comparisons Inc.: St Louis, 1995; p 540-541) the list of ingredients for Preparation-H are as follows: - Live yeast cell derivative supplying 2000 units of skin respiratory factor per ounce - 3% shark liver oil - 1:10000 phenyl mercuric nitrate Facts and Comparisons goes on to say that shark liver oil (similar to cod liver oil) is used primarily as a carrier of the active ingredients and as a protectant, forming a physical barrier on the skin. While this may be helpful in the healing of hemorroids, it provides no benefit and perhaps impedes the healing of new tattoos. Furthermore, while phenylmercuric nitrate may have antiseptic properties (similar to mercurichrome or tincture of iodine; neither of which should be used on fresh tattoos) it possesses very little anti- infective properties when compared to traditional antibacterial agents (neosporin, baccitracin, etc.). Its use in such low quantities in Preperation-H is possibly as a preservative (Facts and Comparisons, 1995, p. 540). The active ingredient of Preparation-H is the skin respiratory factor and this does nothing to relieve the itching and/or swelling associated with a new tattoo. In fact, it is best to simply keep the area moist and clean and to avoid picking the scabs or 'onion skin peel' that develop--and refrain from using Preparation-H. Not only will it NOT help your tattoo, it will actually probably do more harm than good. The product was developed for hemorrhoidal tissue only. Jeff adds simply: "I just can't figure why you'd want to spread yeast cells on a tattoo."
Subject: HOW DO I CARE FOR MY NEW TATTOO? The artist that did your tattoo will have something very definite to say about the care of your new tattoo, and it is probably a good idea to listen to him/her. Many shops will have an information sheet listing care instructions. The information provided in this section may or may not be the same method your artist offers. Regardless, there are three things to remember about caring for your new tattoo: o Moiturize it o Don't overmoisturize it o And whatever you do, Don't pick your onion peel scabs! Basically, as long as you follow these three points, you will be okay. However as people get more tattoos, they begin trying out slightly different methods. I have included several examples, and not all of them will work on everybody. Some people will find that they are allergic to some products. For example, I have always had a problem with Noxzema skin cream, which makes me break out with water-filled pimple-like things on my skin. How do you know which method is best for you? It depends on the type of skin you have, and how sensitive it is. I suggest you try a patch test on your skin for a week or so to see if you react to the ingredients. Having said that, I have personally discovered a very nice "new tattoo kit" that I now use whenever I go to get a tattoo. And the added benefit was that I discovered this "kit" in a sample size travel set, which I can easily pack in my travel bag. The set that I now use is the Johnson's baby product line. The kit includes baby powder, baby shampoo, diaper rash ointment, baby lotion, baby bath, and a bonus (in this case, a baby bib). I don't need the baby bib, and the shampoo is just an added bonus for me. However, this is how I use the kit, especially when I'm getting the tattoo in another city: Baby powder: I sprinkle a liberal amount on the hotel bed sheets to prevent my skin from sticking to the sheet. Baby bath: A fruity-smelling liquid soap, it's very mild and has minimal lathering. I pour a bit on my hand, rub into a light lather and wash the tattoo this way. It rinses off very easily with non-pressurized water, minimizing the risk of losing scabs. Baby lotion: The Johnson's brand feels non-greasy. *MY* skin does not like a layer of oily lotion, and until this, I used to pay lots of money for oil-free Oil of Olay (is that a contradiction in terms?). Goes on very lightly but keeps the skin moist. Diaper rash ointment: Zinc oxide-based, I use this thick, non- greasy ointment on certain "contact spots" of my tattoo that may rub against clothes (i.e. bra strap, waist band). I've found this travel kit selling for $2-$3 (US), and the small sizes work out just right for a smaller tattoo (no larger than 8"x8". You *MIGHT* smell like a clean baby, though! Other people will recommend different ointments and lotions. Some people swear by Tea Tree Oil (toner) from the Body Shop for its healing qualities. Others like A&D Ointment (marketed for diaper rash, I find it somewhat greasy), and the cheapest is probably regular Vaseline Intensive Care. If you live in a dry area and you're prone to use a lot of lotion anyway, the last one, in a large pump bottle, may be your best bargain. This section lists treatments to give you an idea of the breadth of suggestions offered. These have been given "titles" using some unique facet of the method, and is thus named only for the sake of convenience. These methods are NOT actually called these. Each set of instructions is followed by commentary. Special thanks to Lance Bailey <> for this section. MINIMAL MOISTURIZER METHOD ANCIENT ART TATTOO, (ORLANDO, FLA) Ancient Art puts a heap of vaseline on the new tattoo and then bandages up the whole thing, they give you these instructions: Tattoo Care Instructions: 1. Remove bandaid in 18 hrs. 2. Wash tattoo immediately, with soap and water When washing off the tattoo, there should be old ink & some body fluids. At this state there is little that can harm the tattoo. 3. When skin feels like normal wet skin, pat dry. 4. Put nothing on the tattoo for 3 days. 5. From the 4th day, apply the *tiniest* amount of lotion possible once a day to keep it from drying out completely; gently work it in. (Mike suggests a drop for a 1"x4" piece). 6. Do not get the tattoo wet; moisture is your enemy. 7. Do not permit sun on tattoo. 8. Do not get the tattoo wet; moisture is your enemy. 9. Scabbing may or may not occur. Scabbing is normal. Do not pick scab. 10. Do not get the tattoo wet; moisture is your enemy. His strongest advice: "MOISTURE IS THE TATTOO'S ENEMY". On using Vaseline: Neosporin is Vaseline-based, & doesn't hurt. On using Neosporin: Not really neccessary, but it doesn't hurt. Strong warning: Never let the shower directly hit the tattoo. This procedure is how I healed the four I got at Ancient Art and they seem to be the slowest to heal. After 2.5 weeks, they still have scabs. sigh. Lance Bailey says: I used to go to great lengths to keep my tattoos moist while healing. But now, looking at the ink I healed then, and other art which is not much older but healed without all the moisture, I see that the ones where I kept it real moist to prevent any scabs are a lot fainter--grey where the others are still black. I quite literally drew a lot of the ink out of the piece. Yes, it is important to keep the tattoo from drying out, but a scab is part of the normal healing process, and trying to fool mother nature is risking trouble. Your mileage will of course vary. THE HUCK SPALDING METHOD FROM HUCK SPALDING'S "TATTOOING A TO Z" 1. Bandage(*) should stay on for at least two hours. 2. Remove bandage, rinse gently with cold water and blot dry. 3. Apply Bacitracin ointment 4 x a day and blot out the excess. 4. Keep tattoo fresh and open to the air. Do not bandage. 5. For the first week, avoid swimming or long soaking in the water. 6. For the first month, avoid too much exposure to the sun. 7. Do not pick or scratch scabs 8. Itching is relieved by slapping or alcohol. 9. Keep tattoo covered with loose clothing. * Bandaging Summary 1. After tattooing clean whole area w/ green soap & white paper towel. 2. Spray it with alcohol and hold a paper towel on it. 3. apply film of Bacitracin ointment. 4. Cover with bandage or Handi-Wrap and securely tape it on. I have yet to try this method, but have seen a few tattoos which have been bandaged with handi-wrap and they turned out just fine. (Huck writes that the handi-wrap stops people from peeling off the bandage in the first few hours to show friends.) THE NOXZEMA METHOD FROM LANCE BAILEY (ZAPHOD@BCU.UBC.CA) This method is recommended by Suzanne at Creative Tattoo (Ann Arbor, Michigan) 1. Remove bandage after 4 - 5 hours. 2. Wash gently with soap or water. 3. Do *not* scrub or soak until completely healed (usually a week). Showering, however, is OK. 4. Usually neccessary to re-bandage. 5. Keep tattoo OUT OF THE SUN or tanning booths while healing. Once healed, ALWAYS use sunscreen on colors. 6. We reommend Noxema Medicated Skin Lotion twice a day to aid healing & comfort. DO NOT USE Vaseline, oils, anything greasy, or anything with cortisone. Oils block your skin from contact with air, inhibiting healing 7. Tattoo "peels" in 4-7 days. Do not pick or scratch! "Your tattoo was applied with sterile equipment and procedure, and with non-toxic colors. We guarantee the workmanship. Healing and caring of your tattoo is YOUR responsibility." This is how I healed a 3-inch band around my right ankle. While the healing was more like 2 weeks, I also protected it from the shower with a bag. For the last few tattoos I noticed that after I stop covering it in the shower (after about 2 weeks), the tattoo seems to speed up in healing. I suspect that this might be either timing (it was ready to heal), or the action of the shower helps to knock of any dead skin thus promoting better healing. I only used a wee bit of Noxzema twice a day, leaving the art "moist and glistening" but with no "smears of white cream." Am very happy with this method. The cream really does help the itching and the final result is a good deep black. THE FAQ MAINTAINER'S OWN METHOD 1. Remove the bandage and shower that night. 2. Wash gently with soap or water. 3. Apply A&D or some such petroleum-jelly-based ointment before bed and again the next morning. 4. Apply lotion the second night and then twice a day for a week. Lotions I like are the Vaseline Intensive Care line and Lubriderm. I've healed lots of tattoos with this basic care regimen. The only other caution I have is that I usually wear something to cover the tattoo the first night. Not necessarily a bandage, but just a T-shirt or something like that to keep from sticking to the sheets. --==*-< >-*==--==*-< >-*==--==*-< >-*==--==*-< >-*==--==*-< >-*==-- This ends "rec.arts.bodyart: Tattoo FAQ 6/9--Care of new tattoos." This should be followed by "rec.arts.bodyart: Tattoo FAQ 7/9--General care/removal."

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Whether or not you believe in God, this message is a "must-read"!

Throughout time, we can see how we have been carefully conditioned coming to this point where we are on the verge of a cashless society. Did you know that Jesus foretold of this event almost 2,000 years ago?

In Revelation 13:16-18, it states,

"He (the false prophet who deceives many by his miracles--Revelation 19:20) causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666."

Referring to the last generation, this could only be speaking of a cashless society. Why's that? Revelation 13:17 tells us that we cannot buy or sell unless we receive the mark of the beast. If physical money was still in use, we could buy or sell with one another without receiving the mark. This would contradict scripture that states we need the mark to buy or sell!

These verses could not be referring to something purely spiritual as scripture references two physical locations (our right hand or forehead) stating the mark will be on one "OR" the other. If this mark was purely spiritual, it would indicate both places, or one--not one OR the other!

This is where it comes together. It is shocking how accurate the Bible is concerning the implantable RFID microchip. Here are notes from a man named Carl Sanders who worked with a team of engineers to help develop this RFID chip:

"Carl Sanders sat in seventeen New World Order meetings with heads-of-state officials such as Henry Kissinger and Bob Gates of the C.I.A. to discuss plans on how to bring about this one-world system. The government commissioned Carl Sanders to design a microchip for identifying and controlling the peoples of the world—a microchip that could be inserted under the skin with a hypodermic needle (a quick, convenient method that would be gradually accepted by society).

Carl Sanders, with a team of engineers behind him, with U.S. grant monies supplied by tax dollars, took on this project and designed a microchip that is powered by a lithium battery, rechargeable through the temperature changes in our skin. Without the knowledge of the Bible (Brother Sanders was not a Christian at the time), these engineers spent one-and-a-half-million dollars doing research on the best and most convenient place to have the microchip inserted.

Guess what? These researchers found that the forehead and the back of the hand (the two places the Bible says the mark will go) are not just the most convenient places, but are also the only viable places for rapid, consistent temperature changes in the skin to recharge the lithium battery. The microchip is approximately seven millimeters in length, .75 millimeters in diameter, about the size of a grain of rice. It is capable of storing pages upon pages of information about you. All your general history, work history, criminal record, health history, and financial data can be stored on this chip.

Brother Sanders believes that this microchip, which he regretfully helped design, is the “mark” spoken about in Revelation 13:16–18. The original Greek word for “mark” is “charagma,” which means a “scratch or etching.” It is also interesting to note that the number 666 is actually a word in the original Greek. The word is “chi xi stigma,” with the last part, “stigma,” also meaning “to stick or prick.” Carl believes this is referring to a hypodermic needle when they poke into the skin to inject the microchip."

Mr. Sanders asked a doctor what would happen if the lithium contained within the RFID microchip leaked into the body. The doctor replied by saying a terrible sore would appe (...)

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