I love a good acronym so here’s one to help you out, just think of A - W - M which stands for Absorb, Wash, and Moisturize!
Absorb (Day of)
- After the procedure, gently blot the area with a clean tissue to absorb excess lymph fluid.
- Do this every 5 minutes until the oozing has stopped.
- Removing this fluid prevents hardening of the lymphatic fluids.
Wash (Days 1-7)
- Wash daily to remove bacteria, build up of product and oils, and dead skin. (Don't worry, THIS DOES NOT REMOVE THE PIGMENT!)
- Gently wash the area each morning and night with water and gentle soap or an unscented cleanser like Dial Soap, Cetaphil, or baby shampoo. With a very light touch, use your fingertips to gently cleanse the area.
- Rub the area in a smooth motion for 10 seconds and rinse with water ensuring that all soap is rinsed away.
- To dry, gently pat with a clean tissue. DO NOT use any cleansing products containing acids (glycolic, lactic, or AHA), or exfoliants.
Moisturize and hydrate (Days 1-7)
- Apply a tiny, rice grain amount of ointment 3 times a day with a cotton swab and spread it across the treated area.
- Be sure not to over-apply, as this will suffocate your skin and delay healing. The product should be barely noticeable on the skin.
- NEVER put the ointment on a wet or damp tattoo.
AWM should have you covered, but here are some extra tips to help with a smooth and easy recovery:
- Use a fresh pillowcase while you sleep.
- Let any scabbing or dry skin naturally exfoliate away. Picking can cause scarring or loss of color.
- No facials, botox, chemical treatments or microdermabrasion for 4 weeks.
- Avoid hot, sweaty exercise for one week.
- Avoid direct sun exposure or tanning for 4 weeks after the procedure. Wear a hat when outdoors.
- Avoid long, hot showers for the first 10 days.
- Avoid sleeping on your face for the first 10 days.
- Avoid face-down swimming, lakes, and hot tubs for the first 10 days,
- Avoid topical makeup and sunscreen on the area.
- DO NOT rub, pick, or scratch the treated area.
Important Instructions for Showering
- Limit your showers to 5 minutes so that you do not create too much steam. Keep your face/procedure area out of the water while you wash your body, then, at the end of your shower, wash your hair.
- Your face should only be getting wet only at the end of the shower.
- Avoid excessive rinsing and hot water on the treated area.
Wet V.S. Dry Healing
This is where things get misconstrued. Many artists tell their clients not to wash the area for the entire healing time. Client’s mistake this for a “dry healing method” in actuality, this is what the different healing methods are:
The wet healing method - applying a product to the area after washing the area
The dry healing method - not applying any product to the area after washing the area.
But, what method actually promotes best healing?
The wet method of daily washing to reduce the buildup of bacteria and dead skin coupled with the application of an aftercare product allows the skin to heal fastest and so your beautiful artwork can show thru.
Applying ointment will help to produce the proper cells to regenerate the surrounding tissues. It can also help the production of collagen, a protein that is essential for the proper healing and regeneration of damaged tissue. The method consists of daily cleansing of the injured skin to prevent bacterial buildup, as well as the application of a healing ointment.