Tattoos: Tattoos are designs made by injecting ink under the skin with a needle.
Piercing: Piercing punctures the skin with a sharp instrument. Jewelry is inserted through the hole.
Choosing The Right Artist & Studio
- The studio should be a clean, well-lighted established business.
- The studio should have its own autoclave and ultrasonic cleaner as all instruments and equipment should be sterilized.
- The artist should always use sterile, disposable needles, never a gun.
- New containers of ink should be used each time.
- The artist should wear new latex gloves for each client.
- The artist should use appropriate jewelry.
Choosing The Right Jewelry
- Rings are better for ears and for most body piercing.
- The size of the jewelry inserted matters. It must be large enough to allow for swelling and to minimize infection. Jewelry that's too thin can tear out. Jewelry that's too thick can cause an abscess or colloid scarring.
- Jewelry should be made of 316L or LVM surgical stainless steel, 14-or 18-karat solid gold, titanium or niobium only.
Caring for Your Tattoo
- Tattoos take about 2-3 weeks to heal.
- Don't itch or pick at the skin or scabs. This can increase the chance of infection and postpone healing.
- Stay out of the sun. Use sunscreen. Sunlight will fade a tattoo over time.
- Moisturize your skin.
Caring for Your Piercing
- Wash hands before touching the piercing.
- Soak the piercing with warm water for 5 minutes to soften any normal dried secretions.
- Clean the piercing with an antibacterial soap twice a day. Rotate the jewelry to work soap through. Then rinse with water, rotating jewelry 10-15 times.
- Dry the piercing with paper products.
- Don't use alcohol or hydrogen peroxide to clean the piercing.
- Don't use antibacterial ointments.
- To speed healing, soak a piercing with a solution of 1 cup of water mixed with 1¼4 tsp salt no more than twice a day. Be sure to use correct dilution, using more salt or soaking more frequently may be irritating.
Caring for Your Tongue, Lip & Cheek Piercing
- Rinse for I minute with Listerine mouthwash after eating, drinking, and/or smoking.
- Rinse your mouth 12-24 times daily.
- Rinse with Gly-Oxide for 2-3 minutes twice a day.
- Avoid French kissing & oral sexual contact for 4-6 weeks.
Seek Medical Care If You Have:
- Redness or swelling that extends more than a quarter-inch from the piercing
- Thick yellow or green discharge
- Continuous oozing or bleeding
- Feeling of heat at the site
- Red streaks coming from piercing site