What Everyone Should Know About Aftercare
I think it’s fair to say I never thought in a million years that a tattoo would land me in the hospital. However, in November of 2016, I found myself preparing for a procedure that would change my perspective on tattoo care forever.
Back in October of the same year, I’d received my 15th tattoo from a tattooer I’d been going to for years. She’d already inked four pieces on me—including large pieces on my left bicep and right thigh. Every experience I’ve had with her has been professional and up to health code, including the one I’m about to share with you. Let’s be clear, my experience with this tattoo had nothing to do with the tattoo process and everything to do with my aftercare. While there are some circumstances where an unsanitary tattoo experience can result in infection, but 9/10 its a result of how you take care of your fresh ink. Tattoo artists, including mine, take health guidelines very seriously and they do not have control of what happens when you leave their studio.
Anyway, after fifteen times under the needle you would think I’d have my aftercare routine down—however, I was always down to experiment with new remedies and solutions. I’d become pretty familiar with traditional aftercare creams like Aquaphor in the past, but at the time I was curious about other methods. At the time, I had a roommate who was a fellow tattoo collector, and she suggested that I try coconut oil. I’d been using coconut oil for several years in my regular beauty routine, applying it straight onto my skin as a moisturizer and in my hair as a leave in conditioner. I’d never had a reaction to using coconut oil on my body in the past, aside from making my hair appear greasy. I thought that I had nothing to lose and I lathered up my ink for the first couple days of the healing process.
Now, here is where I made my first mistake. Although I’d healed over a dozen tattoos and knew the proper amount of moisturizer to use—I couldn’t help myself. This piece, which was an homage to my cats, was on my left thigh and pretty large. In addition, it was a dry time of year and I couldn’t stand having itchy ink. So, in order to prevent discomfort I went a bit heavy handed on my aftercare.
I think it’s fair to say I never thought in a million years that a tattoo would land me in the hospital. However, in November of 2016, I found myself preparing for a procedure that […]