After-care instructions for permanent tattooing

Day of Procedure

  • Please allow 3-4 hours in your schedule. Spouses, significant others, friends or family members are able to be present for the consultation portion of the appointment only.

  • The visit includes, consultation with procedure explanation, color and circumference size selection for the areola(s) and nipples (if not reconstructed), pigment scratch test to determine possible allergies, pre/post procedure photos, antiseptic cleanse, topical numbing of the area (s) before and during the procedure. Little to no discomfort is experienced, other than possible needle vibration.

  • You may bring a music player with ear buds for relaxation. Contact your physician prior if anti-anxiety medication may be needed.

  • After your procedure, an after-care kit and post-procedure tattoo dressing with Vaseline, soft gauze and paper tape will be administered. If possible, avoid wearing a bra post-procedure and during the healing process. Whenever possible, let the area be exposed to air to aid in healing.

Post Procedure

(For maximum results, please adhere to the post-care instructions)

  • To avoid infection due to bacteria, do not touch the area with your bare fingers.

  • Gently use a warm cloth to pat away the excess blood, lymph (clear, watery fluid) and stained pigment on the skin from the procedure area every morning and night.

  • Apply a thin layer of petroleum 2-4 times daily and before bathing (always using a clean cotton swab/Q-tip, until the area has healed. We suggest petroleum (Vaseline). Dab off excess product with a tissue. Overuse of petroleum will not let the area heal properly. Continue to apply petroleum until the scab falls off to avoid loss of pigment.

  • To avoid the soft gauze from adhering to the healing tissue, apply a thin layer of petroleum to the gauze as well.

  • Steam and hot water can potentially cause the color to fade prematurely. Avoid getting shower gel/cleanser and water on the area as much as possible. Do not use soap, saunas, steam rooms, Jacuzzis/hot tubs, or engage in hot yoga, swimming in chlorinated pools, oceans or lake water for 7-10 days or until the area has completely healed.

  • Avoid vigorous exercise, bouncing movements or any movements that may stretch the breast area (chest exercises) until the area has healed. Usually this can take up to 10 days post-treatment, but might take longer. Do not rub or traumatize the procedure area while it is healing, as pigment may be removed along with crusting tissue.

  • Ice and hot packs may be used to relieve swelling.

  • Mild tenderness and discomfort is normal as the tissue heals. Please contact your aesthetician and/or physician immediately if you experience symptoms such as intense itching, swelling, blistering, severe redness, excessive heat/warmth, a migrating red ring or any other complications.

  • Remember all procedures must heal, peel and fade. The tattoo will be much darker for the first 7-10 days or until the tissue has healed due to a mixture of blood, lymph (clear, watery fluid) and stained pigment on the skin surface. After the area peels, the color will be softer. Most tattoos fade up to 30% within the first two months.

  • Breast Areola Tattoo Procedures are generally one- or two-step processes.

  • Avoid using aloe vera while the area is healing, as it can potentially affect the color retention. Use sun block after the tattoo has healed to prevent future fading of pigment color (if exposed to sun or tanning bed).

General Information

  • Try to avoid Vitamin E supplements, caffeine, alcohol and highly salted foods 24 hours before your procedure, as they dilute the blood and can increase bleeding and lymph rising to the surface during the procedure.

  • Per Red Cross guidelines, blood cannot be donated for one year following your tattoo procedure.

  • Tattoo procedures done over scar tissue or healed incision(s) are more difficult to treat and can result in loss of pigment being retained in the skin. (i.e; Abdominal Tram Flap or a Latissimus Dorsi Back Flap surgical procedure for breast tissue reconstruction). An Abdominal Tram Flap procedure uses the muscle and tissue from the abdomen and a Latissimus Dorsi Back Flap procedure uses the muscle and tissue from the back area. Radiation treatments and use of Tamoxifen may affect pigment retention.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact our office at (608) 836-9990.