Ace Tattoo & Piercing

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Basic Piercing Aftercare-Please come in for detailed/specific care
New piercings should typically be cleaned twice daily. You should continue this cleaning routine for the entire healing time. Do not over-clean your piercing. Cleaning too often or with too many types of cleaning solutions, can irritate your piercing. If cleaning your piercing twice a day is suggested, don’t assume cleaning it ten times a day is better: It isn’t.
· Healing piercings discharge lymph, blood and blood plasma, and dead cells. The purpose in cleaning your piercing is to remove this discharge as well as any dirt or bacteria picked up during the day. The products you use on your piercing are not what make it heal—they only keep the piercing clean while your body works to heal it.

Methods to clean your piercing:
Sterile Saline Solution
Sterile saline solutions/sterile wound wash sprays are a convenient cleaning option. (The saline specifically formulated for wound care not contacts or ears/nasal.)
·To use, spray the solution thoroughly cleansing the piercing. Your jewelry does not need to be rotated and sterile saline solution does not need to be rinsed off. (Do not dip cotton balls or swabs in a saline solution and apply it to the skin; you must irrigate the piercing to clean it effectively.)

Warm Sea Salt Soaks
These flush out the piercing, help to draw out discharge, stimulate blood circulation, and soothe irritations. You can/should soak your piercing twice a day.
·Make a soaking solution by mixing sea salt and distilled water. Use pure sea salt (non-iodized) and not table salt, that can cause yeast infections. When buying salt, read the label: if it contains only sodium chloride (salt), or just salt and calcium, it’s good. Do not use Epsom salts. Make sure your salt-to-water ratio is correct: a stronger or weaker solution is not better and may harm your piercing. It’s usually easiest to make up the mixture by the gallon, heating it as you need it.  Mix (using measuring spoons and cups for accuracy). ~1/4 teaspoon to 1 cup (8 oz.), 1 teaspoon to one quart (32 oz.), 4 teaspoons to 1 gallon, 1/4 cup to a bathtub
·To use: Make the water as warm as you can stand it without burning yourself. (You can heat it in the microwave.) Put the solution in a glass/shot glass (clean), press the glass against your skin to form a seal, and hold it over your piercing for two-five minutes or until the water cools. For piercings like nostrils, ears, and nipples the entire body part should be submerged in the solution.

Mild Liquid Soap
While saline rinses or even sea salt soaks are the preferred aftercare for most piercings, mild soap effectively removes the residue of dirt, skin oils, cosmetics, cigarette smoke, and natural discharge that can sometimes remain after a salt water soak or saline rinse. While some piercers don’t recommend antibacterial soap, it has worked on us personally for years; it is the action of washing that is most effective in removing bacteria, not the soap itself. Use a mild, fragrance-free and dye-free soap. Stay away from harsh soaps. Lastly, be sure to use a liquid soap, bar soaps collect dirt and bacteria that can easily be reapplied to your piercing.
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Before you wash your piercing, first wash your hands. (Never touch your piercing with dirty hands. This is the easiest way to get an irritation/infection.) Lather the soap in your hands, rinse them off, lather them up again and massage the jewelry and surrounding area—do not apply the soap directly to the piercing. Make sure to remove any discharge on the jewelry. After thoroughly cleaning the piercing and jewelry, rinse. (This is often easiest to do in the shower/sink.) It is not necessary to rotate the jewelry during cleaning.

Do Not Use:
These are far too harsh for daily cleaning, can damage skin or jewelry:  Rubbing Alcohol or Hydrogen Peroxide, Antibiotic Ointments, Bactine®, pierced ear care solutions, or other products containing benzalkonium chloride (BZK) or benzethonium chloride (BZT), Betadine® (povidone-iodine) or Hibiclens®

Helpful Hints: General Piercing Care

Keep Dirty Hands Off Your Piercing-Touching with dirty fingers the easiest way to get a piercing infected. Wash your hands before handling your healing piercing. Despite what you may have heard, you do not need to rotate or twist your jewelry during healing. Unless you are cleaning your piercing, DONT TOUCH IT!
Keep Your Jewelry In-While your piercing is healing, keep jewelry in at all times. After your piercing is healed you can change your jewelry, but jewelry should never be left out for longer than the time it takes to insert a new piece. If you must remove your jewelry temporarily after healing, such as for work or surgery, there are less visible (and non-metal) alternatives that can be worn for short periods of time. Ask your piercer what your options are.

·       Avoid Oral Contact-Mouths are full of bacteria and germs...one of the fastest routes to infection. Avoid others tongues on new piercings.
·       Avoid Other People’s Body Fluids-A healing piercing is an open wound, so treat it accordingly. Even if you are in a monogamous relationship, you and your partner have different bacteria from each other.
·       Keep Make-up and Hair Products Away from Healing Piercings-Be especially careful of hairspray and powdered foundation.
·       Keep Pets Away from New Piercings-Pets are cute, but they shed. Cats walk in their litter boxes, and dogs lick more than just your face. Try to keep pets out of your bed during healing.
·       Be Mindful of Where You Swim-If possible, avoid swimming with a healing piercing. If you do decide to go in the water with a fresh piercing, be careful about where you swim. (The clear ocean water of the Caribbean is not the same as a lake, river or hot tub.) Public pools, lakes, and especially hot tubs should be avoided during healing. If you must swim, consider using a watertight covering such as Tegaderm™. At the very least, be sure to clean your piercing after you get out of the water.
Infections, Irritations, & Allergic Reactions
Infections

Infections come from exposure to bacteria and other contaminants and can typically be avoided with basic hygiene (and common sense). You will usually know if your piercing becomes infected. The surrounding tissue becomes red, painful, swollen and hot to the touch, or if you get an excess of discharge that is dark yellow, green, bloody, or has a strong bad odor.

Healing piercings will normally secrete a white, greenish or pale yellow liquid during healing. This is not a sign of infection. A stinky white substance (sebum) from your oil glands can also collect on your piercings. This is normal too and comes off easily in cleaning. If your discharge is light in color and not accompanied by pain, itching, redness, warmth, smell and swelling, it is probably healthy.

If you do suspect an infection, do not remove your jewelry. Infections are more easily treated if there is still an opening for antiseptics to enter the wound and for discharge to exit. Without jewelry, the wound closes over and traps the infection inside.  THERE ARE WAYS to keep minor infections from getting worse. Of course, in the event of a serious infection you should see your doctor. He or she can advise you on the best course of treatment. Just keep in mind that your doctor may not be familiar with treating body piercings.
Irritations

  • Most of the time, what people think is an infection is an irritation. If your piercing is red, swollen right around the hole, peeling, excreting white or yellow/greenish fluid, bleeding slightly, or seems to have a solid (not fluid-filled) bump around the jewelry, it is probably irritated. These are all signs that the piercing is being subjected to abuse or trauma.
  • Some common causes of irritation are touching or playing with your piercing, cleaning it too much, wearing overly restrictive clothing (navels and nipples), applying pressure during sleeping or phone use (ears), chewing gum, grinding teeth, or playing with the jewelry (tongue), having sex too soon (genitals), or other actions or activities that bump, twist, pull at, or put undue pressure on your piercing.
  • If your piercing is irritated, figure out what’s causing the problem. Once the cause of the irritation is eliminated, symptoms will often disappear.

Allergic Reactions
When using quality, implant-grade jewelry and appropriate cleaning solutions, allergic reactions are rare. If you suspect you are having an allergic reaction to your cleaning solution (usually this will emerge as a large, red patch around the piercing), switch to a sea salt or saline solution. If you suspect a metal allergy, stop in and let us have a look. Often simple irritations are mistaken for allergic reactions.
DO NOT TOUCH ANY PIERCING WITH DIRTY HANDS!
DO NOT: Use Alcohol, Peroxide, Hibiclens, Betadine, or any petroleum based product such as Bacitracin or Neosporin. 
AND DO NOT LISTEN TO YOUR FRIENDS! If you have any concerns, please contact us.
Tattoo Aftercare
TAKING CARE OF YOUR TATTOO:
• Remove bandage after 1-2 hours
• Wash with warm water and antibacterial soap
• Allow to air dry for about 10 minutes
• Apply a thin coat of plain white fragrance-free lotion
THINGS TO KNOW:
• Do not touch your tattoo with dirty hands
• Wash your tattoo with antibacterial soap 2x daily
• Follow the lotion routine for about 2 weeks
• No direct sunlight, baths, pools, saunas or hot tubs
• If your tattoo flakes, scabs or peels:
           DO NOT PICK AT IT OR SCRATCH IT