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Thread: Lower leg tattoo

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    Contributor Site Supporter CaptCanada's Avatar
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    Lower leg tattoo

    Before I start, I'll say that I don't want to try to treat this forum as a place to get medical advice (but if there is something that is wrong feel free to open my eyes to it), just wondering if this has happened to others and to connect the dots.

    Okay I have now moved below my knee for my squid pants, and it seems every week (weekly sessions) my leg will swell up, my ankles getting the worst of it. If the area thats tattooed is near my ankles it will turn red. I've talked with my tattooer about it, and both him and I assume its just from having to stand for 13 hours a day. Healing is a wee bit slower and the scabs are thicker then when it was my thigh. While I'm sleeping I've been keeping my leg elevated, and it helps take some of the swelling down, until I get back to work the next day.

    So my question is, how has been the healing period for you guys/girls that have had their calf/shins done?

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    Re: Lower leg tattoo

    exactly as you described! it sounds normal enough. gravity makes the swelling travel to the ankle most of the time. take over the counter anti inflammatories and drink plenty of water to help circulation. any time you get to rest keep your leg elevated. sometimes i may keep the new tattoo wrapped up for the first day (will wash before wrapping up in the morning and if possible re-wrap during the day, take off completely as soon as you get home) to help against swelling and overly weepy tattoos.
    the above is for longer sessions but usually your normal routine should work fine

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    Contributor Site Supporter Stewart Robson's Avatar
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    Re: Lower leg tattoo

    I'd like to say that my comments here are regarding larger work i.e. pretty solid, usually japanese or tribal style tattooing.
    My lower legs heal MUCH slower than the rest of me. Sometimes twice as slow. a 2 week heal turns into a month! This gets slower and worse as sessions go on. Especially of you have to stand most of the day.

    Generally, like Valerie said, Drinking lots of water helps. Also, having a poor sleep pattern slows large healing for me too.

    To me it sounds pretty normal for weekly sessions to give you so much trouble.

    I think one of the most unpleasant parts is when you shift from laying down or sitting into a standing position. That whooooosh! feeling when it seems like all of the blood in your body rushes to your lower leg and the skin feels super tight is horrible.

    Good luck.

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    Contributor Site Supporter CaptCanada's Avatar
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    Re: Lower leg tattoo

    Thank you Valerie, and Stewart. I'll start taking some anti-inflammatory and continue to go about my routine.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stewart Robson View Post
    I think one of the most unpleasant parts is when you shift from laying down or sitting into a standing position. That whooooosh! feeling when it seems like all of the blood in your body rushes to your lower leg and the skin feels super tight is horrible.
    Yeah, that feeling isn't the nicest in the world.

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    Re: Lower leg tattoo

    CaptCanada - the other guys are right, it's totally normal! I found even with small tattoos below the knee they would get irritated if I was on my feet all day. The worst though is when you first wake up in the morning and get out of bed, all the blood rushes into your legs and it fucking hurts! At least that what happened to me

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    Re: Lower leg tattoo

    Quote Originally Posted by CaptCanada View Post
    Okay I have now moved below my knee for my squid pants,
    FIRST OFF, thank you for resurrecting SQUID PANTS/SLACKS. Echoing, here, it's totally normal, especially the longer healing process. I freaked out the other month when I had my other wrist tattooed -- hand swelled up like a goddamn softball and then figured out it was totally normal! Didn't expect that. Always forget that it's your body's response to TRAUMA -- then when I remember, it all makes sense.
    MsRad and Mel Noir like this.

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    Contributor Site Supporter CaptCanada's Avatar
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    Re: Lower leg tattoo

    Arg, Japans thinking about medicine is sometimes stuck in the stone age. Went to the pharmacy at japans version of walmart and they said that because the pharmacist wasn't there I couldn't get anti-inflammatorys. So I'm stuck with my leg being lame until tomorrow.

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    Regular Stitch626's Avatar
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    Re: Lower leg tattoo

    Yep, pretty much every one's hitting the nail on the head, think of your body as a we'll go with a bottle of water, the fluid chills mostly at the bottom due to gravity, and you as a person have to tip it so its parallel to the ground or almost upside down, to get the fluid back to the top, while our body pumps the blood back up extra work is still needed when we are standing up right. The body's best blood pressure is when we are laying prone, its been known for medics to lay a pt with low blood pressure flat because it will increase their BP a good 8 to 10 numbers up.

    its almost like when you stand up to quick and get dizzy and you immediately feel the need to lay back down, same concept. Keeping your feet slightly above your heart while laying down will defiantly help the blood flow and healing process move quicker. (Like what some of your are talking about the feeling in your legs) Try Aleve (over the counter Naproxen) works great for pain and swelling

    Hope that helps, sucks that your all the way over there in Japan.

    Edit:

    your pretty much just looking for a basic NSAID.. If they don't have Aleve, Advil or motrin will work as well (the aleve is a stronger one unlike advil and motrin)
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    Re: Lower leg tattoo

    I got my first tattoo below the knee on Sep 3rd. A fairly large design that goes from just below the knee to just above the ankle. Thanks to this thread I knew just what to expect on the healing process.
    Proof that not everything you read on the interwebs is bullshit.

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    Re: Lower leg tattoo

    Very interesting thread. I got tattooed on both lower outside legs last week. Apart from a bit of swelling in the feet and ankles everything was going ok. Anyway on Saturday I went to the London Tattoo Convention. I got home at about 12:45 and about 12 hours on my feet. When I took my trainers, socks and trousers off I nearly shit myself with what I saw. The lower part of both legs from the ankle to half way up my calf were bright red like a lobster and my feet were really badly swollen. Particularly worrying as I have type 2 diabetes. As there was no improvement the following day I went to A&E. I was told to keep my legs elevated until the swelling goes down. So that was me off work for two days. Looks like a combination of restrictive footwear, socks and being on my feet for twelve hours caused this to happen. Anyway all seems ok now my legs are slowing returning to normal (short, fat and hairy). So lesson learned. Here’s a pic of one of my legs taken today. You can still see the rash but that is nothing compared to Saturday. Scary shit.



    The tattoo is on the other side of my calf.

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