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Thought this wasn't worth starting a new thread for, and a search didn't yield much, soo...

Ladies (and dudes with boobs?): any tips for healing an area usually in contact with a bra?

I'm going in on Thursday to get a big-ish piece on my sternum/ribcage (the centre of my chest and under my boobs). For the rest of the day I'll be right to chill at home bra-less, but the next evening I have work. Should I re-wrap to avoid too much rubbing? Go with one of those awkward stick-on whatsits with no band? Any advice would be great.

IMO, I would try going to work braless until its peeled. Or try a different bras, some sports bras are looser and may not be as harsh on your tattoo. However, I'm sure re-wrapping just for work isn't going to ruin your tattoo.

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I have often thought that the ladies in particular need a space to discuss clothing quandaries re: getting tattooed! So thanks for bringing it up @ThaliaCamille

Honestly, I used to worry a lot about this, but now that I'm working on a back piece, there's no way around a bra, especially since my boobs, well... need support.

So I agree with @HaydenRose that it's all about finding comfier bras. I have two bras from VS that are really smooth and don't dig into me, so I wear those while healing. Even though it still means there are straps over my fresh ink, I have yet to have any problem with this. I was so stressed about this beforehand, but I was pleasantly surprised to see that just being a little careful and wearing the comfiest bras, etc., is enough to keep things doing ok.

I think these are the bras I've been using: Full Coverage Bra - The Nakeds by Victoria's Secret - Victoria's Secret

If you are naturally blessed enough to be able to go to work with just those stick-ons, I'd go for it, or similarly bikini tops might do the trick. But I personally need more, and I have found that looser and less restricting bras have been enough for me to let the tattoo heal well.

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All good ideas, thanks guys.

I don't know if I'll have a chance to buy new bras before then, but that sort of style looks like it'd be a good bet so I'll keep it in mind.

I do have one of those stick-on dealies, so I might go with a combo of that and a cami, with a loose t-shirt over the top. I guess it'll depend on the final placement as well, hopefully it should be ok to wear proper bras within a couple of days once the swelling goes down. My job is nice and casual, thankfully, but I didn't want to be... erm... distracted when I'm working :P

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looks like you're gonna have to get that tattoo on your forehead. Sorry.

or look into bandeaus. i hear they're gucci for stuff like that.

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^Ah, but it'll still be in contact with the underwire on the front of my ribs, which is what I'm concerned about.

I got a little swallow on my ribs last year, and the top of one of the wings goes under my underwire. I can't really wear bras without underwire if I want to look in any way presentable but again, I wore my loosest bras and it had no trouble healing at all! As always, healing is super individual, but I suspect you will be fine, and the first few days are for sure the most important ones. (As most of my work to date is on my torso, I have spent many pre-tattoo hours stressing about lingerie and buying weird contraptions to help me out, most of which I now think was unecessary.)

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I think healing from the inside out is just as important, I'm currently taking a concoction of vitamins including zinc and vitamins A & D and drinking a shed load of water to keep myself hydrated to help with swelling.

So far I seem to be doing okay, I have had my tattoo out in the air pretty much 24/7 and so far am washing it with Dove twice a day, then putting on Vaseline Dermacare Lotion afterwards, I might put on an extra layer of lotion if it feels dry.

How long do you guys keep up the extra washing? I feel like I'm ready to just wash it in the shower once in the morning after 7 days of having it (on my calf) or is this too soon?

It's in a scabby stage and I just don't want to have the scabs falling off from the water softening them before they would fall off completely naturally.

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After the 3 days with light A&D lotion I use YU-BE lotion. It's a Japanese moisturizing lotion I get at the natural food store. This stuff is great a little goes a long way so you don't need to use much

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After the 3 days with light A&D lotion I use YU-BE lotion. It's a Japanese moisturizing lotion I get at the natural food store. This stuff is great a little goes a long way so you don't need to use much

I love that YU-BE stuff. It's super nice.

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Tomorrow I have some super long hours coming in the chair. Getting a full back cover done and this is the third time back in two months. First time healing for the outline was good. I had around 8 hours of outlining done and was pretty sore. My artist suggested for the outline, not to touch it for a full two days. Just let the swelling go down under the armpit area and then on the second day, to wash the outline lightly and leave it for another day. By that time, the outline had started to heal and a little BP was applied to it.

Within 5 days all was good.

The next part was my upper shoulder area and that was close to another 7 hours doing the skyline. My artist suggested just to wait until the plasma had started to leak out later in the evening and then to damp this plasma off with anit-bact wipes (non-scented dry wipes that are hospital grade clean). He was kind enough to give me a small packed of 10. Once the plasma is lightly patted off over a period of a few hours, just leave it to the morning. In the morning, a light very HOT shower and again, wipe/pat dry and let your body heal for another 12 hours. Shower HOT again, pat dry and at that point, a very light coat then of BP as the area by that time will have started to dry out and heal.

By the 3rd day, just shower again, light coat of BP and the peeling process with myself in this case started, no scabbing at all. Repeat to day 5 and by day seven, good as gold. Colors are rich and I was happy with the process.

My artist was very firm to me about the first few hours after the work was done. Do not touch with unclean hands (wash hands very well with AB soap), and to get that plasma off the tattoo as he said, that forms the scabs. Seemed to work for me very well.

This time I am getting a fair bit of blood reds for Japanese infrastructure done an some people have said the reds can be a real bitch to heal. Lets see what happens...

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What is the difference between peeling and scabbing? Does the skin peel as if you've been badly burnt? Touch wood I haven't had this happen to me yet.

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peeling/flaking is similar to when you get a bad sun burn and the damaged skin dries out and falls off as it heals

scabbing is similar to when you fall and scrape your knee and a thick scab forms after a day or so

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Turns out I didn't touch wood fast enough, this morning I woke up to pretty much my entire tattoo peeling. I'm still washing and putting lotion on it once a day and hope it doesn't effect the tattoo too much!

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Tomorrow I have some super long hours coming in the chair. Getting a full back cover done and this is the third time back in two months. First time healing for the outline was good. I had around 8 hours of outlining done and was pretty sore. My artist suggested for the outline, not to touch it for a full two days. Just let the swelling go down under the armpit area and then on the second day, to wash the outline lightly and leave it for another day. By that time, the outline had started to heal and a little BP was applied to it.

Within 5 days all was good.

The next part was my upper shoulder area and that was close to another 7 hours doing the skyline. My artist suggested just to wait until the plasma had started to leak out later in the evening and then to damp this plasma off with anit-bact wipes (non-scented dry wipes that are hospital grade clean). He was kind enough to give me a small packed of 10. Once the plasma is lightly patted off over a period of a few hours, just leave it to the morning. In the morning, a light very HOT shower and again, wipe/pat dry and let your body heal for another 12 hours. Shower HOT again, pat dry and at that point, a very light coat then of BP as the area by that time will have started to dry out and heal.

By the 3rd day, just shower again, light coat of BP and the peeling process with myself in this case started, no scabbing at all. Repeat to day 5 and by day seven, good as gold. Colors are rich and I was happy with the process.

My artist was very firm to me about the first few hours after the work was done. Do not touch with unclean hands (wash hands very well with AB soap), and to get that plasma off the tattoo as he said, that forms the scabs. Seemed to work for me very well.

This time I am getting a fair bit of blood reds for Japanese infrastructure done an some people have said the reds can be a real bitch to heal. Lets see what happens...

Brain cramp or Noobie question - What is BP?

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In Thailand we call BP cream Bepanthen Cream. It is a Nappy Care cream that for me works a real treat.

I ended up getting 8 and a half hours in shading done. It is day 3 now and using the method I have posted, I have had not one drama. Hardly any peeling this time round to date but I am sure some will come. No scabbing at all but the underarm area is still a bit tender. The skyline colors done a month ago have seemed to have gotten brighter and richer in color and shine and I am wrapped. The building shading is completed now but we ended up going to teak looking browns instead of red.

Super happy. Only hard bit is being told I have 3 more sessions to go instead of two. So about another 24 hours to go and then will post pictures....

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I think the best rule of thumb is to follow the instructions by your artist. Do whatever they say.

I've only had one artist. He instructed me to leave the wrap on over night. Wash it well in the morning with mild soap. And do not apply any lotions. Rinse and repeat daily. I guess its called dry healing. Itchy as hell at times. I only washed it once a day. When the itching got real bad I'd either slap my arm or get a cloth and soak it with warm water and squeeze out excess water over the tattoo and just let it dry on its own. I had no problems so it worked for me.

I'm going to a different artist next time around and I'll follow whatever instructions he gives me. My wife got work done by this new artist and he didn't really give her instructions so she just followed mine. I will be pressing him as to what he wants me to do, because my wife didn't press the issue.

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Shouldn't hurt it, @ailsa, after the scabbing, you will often see flaking or peeling, as noted, like a mild sunburn.

Ah no it's not painful anymore, even though I'm still scabby in some places where a lot of the work was done. It's just good to know this stuff is meant to happen as It's really my first sizable tattoo.

I'm assuming this is the final stage, not had much of the itching but taken on board someone's advice and been taking antihistamines to help with swelling so that probably helped the itching too.

EDIT: @username1 looking forward to seeing what you've had done! sounds really interesting!

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Ah no it's not painful anymore, even though I'm still scabby in some places where a lot of the work was done. It's just good to know this stuff is meant to happen as It's really my first sizable tattoo.

I'm assuming this is the final stage, not had much of the itching but taken on board someone's advice and been taking antihistamines to help with swelling so that probably helped the itching too.

EDIT: @username1 looking forward to seeing what you've had done! sounds really interesting!

With regard to swelling, for my latest tattoo I took arnica tablets the day before getting tattooed, before and during the tattoo, and today is the second day after it and I've taken one today and that was probably the last one I'll take, but I feel that it helped a lot in reducing the swelling. We pretty much completely blacked in my elbow and I was expecting it to balloon, but it only swelled up a little, and I think the arnica really helped with that. I will certainly take it again for my next sessions, especially when we hit my inner bicep because my other inner bicep swelled up like a motherfucker when I got it tattooed and I am interested to see how they compare.

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Thanks @Graeme, will definitely give that a go for my next appointment! Looking forward to the day when I've worked out the best after care for myself as it's very much trail and error for me at the moment!

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