Rad Kelham

That first wash.

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Do you ever have a first wash where you've lathered and rinsed 3 or more times and you can still feel lymph on the surface? Do you continue lathering and rinsing until it's all gone, or just call it done and get out of the shower?

I tend to have extra slimy tattoos (even with the hot shower or bath method) and have a hard time finding a happy place between overwashing and oozing.

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My wife or my son help me. They know to get rid of the plasma. So we keep going till is all gone. Some times we just use hot water to get rid of the plasma. Painful as shit!

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You don't need much soap over and over, just enough to be a little slick. Just gently work away at it with your fingers until it's gone. Can take a little while sometimes but you want it all off.

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I've definitely had tattoos that behave like that and I think it's because of how the tattoo was applied. Mostly with really dense pieces with little negative space to breathe. I let the hot water run over it for as long as I can stand to loosen everything up, go at it with soap until everything is visibly gone and then call it quits. Another soak with witch hazel afterward to seal it up as much as possible and then back to my preferred aftercare routine.

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Typically I get most of it. I think I got it all on my calf sleeve outline too, but there were spots where the excess ink didn't wash off for a few days since I was gentle. Took more than a week for the sharpie marks where he freehanded some stuff, I thoight my heel would be greenish yellow forever!

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Typically I get most of it. I think I got it all on my calf sleeve outline too, but there were spots where the excess ink didn't wash off for a few days since I was gentle. Took more than a week for the sharpie marks where he freehanded some stuff, I thoight my heel would be greenish yellow forever!

If they use tape on a bandage the tape glue (thankfully never on the tattoo) seems to linger for weeks. Probably in part due to being so close to an area I'm not really looking to scrub very hard.

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A near and dear tattooer once told me the first wash should begin by sticking the afflicted area under water as hot as you can stand it for a minute or two, supposedly opens the pores to get more of the slimy gunk out. Then you scrub until it's not slippery to the touch anymore. Otherwise all that slimy stuff hardens into nasty yellowish scabs. I wasn't diligent enough with my lower leg tattoos and I guess all the blood pressure from standing pushed out gunk faster than I could wash it, for a while at the beginning they looked really crusty and nasty. That first hot water rinse hurts like hell but I feel way more clean and refreshed after it (possibly a placebo, but whatever).

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A super famous tattooer that did a piece one me told me to wash it 8 times in a row on that first wash. That seems like overkill. Can you damage the thing from soaping it up too many times per cleaning?

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^That. Pretty much every time, too. None of my tattoos ever washed clean on the first or second pass. It takes a while, but the one time I told myself 'eh, it's only a little shiny right in that one spot, this is probably good enough' I got a dumb scab in that one spot and my healing took much longer, and I had to be much more careful with myself for the duration. Never again!

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^That. Pretty much every time, too. None of my tattoos ever washed clean on the first or second pass. It takes a while, but the one time I told myself 'eh, it's only a little shiny right in that one spot, this is probably good enough' I got a dumb scab in that one spot and my healing took much longer, and I had to be much more careful with myself for the duration. Never again!

I've noticed a few times that I'll keep washing in the shower working on a slimy spot only to get out and realize it's an overworked spot where there is a crater.

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I've noticed a few times that I'll keep washing in the shower working on a slimy spot only to get out and realize it's an overworked spot where there is a crater.

That has happen to me and learned to spot them quick. My wife is good at this now... lol.

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I wash mine until I'm pretty confident most of it is gone, it doesn't really matter if there's still plasma on there as long as you keep it lubed and wrapped, the plasma won't dry and you won't get scabs.

I keep rewrapping for 2 days and by then, it stop leaking plasma and at that point you gotta make sure you wash off all the plasma. Don't want scabs. It'll start shedding skin a day or two later.

Healed my entire sleeve that way and it's vibrant and I haven't needed any touch ups.

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Every time I try to do what the tattooer tells me to do for the first wash. Each one has been a little bit different, but it was all basically gentle soap, no scrubbing, until it is clean. I took clean to mean no more goop at that time, but of course we all know they goop up again eventually in that first day or two. So that's usually when I wash them again, if I can. I guess I let the goop be my guide :)

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I've noticed a few times that I'll keep washing in the shower working on a slimy spot only to get out and realize it's an overworked spot where there is a crater.

I have a question: how do you usually heal these craters? I've gotten them before and I don't really know what to do with them. They usually just end up becoming weird scabs and I lose ink. Is that just the typical thing that happens or is there something that can be done during the healing process?

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I have a question: how do you usually heal these craters? I've gotten them before and I don't really know what to do with them. They usually just end up becoming weird scabs and I lose ink. Is that just the typical thing that happens or is there something that can be done during the healing process?

Ultimately they are the tattooers fault, and there is nothing that you can do other than washing them daily. Doesn't mean your tattooer is a bad tattooer...I've gotten these from the best in the industry. Tattooing damages skin, especially with multiple pass pieces. Sometimes the craters heal fine and other times you need a touch up.

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Ultimately they are the tattooers fault, and there is nothing that you can do other than washing them daily. Doesn't mean your tattooer is a bad tattooer...I've gotten these from the best in the industry. Tattooing damages skin, especially with multiple pass pieces. Sometimes the craters heal fine and other times you need a touch up.

Oh ok, I wasn't sure if there was anything that could be done during the healing stage to fix them. Yeah, I've definitely gotten them before and I wasn't sure if this was like me not washing well enough or if it was on the artist's end. Thanks for the info!

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Ultimately they are the tattooers fault, and there is nothing that you can do other than washing them daily. Doesn't mean your tattooer is a bad tattooer...I've gotten these from the best in the industry. Tattooing damages skin, especially with multiple pass pieces. Sometimes the craters heal fine and other times you need a touch up.

nailed it.

Through out the course of my back piece I got about 3 of them. Two healed just fine with no ink loss and one had to get retouched.

I took pics of the whole process... Its nasty looking though.

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Often the rest of the tattoo will be sealed and peeling and the crater still oozing and open. I tend to stick with aquaphor or ointment rather than switching to lotion, as ointment is OK on dry peeling skin (that's what it is made for), but lotion is no bueno in an open wound. Also, they usually always happen in blended color areas (multiple passes) or tiny areas where the artist snuck the corner of a mag into a tiny area.

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Often the rest of the tattoo will be sealed and peeling and the crater still oozing and open. I tend to stick with aquaphor or ointment rather than switching to lotion, as ointment is OK on dry peeling skin (that's what it is made for), but lotion is no bueno in an open wound. Also, they usually always happen in blended color areas (multiple passes) or tiny areas where the artist snuck the corner of a mag into a tiny area.

This happened to me in some areas of overworked skin from a coverup. I don't really blame the artist - it was inevitable in a way in certain spots. As above, I had to use ointment longer and those scabs took 3 WEEKS to finally stop forming, but I didn't loose any color. I was very, very careful not to help the scabs on their way, but applied ointment then lotion and let them fall off naturally. Very hard to resist picking at them, but I'm glad I didn't.

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Regarding craters, I have found that what works best for me, is to keep the craters as dry as possible. Overall, during the first 2 days, I feel the less ointment the better. I use ointment but am sure to dab of any excess, so that my skin isnt shinny. Too much of any ointment in the first couple days runs risks ink loss. For the crates, I leave them clean dry. They still scab, but leaving them has worked as when they come of the color is still there.

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