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Lower leg tattoo


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

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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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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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.

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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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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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  • 2 months later...

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.

2011-09-29135021.jpg

The tattoo is on the other side of my calf.

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  • 2 weeks later...

My lower leg actually heals pretty fast (2-3 weeks and its 100%). I never had swelling past the first 24 hours max. I also make sure to elevate my leg the second I get home and keep it elevated as much as possible the following day, no issues here! Only thing is it seems to get dried out way easier than other locations, so tons of water + tons of lotion seems to do the trick.

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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.

If you haven't picked up your script , good old aspirin is one of the best anti-inflammatorys you can get and also a lot gentler on your stomach than equivalent prescription meds .

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If you haven't picked up your script , good old aspirin is one of the best anti-inflammatorys you can get and also a lot gentler on your stomach than equivalent prescription meds .

Yeah, its been a while since I posted this. My leg is all good now, but at the time I wasn't even trying to get prescription meds, I wanted OTC stuff. And I drink to much to be taken aspirin everyday.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Im going to be in San Francisco around new years, and was hoping to get a shin tattoo while i was there.

The problem is, 14 days later im going to be skiing, and due to the tightness and pressure on shins from boots while skiing i was wondering if this would be a problem?

I only have one previous tattoo so dont know a whole lot about the healing process, the one i have took about 2 weeks maybe a bit less to heal and was on the back of my arm, but talk in this thread of the healing process taking twice as long has me worried.

So basically I'm wondering if skiing on a 2 week old shin tattoo would damage it or be particularly painful for me

Any help is much appreciated, Sam

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 10 months later...
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

I had to re-read this last night. My new Burk leopard head was killing me--the swelling was intense! I had to rig a few extra pillows and try to sleep with it elevated. I think I'm probably past the worst of it. Funny how it's always more painful the night after than during.

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I had to re-read this last night. My new Burk leopard head was killing me--the swelling was intense! I had to rig a few extra pillows and try to sleep with it elevated. I think I'm probably past the worst of it. Funny how it's always more painful the night after than during.

Hahah yea the night/day after is usually intense, especially on the legs. Also take some anti-inflamatories. Helps a bit for sure.

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I had to re-read this last night. My new Burk leopard head was killing me--the swelling was intense! I had to rig a few extra pillows and try to sleep with it elevated. I think I'm probably past the worst of it. Funny how it's always more painful the night after than during.

Since my last post on this thread I had the lower inside of my leg tattooed. I'ts right what you say about the pain. I only started to experience bad pain a day or two after the tattoo. It was so bad I took three half days off work and that was four days after the tattoo.

I was told that as you get older you experience more swelling and pain in lower leg tattoos. It's to do with the circulation in your legs not being quite as good.

That feeling when you get out of bed and stand up. Horrible.

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I only have a couple of small tattoos on the insides of my lower legs (between ankle and the calf muscle...one climbs slightly onto the calf) and I thought they were the easiest tattoos I've gotten so far. Didn't hurt too much getting them, and I really had no problems in healing them. Now I'm concerned that I've tricked myself into thinking that the rest of my lower legs will be a breeze and that they're actually going to completely suck when I figure out what to do with them.

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