Rule # 1-999 Don’t touch your tattoo!

Okay, that should cover rules 1 through 999. Just say them over and over again until you understand that touching is NOT ALLOWED. Just play like you are dating in the 19th Century. You are you. Your tattoo is your date. These instructions are your chaperone. And the chaperone says, “Don’t even think about touching your date.”

Rule # 1000

Do NOT remove the bandaid or bandage for three hours. We put the dressing over your tattoo to prevent airborne infectious agents from getting into the wound. Now we realize that “airborne infectious agents” sounds very similar to weapons of mass destruction. Trust us on this: it will not take a team of inspectors to find AIA ready to attack your tattoo.

Rule # 1001

Wash your tattoo with warm water and antibacterial soap. Of course we’re talking about after you remove the bandage. You know we had to say that because of lawyers and all — not to mention that some folks are so dumb they probably voted for — well, that’s another story.

Look back at that first line of this rule.
What are you supposed to wash with? Warm water and antibacterial soap. Did you see the word “washcloth?” No, you didn’t. That means that you should not use any type of abrasive cloth. Like so many things in life, your hand is your best friend. (We were talking about eating, driving, playing golf, etc. What were you thinking?) So let’s make the ingredients of successful washing to be warm water, antibacterial soap and your hand. Oh yeah, wash your hands before you start.

Rule # 1002

Gently pat dry your tattoo after washing with a clean paper towel or a clean bath or hand towel, if you have any. Having used a towel for less than seven days does not qualify it to be a clean towel. Note to bikers: Do NOT substitute doo-rag for towel.

Rule # 1003

Using the fingers of your clean hand, we recommend you apply a light cover of Aquaphor Healing Ointment to your tattoo. You can find it in most grocery or drug stores. Since you’ll be washing your tattoo twice a day for three days, watch for any allergic reaction you may have to the ointment. Once upon a time Neosporin was widely used but too many people had reactions to it. If you have a question or concern about the ointment, call 7th Street Tattoos at (501) 372-6722.

Rule # 1004

You did read the part about doing the washing thing twice a day for three days, didn’t you? If not, this rule is to remind you to read more carefully.

Rule # 1005

DO NOT SCRATCH YOUR ITCHING TATTOO. All healing wounds itch and peel. Let your tattoo do its thing. Don’t help it by peeling away the scabs and, very possibly, some of your tattoo. If the itching seems to get unbearable (and it shouldn’t) apply a little ointment and find a friend with whom you can take your mind off your tattoo.

Rule # 1006

Now is NOT the best time in your life to go swimming, sun bathing, skinnydipping or any such activity that will expose your wound to bacteria or sun. Guess what? You religiously followed these 1006 rules and your tattoo healed. But you’re not finished with aftercare.

Rule # 1007

Okay, you cannot stay out of the sun for the rest of your life. And there are those of us with more vanity than we actually need who frequent tanning beds. Use sunscreen on your tattoo when in the sun or tanning bed. Why?Because your precious tattoo will fade, that’s why. And after all you’ve been through so far, you certainly don’t want it fading.