Just A Few Days Later

So after just about 4 days after getting my elbow tattooed, which I must admit was an experience for me, I am well into the healing process. To disclaim, the healing process of tattoos is different for everyone and I am not justifying how it should be, but these are my experiences.

For the first few days I was in some minor pain that was just mainly irritation and some bruising that formed around the fine lines of the script of the tattoo. I am a big fan of constantly cleaning the affected area and especially since it is on my elbow that touches the dirty counters of where I work, keeping it clean is a big concern of mine.

To clean my tattoos, I have always preferred using a spray by the trademarked brand Bactin. It is a cleanser, pain relieving, and infection fighting spray that covers any affected areas and cleans them thoroughly. Spray the tattoo and its surrounding areas and with either a CLEAN wash cloth or even paper towel, gently pat the tattoo until mostly dry. After that comes the moisturizing process. Now if the tattoo becomes too dry and too brittle there is more of a risk of deforming the tattoo, losing some of the ink, and even infections (which I have had on my leg and let me say they are not fun at all). I prefer for the first few days after being tattooed, using a healing ointment named Aquaphor. Applying a thin layer every few hours seems to keep my tattoo from drying out completely which is a plus. The Bactin/Aquaphor duo that I use seems to really work for me and after the first couple of days I continue to clean with Bactin but substitute the ointment out for a regular lotion such as Lubiderm every so often to keep the moisture.

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This was the best close up picture I can get by myself of the tattoo where you can see that the redness for the most part has completely disappeared. I am still irritated in some ways especially when bending my arm back and forth. Looking at my arm towards the left there is definitely some swelling and the words are all individually raised which is very natural. Most of it has scabbed over completely which is a good sign of proper healing! I can not stress this enough, DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE PICK AT YOUR SCABS! If you are to take a way any of the scabs that are on the tattoo you are prolonging the healing process and interrupting the natural flow of it.

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From another perspective of the tattoo (sorry not the best of quality) it is evident that I am going to need to get a touch up which is not a complete shock to me. Some of the lines appear to be shaky or even from just brushing up against my shirts of somethings at work so of my scabs partially came off. It also slightly appears that my skin could have rejected the ink as well. That is natural and happens to almost everyone depending on if your skin is sensitive, how heavy or light handed the artist was, and even the type of ink used. Looks like it might be another 2 weeks before I am completely healed and ready for touch ups.

All in all I am actual very happy with how easy this tattoo is healing. I am a typical person to take twice as long to heal apart from everyone else. I have fair and thin skin which makes my healing process much longer and usually much more painful unfortunately. Will keep updating and post a final healed picture in the future!

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Let’s Make This Personal…

Since I have started this journey of explaining the importance of tattoos and how they effect one so deeply I thought I might as well get one to kick off a new beginning for me. As of today, I am officially at double digits, ten tattoos, yet I think number ten holds some of the most significance for me. I started this journey in my hometown of Belmar, NJ at the shop Fast Times.

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Now after explaining what I wanted and why (will reveal at the end), my artist, Hans, began to draw out exactly what I wanted and seen here I was being stenciled out for placement of my new piece.

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I think one of the most exciting moments of getting tattooed is laying down on one of the beds, smelling all of the cleaners, and hearing the roaring of the needles right before they begin to dig away and leave masterpieces in one’s skin. Above is, though a horrible picture, of me and Hans setting up right before the needle goes into my elbow leaving beauty.

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Just a casual mid-tattoo shot featuring Hans of Fast Times.

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After an agonizing half hour of constant back and forth into my arm, I was permanently left with the most beautiful reminder to myself. I explained to Hans that growing up I was always drowning within the depths of everything I hated about myself and what I was going through growing up in a broken family. It was not until recently that I began to learn to love myself and take care of me not for anyone else, friends, family, significant others, but most importantly myself. This quote is to remind me to fall in love with myself first before anything else.

Hans had used Eternal Ink which I will be reviewing in a later post if anyone was wondering. To review his tattooing style, he had a great hand in an especially sensitive area of the body. Now I have some tattoos in the most sensitive spots and to give a 1-10 scale of discomfort for around the elbow with 1 being the feeling of sunburn and 10 being the level of actually fainting, I would rate this a solid 7. Around the elbow is a very sensitive spot, especially with the fact that it goes over some major bones. During the process I was beat red in the face and sweating profusely throughout the half hour. This is just a personal examination of the pain and everyone will have a different tolerance for the pain. As for me this was a brutal spot, but it was beautifully done and well worth its pain!

The aftercare follows with wearing a bandage for 2 hours. Following the bandage you must clean, clean, and I can not say this enough CLEAN, the area that had just been tattooed. For about 2 days post tattoo one should put on a thin layer of healing ointment, I prefer Aquaphor, to help the process of healing and sealing the ink in. After that one can use regular lotion to maintain the tattoo and prevent dryness and cracking.

Welcome!

Welcome to Unsolicited Ink! My name is Julia and I have a serious passion and devotion to getting tattoos and being educated on the do’s and do not’s when it comes to getting tatted. Whether it be from what ink to use, maintenance and aftercare of your tattoos, what artist suits best for what person, to anything else that has to do with being a walking piece of art.

Personally I have 9 tattoos, though some are visible and some are not, I would like to share the significance of the few that I can and that have actual meanings behind them.

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These were my first two that led me into my severe love of ink. MCDXII was the first which stands for 1412. Growing up I lived in my mother’s childhood home which was 1412 on our street. Now growing up there was a dream come true with a happy family, friends, neighbors, a dog, the whole nine yards when it comes to your regular suburban living. Unfortunately, at the age of eleven my father left my family with nothing thus forcing us to lose not only my childhood home, but my mother’s as well. I had it tattooed on me because of the significance it holds to my past.

“new again.” is actually a song from one of my favorite artists, Taking Back Sunday. The song goes on about having a new beginning and become a new person that is worth living for. I proceeded to get it done in order to represent my future as I see my house number as my past yet my other wrist to be a new person and to carry on for the rest of my life.

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A few months after the first two were done I ended up in a severe car accident that changed my life forever. As my best friend and I were heading to get Christmas presents at the mall, my car spun out going 70 mph, we spun four times before flipping two and a half landing upside down on a guardrail. My friend walked out of the accident with one little cut as I suffered a bruised rib cage, sever concussion, and a lifetime of fear of driving. I was told that if we moved 3 more inches I would have for sure been announce D.O.A. and ever since then I have chosen to not take my life for granted. On the one year anniversary of the accident we got matching boat tattoos to represent the two of us continuing to sail through life and keep going on after almost losing it all.

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Now this one’s meaning is not too long, but as it goes is everyone from my hometown of Belmar, NJ always gets a tattoo dedicated to the beach and how growing up near the coast line is very different than what anyone can expect. Instead of getting a conventional seashell I decided to get a trident to represent my love for the sea.

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Now lastly out of the tattoos I am willing to share I have 3 glyph symbols across my other arms which are what dictate my life without being too blunt about it. In order they represent Create, Connect, and Protect. In my life I have created who I am and what I want to be, I connect with as many people as I can and is what I look forward to doing for the rest of my life and lastly I protect everything and everyone that I love from the horrors of the world.

From the few that I’ve shown, it is obvious that I went on the smaller scale for most of my tattoos. I am patiently waiting to continue filling in my body with more and more art work because sometimes the most destructive things are the most beautiful and that is exactly how I view tattoos. They are some of the worst pain and damage to the body but at the end of the day, after all of that pain leaves some of the most beautiful artwork I have ever seen and why not represent it on the canvas of my skin everyday!