Before You Tattoo
As with any tattoo, you want to ensure that the skin you are tattooing into is good, healthy skin.
If the skin is very dry or flaking it's important to exfoliate the dead skin cells before tattooing. I like to have my clients prep their lips starting about 3 weeks prior to their appointment by wetting their lips and gently rubbing with some sugar to exfoliate the skin. Then apply some Aquaphor, after inked (black label) or A & D ointment. I have them do this nightly.
Be sure that the lips and surrounding skin are free from rashes, sores, blemishes or anything else that may interfere with tattooing or healing. If you are unsure, refer to a doctor (remember it is not in our scope to diagnose).
If the client is known to have cold sores (even if they haven't had one in YEARS) You can suggest that they ask their doctor for an antiviral medication to suppress the virus and prevent outbreaks. This should be started at least 3 days prior to the procedure, or as recommended by the doctor.
Unless you are a properly licensed medical professional you may not EVER tell your cleints to take any type of medication (prescription or over the counter)
I ask my clients to refrain from:
- Any products with retin-a on or around the lips for at least 3 weeks prior (retin-a makes the skin thin and sensitive)
- Any fillers or botox at least 3 weeks prior (lips should be healed from any past procedures before tattooing)
- Sun exposure at least 1 week prior (sun burnt lips are not ideal to tattoo)
- Alcohol at least 24 hours prior (alcohol thins the blood and leads to excess bleeding which results in poor pigment retention and excess swelling)
- Caffeine at least 5 hours prior (caffeine can increase blood flow, up anxiety, decrease pain tolerance and is a diuretic-I don't want my clients wiggling around and needling to go to the bathroom mid procedure)