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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

If you have additional questions, please don't hesitate to contact us. We're here to provide answers and assist with anything else you might need.
  • What are your aftercare recommendations?
    No more than a few hours after the finish of your tattoo, you should remove the bandage and wash the tattoo. We recommend you wash the tattoo with an anti-bacterial hand soap, such as Dial antibacterial hand soap, to reduce your risk of infection. Also, use lukewarm water as opposed to hot water, which would burn the tattoo. It is important to wash the tattoo lightly, but be sure to remove all ointment, blood, and any other residue. After washing the tattoo, apply an ointment. Some commonly recommended ointments would be Bacitracin, A+D Ointment and Aquaphor; we would recommend staying away from Vaseline and petroleum jelly. It is VERY IMPORTANT to only use a very tiny amount of ointment and that you lightly rub in on in a thin, shiny, “barely there” layer over the tattoo. The tattoo should just have a slight sheen after rubbing in the ointment. Using too much ointment can oversaturate the tattoo and cause excess scabbing, or cause scabs to come off prematurely. It is NOT “the more, the better.” We would recommend use of the ointment for around 3–5 days. During these days, wash your tattoo every morning right when you wake, and right before bed. It is also important to wash the tattoo several times throughout the day. The more you wash your tattoo, the easier and faster your tattoo will heal. If your tattoo is in a hard-to-reach area, have a friend assist you — just make sure they wash their hands thoroughly before they do so. If you do not keep your tattoo clean, you run the risk of both infection and excess scabbing which could result in poor healing. During these first few days, depending on where your tattoo is located, the tattoo may be prone to swelling. Using a bag of ice, elevating the tattooed area, and taking ibuprofen can help reduce the swelling. Around the third to fifth day, you should notice your tattoo has formed a thin, hard layer, which will begin to peel. The peeling is similar to that of a sunburn peeling — only the skin will come off in the colors of the tattoo. This is normal. At this stage in the healing process, you can switch from using the ointment to a non-scented hand lotion. Aveeno, Curel, and Lubriderm non-scented are some common recommendations. For the next two weeks, keep washing the tattoo and use the lotion as needed. Keep the skin moisturized to prevent cracking and bleeding. There may be a couple scabs on your tattoo that take longer to come off then others — some taking up to a few weeks to come off. If this is the case, just let the scabs fall off on their own and be mindful not to pull them off prematurely, as this could result in loss of ink. The majority of your tattoo’s healing should be over in 2 weeks, but it does take up to 4 weeks for a tattoo to be fully healed. Things to avoid during the tattoo healing process: Try not to sleep on your tattoo. For example, if the tattoo is on your back, sleep on your stomach. Not only will the tattoo become stuck to your clothing and linens, it will leave a lovely imprint on your sheets. Should you wake up and your clothes are stuck to your tattoo, do not rip them off, for this could result in the ripping off of scabs. Instead, wet the area of clothing that is stuck to the tattoo with water, and it will become unstuck. Avoid submerging the tattoo. Soaking in water could cause scabs to come off prematurely. Also, avoid swimming due to possible bacteria and irritants in the water. So no ocean, lake, pool, jacuzzi, or bath tub for two weeks! Showers are okay … and encouraged. Avoid the sun! Getting a sunburn on your tattoo can cause some serious problems. Think of your tattoo as like a bad sunburn; you wouldn’t want to get more sun on it. If you’re going to be in the sun for an extended period of time, wear loose cotton clothing over the tattoo. Avoid wearing tight clothing that will rub on the tattoo, as excessive rubbing can lead to scabbing and loss of ink. Some key areas where this is common is around the pants line and the bra line. Try to wear loose fitting cotton clothing over the tattooed area so that it’s breathable, or if you’re not in public, go without! If you had your foot tattooed, try to stick to a more open-type of shoe such as a flip-flop. Also, for the first couple days of healing, the tattoo will tend to “ooze” colors that tend to stain fabric, so don’t wear your Sunday best! Avoid over-working the tattooed area. For example, if you are an avid gym-goer, lay off the arm exercises for two weeks if you just had your arm tattooed. Or, if you just got your foot tattooed, don’t plan a hiking or a five-hour mall trip. Over-working the tattooed area can result in scabbing and poor healing. Working out will also cause you to sweat, which is also not good for the tattoo’s healing process. Gardening: It is recommended to avoid gardening activities that may expose your tattoo to dirt, soil, or irritants. This includes activities like digging, weeding, and handling compost. It is best to wait until your tattoo is fully healed, which usually takes about 2 to 4 weeks, before engaging in gardening activities. Contact with Animals: It is important to avoid direct contact with animals, especially if they may come into contact with your fresh tattoo. Animals can carry bacteria and other potential contaminants that may increase the risk of infection. It is advisable to avoid activities such as petting, grooming, or handling animals until your tattoo is healed. If you are experiencing any adverse effects, here the symptoms and signs of a tattoo infection can include, but are not limited to: Increasing redness, swelling, or tenderness at the tattoo site: If these symptoms worsen or continue to get worse instead of improving over time, it may indicate an infection. Red streaks extending from the tattoo towards the heart: Red streaks on the skin that appear to be spreading from the tattooed area towards the heart can be a sign of an infection and should be evaluated by a healthcare professional. Elevated body temperature: If you experience a significant increase in body temperature, especially if accompanied by other signs of infection, such as chills or sweating, it is advisable to seek medical care. A fever could indicate an underlying infection that requires prompt attention. Presence of purulent drainage: If you notice any pus-like or foul-smelling discharge coming from the tattooed area, it may indicate an infection. This warrants medical attention to properly diagnose and treat the infection. If you experience any of these signs and symptoms, it is important to seek medical care. A healthcare professional can evaluate the situation and provide appropriate treatment to prevent complications and promote healing. Following a tattoo, clients can expect some common aftercare procedures to ensure proper healing and minimize the risk of complications. It is important to follow the tattoo artist's instructions, as they may have specific recommendations based on the size, location, and style of the tattoo. Here are some general suggestions for tattoo aftercare: Cleanliness: Keep the tattooed area clean and dry for the first 24 hours after getting the tattoo. Avoid touching the tattoo with dirty hands and use a mild, fragrance-free soap to gently wash the area. Moisturizing: After the initial 24 hours, apply a thin layer of fragrance-free, non-comedogenic moisturizer to keep the tattooed skin hydrated. Avoid using petroleum-based products as they can clog pores. Protection: Protect the tattoo from direct sunlight, excessive moisture, and friction during the healing process. Avoid swimming in pools, hot tubs, or the ocean, as well as activities that may cause excessive sweating or rubbing against the tattooed area. Healing time: Every tattoo heals at a different rate, but it usually takes about 2-4 weeks for the skin to fully heal. During this time, it is essential to avoid picking, scratching, or peeling off any scabs that may form. While most tattoos heal without complications, there are potential medical complications that may occur as a result of the procedure. These complications include: Infection: If proper aftercare practices are not followed, bacteria can enter the open wound and cause an infection. Signs of infection may include increased pain, redness, swelling, pus, or a foul odor. If any signs of infection occur, it is important to seek medical attention. Allergic reactions: Some individuals may develop an allergic reaction to the tattoo ink or other products used during the tattooing process. Symptoms may include itching, redness, rash, or swelling. If an allergic reaction is suspected, consult a healthcare professional. Bleeding disorders: Individuals with bleeding disorders, such as hemophilia or platelet disorders, may experience excessive bleeding during or after the tattooing procedure. It is crucial for individuals with bleeding disorders to consult with their healthcare provider before getting a tattoo and take appropriate precautions. It is important to note that these are general guidelines, and it is always recommended to consult with a professional tattoo artist and healthcare provider for personalized advice and care instructions following a tattoo.
  • What is your recommendation on numbing cream?
    We ask that you not use any form of numbing cream. If we suspect that you have, we may be forced to cancel your session. The issues involve products that are labeled to contain unsafe levels of unsterile ingredients and ingredients such as lidocaine at concentrations that are higher than what is permitted for over-the-counter, topical pain relief products. When these products that contain high concentrations of lidocaine intended to be used before or during certain cosmetic procedures are applied in ways that could lead to increased absorption of the drug product through the skin, it may lead to serious injury such as irregular heartbeat, seizures, and breathing difficulties. These products may also interact with medications or dietary supplements a consumer is taking. Additionally, when lidocaine is applied over large areas of skin, particularly on irritated or broken skin, for prolonged periods of time and when the skin is covered, the product may cause serious injury. The FDA recommends consumers: not use OTC pain relief products with more than 4% lidocaine on their skin not apply OTC pain relief products heavily over large areas of skin or to irritated or broken skin. not wrap skin treated with OTC pain relief products with plastic wrap or other dressings. Wrapping or covering treated skin with any type of material can increase the chance of serious side effects.
  • Is there parking onsite?
    There is lots of street parking on Kentucky St. however it is mostly 2 hr parking. We strongly encourage the Keller St garage, which is very close to the shop. There is 10hr parking on the 2nd and 3rd floor of the garage.
  • Is the Smart Train a good option for transportation to your shop?
    Yes! Most of our artist use this option for transportation to the shop! We highly recommend this option as the train is always on schedule and avoids traffic. Get on/off at the Downtown Petaluma station.
  • How old do I have to be to get a tattoo?
    According to CA legislation, clients must be 18 years of age, regardless of parental consent to tattoo.
  • Does your shop provide piercing or jewelry service?
    At this time we no longer offer any piercing or jewelry. Joe LaMariana, of Petaluma Piercing Co. would love to help you! He can be found @petalumapiercingco
  • Do you accept walk-ins for tattoos?
    Yes, we love walk-ins! We are available Tuesday through Saturday 12p - 7p. If we have time, we will happily tattoo you!
  • Can I make an appointment for a tattoo?
    Yes! If you prefer to make an appointment, we are always happy to schedule you in! Just get in contact with us and we can help you with the rest of the process.
  • I have an idea for a tattoo, but I could use a little help with the final design. Can you help?
    Totally! We offer clients a free consultation to go over your design ideas along with placement questions. Your artist will happily let you know what they feel will work best. If you like what is discussed, we would love to schedule you for an appointment to get a tattoo.
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