So, I went and got a new tattoo yesterday. It had been a little while since my last one, during which time all the killer artists at my friendly neighbourhood tattoo shop seem to have moved on to greener pastures. I’m not a fan of some of these places on the flashy Queen St tattoo scene where they ink you up in the front window, so I ended up going to this newish place in Kensington that Blog TO rates very highly. Twas only a short streetcar ride away from my place.
If you’ve been tattooed before, you know what it feels like, so I won’t go into explicit details, ‘cept to say that it was roughly a two-hour session–so I sat there and took it for a while. My Pete Townsend/Jim Marshall homage piece turned out quite nicely, may post pics later when it heals. Or not. But anyways, I was caught off-guard after the deed was done, when the artist asked me if I knew how to take care of a new tattoo.
“Sure, Lubriderm three times a day for two weeks, no sun, soaking, etc,” I said, repeating the instructions off an old tattoo card from memory. To which I was met with resounding disapproval, and told not to put any lotion on the skin. When I pressed the issue, I was told that Lubriderm “only makes it worse.” Huh? I mean, I know that baby oils are to be avoided, but it seems strange that one place would recommend something to the point of putting its brand name on their business cards while another one is saying to avoid it like the plague.
Now, this second shop considers themselves to be old-school, specialists in American traditional tattoos, and I’m sure that the Marines at Pearl Harbor weren’t applying Lubriderm to their tats before shipping out to fight in World War II–so maybe their method of wash carefully, then hands off (whoa-oh!) does work, but unfortunately, I don’t have the time to shower thrice daily. I can wash it in the morning, but what’s going to protect the healing patch of skin for the rest of the day?
On the other hand, Lubriderm offers 24-hour protection (it says so on the bottle), though I still put it on three times a day to be safe. I did this for my earlier ink, which healed in a reasonable amount of time–and most importantly, didn’t get infected. I’m not willing to risk infection using the “old-school” method, so I’ve decided to disregard my most recent advice and put the lotion on the skin. Buffalo Bill would be pleased.
Still, I must say that I’m shocked by this vast discrepancy in tattoo care advice from two places that are only a couple kms apart. It’s kinda like one doctor telling you to eat your vegetables, and another one saying that veggies cause cancer. Mind you, I haven’t exactly had a pleasant experience with doctors in this city, either…