top of page

Aftercare Instructions

Need to know how to take care of your tattoo or piercing?

Crystal Salt

  Body Piercings Aftercare 

Be sure to wash your hands thoroughly before touching your piercing. Wash with a non-scented, anti-bacterial soap, like Dial Gold, twice daily. Use soap only in the shower. Rinse thoroughly to make sure all soap is washed off of your piercing. Pat dry with a disposable paper towel, or let air dry. Do not use a cloth towel, they can harbor bacteria and snag jewelry. Use Gaia 3-5 times daily. Apply Gaia with a fresh cotton swab.

What is normal?
You may experience some swelling, light bleeding, bruising, and tenderness for the first 3-5 days. After that, some light swelling and white/yellow fluid may form. During healing, you may experience some discoloration and itching. White/yellow fluids may secrete and form a crust around the jewelry. DO NOT PICK IT OFF! The piercing may seem healed, but be patient and clean for the entire healing period. Even a healed piercing can shrink or close in minutes. Clean your piercing everyday with Gaia Aftercare. Do not move your piercing, as it heals it will move freely. A piercing may seem healed before the healing process is complete. This is because your tissue heals from the outside, in. Even though it may feel fine, the inside is still healing. Be patient and continue cleaning for the entire healing period. Even a healed piercing can shrink or close within minutes.

If you like your new piercing, keep jewelry in at all times!

Body Piercing Do’s and Don’ts


  • Always wash hands before touching your piercing for any reason

  • Leave it alone unless you’re cleaning it

  • Clean your sheets and clothing regularly

  • Take showers, NOT baths

  • Take anti-inflammatory medication like ibuprofen to help reduce swelling

  • Use new cotton swabs every time you clean your piercing



  • Do not over clean

  • Do not twist, turn, rotate, or remove jewelry to clean new piercing.

  • Do not play with your jewelry

  • Do not let the piercing come in contact with another person’s bodily fluids

  • Avoid pools, hot tubs, and the ocean. Cover piercing with a waterproof bandage if you do plan on entering any of these listed and clean immediately after getting out

  • Do not submerge your piercing for long periods of time for the first 6 weeks

  • Do not wear makeup, lotions, perfumes, or hair products on or around your piercing

  • Do not hang charms from your piercing until fully healed, this includes dangle navel jewelry

  • Do not use plastic/acrylic balls until healed.

Oral Piercing

Use an alcohol free mouthwash. If you choose to use a different brand of mouthwash, such as Listerine, be sure to dilute with water. Fill the cap with 50% water and 50% mouthwash. Failing to do so can severely irritate the piercing. Be sure to rinse after each time you eat, drink, smoke, kiss, etc. for the entire healing period.

  • Smoking, dipping, and/or vaping can prolong the healing process.


Oral Piercing Do’s and Don’ts


  • Drink cold water and allow small pieces of ice to dissolve in your mouth

  • Take anti-inflammatory medication, such as Advil, Motrin, or ibuprofen - follow the dosages written on the label

  • Sleep with head elevated for the first few nights

  • Use a clean, new toothbrush

  • Brush tongue and jewelry

  • Dilute mouthwash that contains alcohol with water



  • Do not chew gum, pencils, fingernails, sunglasses, etc.

  • No kissing or oral sex

  • Avoid hot, spicy, citrus food/drinks

  • Avoid alcohol and caffeine for the first 48 hours


Micro Dermal Anchor

Clean your dermal 3-6 times a day with Gaia Aftercare, being sure to use a cotton swab to remove secretions around the dermal head. Do Gaia sea salt soaks, twice daily, for 5 minutes each soak.

Make sure for the first week, band aids are worn during sleep and/or physical activity. Be mindful of your new dermals, a snag can rip them out.
Do not change your jewelry for at least 3 months. We recommend that you return to us to help you change out your jewelry for the first time, so that we can walk you through the proper steps.


Lip Piercing

For the outer part of a lip be sure to wash your hands thoroughly before touching your piercing. Use soap only in the shower. Rinse thoroughly to make sure all soap is washed off of your piercing. Pat dry with a disposable paper towel, or let air dry. Do not use a cloth towel, they can harbor bacteria and snag jewelry. Use Gaia Aftercare 3-5 times daily. Apply Gaia with a fresh cotton swab. See “oral piercings” for instructions to clean the inside of lip piercing.
Helpful Hints and Tips
Take a photo of your piercing so you know when you can change it out!


Ear/Ear Cartilage/Facial Piercings

  • Clean your pillowcases regularly

  • Clean your telephones, headphones, glasses, hats, etc.

  • Keep hair products and makeup away from piercing.


Nipple Piercings

  • Wear clean bras, sports bras, or a tight cotton shirt while sleeping.


Navel Piercings

  • A hard, vented eye patch (sold at pharmacies) can be applied under tight clothing (such as nylon stockings) or secured using a length of elastic bandage around the body to protect the area from restrictive clothing, excess irritation, and impact during physical activities such as contact sports.


Genital Piercings

  • Urinate after cleaning with soap

  • Wash hands before wiping

  • Use condoms during sex for the entire healing period (Usually 4-8 Weeks)

  • Clean after all sexual activity

  • Wear breathable cotton underwear

Localised Infection

  • If aftercare advice is not followed correctly, infection may occur on the site of your piercing.


  • If you suffer from any of the following after having your piercing you should speak to your piercer, or seek medical assistance in an emergency: Swelling and redness that increases or lasts more that a week or so after the piercing – A burning or throbbing sensation at the site

  • Increased tenderness, painful to touch

  • An unusual discharge (yellow or green) with an offensive smell

What is hypertrophic scarring?

​Understanding how wounds heal is essential to properly healing your new piercing. When the human body goes through an injury (for example, a piercing), it jumps straight into active healing mode. To do that, your body starts to produce collagen – a fibrous substance which acts as building blocks for new tissue. However, because piercings mean putting jewelry inside the “wound”, sometimes the body produces too much collagen too quickly, which leads to hypertrophic scarring. Hypertrophic scar looks like a raised red bump at the site of piercing, and can be painful and/or itchy. It’s a cosmetic problem and doesn’t cause any medical complications. However, the good news is that it’s possible to prevent those bumps, and treat them once they appear.


What causes piercing bumps?

​Although scarring is normal for the healing process, some people will scar more than others. Cartilage piercings tend to be the worst offenders, as cartilage contains a lot of collagen in it as it is. It’s important to understand that even if you and your piercer did everything right, it’s still possible for the bumps to happen.

Apart from genetics, there are two main reasons for the bumps: physical injury and chemical irritation. This is why you must stay away from any harsh or perfumed products (soaps, shampoos, make up, fake tan, hair dye, rubbing alcohol, etc.). Our piercers recommend using the saline solution you purchased when you were initially  pierced. If, after a few days, there is no improvement, you should stop by the shop and speak to the piercer on duty.

You should also avoid any injuries to your piercing – sometimes you might not even notice minor snags and tugs, but they all lead to re-damaged piercing, which leads to overproduction of collagen. This is why sometimes even piercings that were healed fully form piercing bumps if they get slightly damaged (i.e. pulled on the hair). Sometimes the piercing may look like it’s healed, but piercings heal from the outside to the inside, so it’s not always possible to tell if the piercing is fully healed just by looking at it, which is why you should always seek advice from a professional piercer.


How to prevent piercing bumps?

​Our aftercare advice form lays out all the things you should avoid with your new piercings, but now that you understand how the piercing wounds heal, you can use common sense to avoid any chemical or physical irritation of your piercing. If you have any questions or concerns about possible hypertrophic scars, please get in touch with us, or ask during your piercing visit.

Tattoo Aftercare

Virginia Beach Ink is a clean, professional tattoo studio. Our artist always use sterilized needles and instruments.

These instructions provide a quick and easy healing process.

*Leave the dressing on your tattoo on for at least 2 hours, if the dressing sticks to the tattoo when you remove it, wet the area with lukewarm water and slide the bandage off. DO NOT re-apply the bandage.


*Wash the area gently with a mild, fragrance free (Anitbacterial) soap and water. Use only clean hands and make sure to remove any excess blood, ink, and ointment. Let air dry, or pat clean with paper towel.


*Wash tattoo 2-3 times a day. After washing, allow the skin to dry and apply a VERY thin layer of ointment (Aquaphor, A&D, or a tattoo specific product.)


*If any rash or irritation occurs, wash the tattoo and discontinue the use of any ointment.


*On the fourth day begin to use a mild unscented lotion as your tattoo should be starting to peel. Continue using unscented lotion as your tattoo peels and flakes until it settles into the skin. This may take a few weeks, depending on the size of the tattoo. PEELING AND FLAKING IS A NORMAL PART OF THE HEALING PROCESS.


*It is very important to no soak (swimming, bath tub, hot tubs, ect.) your tattoo in water for two weeks. Direct sunlight on your tattoo is not suggested as well for this same amount of time.


*It is completely normal for your tattoo to itch while it is healing.


*After healing, begin using SPF 30 or higher sunscreen to protect your tattoo.


*Think of the time and money that went into your tattoo, heal it properly and enjoy your investment.


*Please call us if you have any concerns! 757-422-1998


bottom of page