Ink, part III – 72 hours later

In keeping with the trend from the first two parts, 72 hours later, or as of last night:


As usual, clickable thumbnail.

The shininess is from A&D ointment. At the suggestion of my artist, new ink gets covered with A&D for the first three days or so to help healing. Now that I’m into the fourth day, I’ve switched to plain (e.g., unscented, etc.; I used a Lubriderm variety because my Eucerin managed to end up at work during my recent office shuffle) lotion, which is easier to apply and doesn’t leave the sheen. I can still feel the outline when I put lotion on – it’s rougher and raised slightly – but that’s normal and part of the healing. There was still some tenderness yesterday in spots, but so far today there doesn’t seem to be any left. I expect it will be fully healed in a week or so.


From the northwest corner of a brand new crescent moon..

In my early 20’s, I was a Dead Head. This isn’t necessarily something I’ve tried to keep secret, but it also doesn’t come up much these days. I have boxes and boxes of bootlegs; they’ve been packed in those boxes for years.. possibly close to a decade now, and I doubt I’ll start listening to them again now. But I also have a third to half of the Dead’s studio albums, plus a smattering of their live CDs and as they’ve managed to come up on random in my iTunes, I remember just why I like them. In particular, it’s the songs written by Robert Hunter that tend to grab me most.

Terrapin Station has now popped twice today – once at home and once at work – so something out there appears to be trying to push a message through. For those unfamiliar with the song, the lyrics are available here, annotated. (For what it’s worth, Help->Slip->Franklin from Without a Net seems to have become a favorite of my work iTunes, which I find a little amusing.)

And because it jogged some brain cells, I also took pictures of my ink this morning. Mostly, this is for my own gratification, but I thought it might also be interesting for those of you who might be curious to see how the ink has settled now that everything’s fully healed.

(Clickable thumbnails, as usual.)

I couldn’t get a good picture of all the phases in one, and the picture of the ones on the right are blurry, but I think it’s good enough for now. You can’t tell where the touch-up in the full was done anymore, and while the later four phases still seem a little crisper to my eye, it’s no longer nearly as noticeable as it was when they were first done.

Ink, Part II – 72 hours later

And, as with last time, 72 hours after inking (clickable thumbnail.. apologies for the errant hair).

This one also shows a little better how much the ink fades as it heals; you can see the spot that was touched up in the full moon (the shading in the bar to the top right of the pentacle) because it’s still so much darker than the rest. Eventually, it will all fade out evenly and you won’t be able to tell that the full was done first. I’m told that some colors will fade with time much faster than others – reds are apparently fairly notorious, especially in skin that get exposed to sunlight frequently – but that the black stands up to time the best.

A number of people, after seeing either the full moon or the other four the day after they were completed commented on how good they looked and how they didn’t look brand new. This may be in part due to my healing ability, but I doubt it. 🙂 I’d credit it more to the skill of the artist; I had an extraordinarily good artist – he works confidently and efficiently – and I’m pretty sure that all four of the partial moons were completed in about or a little over an hour. I can’t speak to any other artist, but I do believe that a good artist can do a lot to keep trauma to the skin, and thereby swelling and pain, to a minimum. It will still hurt – the four are still somewhat tender to rough touch, but are also now starting to itch as they heal – but a good artist will take care of your skin as they work and make sure you know how to care for it once you leave. That being said, everyone’s body will react differently, so your mileage may vary.

I’ve also had more than one person comment on the size of these in a “I could never do that” way. If we’d try to do all five in one sitting, I’d have agreed – the first one was hardest, but only because I wasn’t sure what to expect. The other four still hurt, but I was much calmer, so it wasn’t as scary and I think that for a lot of people getting a first tattoo, it’s the fear more than the actual pain that freaks them out. If you’re contemplating a larger or multi-piece tattoo and you’ve never had one, I would strongly advise you to find a good, reputable artist and pick one element that can stand alone to do first. That way, you get the unknown taken care of and still have a piece that won’t look incomplete if you decide you don’t want to get the rest.

As for me.. *smile* Watch this space in a few months for the next installment.