Having a tattoo, micro blading or brow shading for the first time can be exciting, daunting and of course its permanent unless you want to put yourself through painful laser treatment...believe me I know, as I have several tattoos that I absolutely love but I did have a part of one removed at one time because I didn't live with the design long enough before I went ahead - it was a painful lesson!
If you are thinking about having a tattoo for the very first time my advice is to find a tattooist that has been personally recommended. I go to Pete Bienge at The Family Business in Exmouth Street Market, Islington, London because I love his artistic eye and I trust him - that's really important. Never book in with a tattooist who doesn't give you some design time in advance. The image attached to this blog of a Hopi Indian Bird is one he did for me. Always make sure you think carefully about your image and make it mean something special to you. Live with it painted in place on your body before you make the call.
I thought it would be helpful to give you some homeopathic advice so that you are fully armed and prepared for all eventualities. So, if you have butterflies in your tummy / a bit of a fear around the use of the needle perhaps, then you will benefit from taking the remedy Argentum Nitrate (Arg Nit) before you set off for your appointment. This remedy is the No 1 remedy for anticipatory anxiety.
Once the deed is done and you have listened very carefully to your tattooist's instructions on keeping the new tattoo area clean etc, the remedy most likely to help you with any lingering pain is Arnica. No 1 for painful inflammation and bruising after injury. (We are treating this like a wound because that's exactly what it is). Take a dose every two hours after the procedure for three to four doses a day until the pain subsides.
There are other remedies that can be helpful at this stage so you may want to alternate them around the Arnica. If the area of the tattoo is on a nerve rich part of the body you may want to take some Hypericum. Again this is the top remedy for injury to nerves, especially to fingers or toes. You might feel excessive pain and sensitivity depending on the extent of the tattoo area, it's position and your tolerance for pain. Often called the Arnica of the nerves, this remedy will help.
If you happen to have a slight allergic reaction or any swelling on or around the tattoo then look at Apis Mellifica. The inflammation indicated in this remedy gives the skin a shiny read puffy appearance. It can look like there's a build up of fluid and the pain is often stinging.
If your tattoo is close to your eyes (micro blading or brow shading) I would consider taking a dose of Ledum. This remedy is the No 1 for puncture wounds and it has a particular affinity for the eye area and for wounds that feel cold. This was probably my most prescribed remedy during the pandemic for painful arms after vaccination - its very effective.
If you are unfortunate enough to develop an infection in the wound you should seek medical advice and on the way take some Belladonna. If you require this remedy you can expect the skin to be hot, sensitive, possibly burning, and you may see the tell-tale streaks of red coming away from the injury which indicate suppuration (infection). Act promptly if you have these symptoms.
Finally I want to introduce you to the wonderful remedy Calendula. This remedy is a remarkable healing agent and will promote rapid repair of the skin in and around your tattoo. If you feel excessive pain at first when the tattoo is raw and inflamed, this is the perfect remedy.
Macerated Calendula Oil is a great substitute for the bio-oil which many tattooists unfortunately recommend once the skin has healed over. In the UK 'Neals Yard' sell a lovely one.
Laser removal - this is a much more painful procedure than having a tattoo in my experience. If you plan ahead well enough hopefully you will never need it but if you have a rather impulsive moment, as I did, its good to know that there are remedies that can help. The skin really is literally burnt as the laser's light set at a special frequency, reacts with the ink targeted. It is an extremely precise procedure (in the right hands) but you can expect blistering of the skin, bleeding and some degree of pain. Look at Arnica and Calendula as above but I also used Cantharis. This remedy is - you guessed it - the No 1 remedy for burns! Your skin may feel scalded and raw. This remedy addresses the blisters from burns. In violently acute inflammation I wouldn't be without it. It pays to have laser tattoo removal done by an experienced and skilful practitioner who will carefully explain everything, take care to be updated by you in between appointments, and whose experience ensures that the treatment will work and that you won't experience scarring. The practitioner I went to was also from The Family Business, Dale Turner, I can't recommend him highly enough.
A word on dosing. I would recommend a 30c potency which can be repeated several times daily in an acute / wound situation like this. If you find a remedy is not helping then you may have chosen incorrectly, stop and change the remedy. Discontinue the remedies after 48hrs to check in on how your body is healing. Taper the dose down over time. Don't forget, if you feel you need further support, just get in touch for a free 15 minute chat through my website. Happy tattoing!