The oldest mummified remains ever discovered were wearing earrings
Navel piercing was popular among ancient Egyptian aristocrats and was depicted in Egyptian statuary
During the Middle Ages, a superstitious belief that piercing one ear improved long-distance vision led to the practice among sailors and explorers
Romans pierced their body not for the sake of beauty but for practical purpose. They had their nipples pierced in order to signify their virility and strength. Pierced navel of men symbolized patient dedication to the Roman Empire and courage and even Julius Caesar had pierced nipples. Gladiators had genital piercing through the head of the penis to prevent serious injury in combat
Whatever you do, do NOT pick at the scab on your new tattoo. If the scab comes off too soon, you run the rick of having the ink "heal out," which leaves a blank spot in the design and then you'll have to get that part redone. This can happen a little bit during natural healing, but picking at a scab pretty much guarantees it. No matter how much it itches, don't scratch it.
You can shower with your tattoo, but don't let it sit under the spray and get soaked. Wash it gently with a mild, natural soap using just your fingertips, and try to roll or scrape off as little scab as you can. Rinse quickly and make sure when you dry off to pat (not brush/scrape) the tattooed area. *
Tattoos that are totally brand-new get a light smear of antibiotic ointment on them, until the scab forms. Once the scab starts, you will want to switch to a natural or organic, unscented lotion to keep the skin moisturized. You do not want to use anything that contains lanolin or petroluem jelly in it for healing your tattoo, as these will clog the pores and often contributed to the ink healing out.
While tattoos are healing, you want to avoid clothes that rub the area too much, any activities where the tattoo would get hit hard, anything that scrapes or scratches the healing surface and heavily sweating. Sweat is how the body cools itself AND gets rid of toxins. That toxic sweat can cause your new tattoo to become infected.
Initial healing from new tattoo to scabbed is about 3 days on average and the scab often falls off around days 7-10 but your individual skin healing can vary. The tattoo usually still has some dry skin on top (nicknamed "the saran wrap" phase by many because the tattoo can look shiny) after the heavy scab comes off and after two weeks the skin surface is often healed. The tattoo may be flat to the skin at this point, or it might take a little longer to become flush with the skin. Until the entire surface is healed you want to avoid any swimming or soaking in a hot tub!
Now and for the rest of your life, your tattoo needs as much sun protection as it can get. If the surface is still raw, do not put sunscreen on it, as it can can skin irritation. Keep it covered with soft clothing and out of the sun. Sunburn causes tattoos to lose colors or fade in intensity, and it can make fine lines and details turn blurry. Remember: your individual skin healing and reactions may vary! If you think you are having a problem, go back and talk to your tattoo artist or see a doctor!
CLEANING SOLUTIONS Use either one or both of the following solutions for body piercing: - Packaged sterile saline solution* with no additives (read the label!) or non-iodized sea salt mixture: Dissolve 1/8 - 1/4 teaspoon of non-iodized (iodine free) sea salt into one cup (8 oz) of warm distilled or bottled water. A stronger mixture is not better! Saline solution that is too strong can irritate the piercing. - Liquid anti-microbial or germicidal soap.*
- WASH your hands thoroughly prior to cleaning, or touching on or near your piercing for any reason.
- SALINE soak at least two to three times daily. Simply invert a cup of warm saline solution over the area to form a vacuum for a few minutes. The longer you soak, the better. For certain placements it may be easier to apply using fresh gauze or a cotton ball saturated with saline solution. A brief rinse will remove any residue.
- SOAP no more than once or twice a day. While showering, lather up a pearl size drop of the soap to clean the jewelry and the piercing. Leave the cleanser on the piercing no more than thirty seconds, then rinse thoroughly to remove all traces of the soap from the piercing.
- DRY with disposable paper products such as gauze or tissues, because cloth towels can harbor bacteria and catch on new piercings causing injury. Pat gently to avoid trauma.
WHAT IS NORMAL - Initially: some bleeding, localized swelling, tenderness, or bruising.
During healing: some discoloration, itching, secretion of a whitish-yellow fluid (not pus) that will form some crust on the jewelry. The tissue may tighten around the jewelry as it heals.
Once healed: the jewelry may not move freely in the piercing; DO NOT force it. If you fail to include cleaning your piercing as a part of your daily hygiene routine, normal but smelly bodily secretions may accumulate.
A piercing may seem healed before healing is complete. This is because piercings heal from the outside in, and although it feels healed the tissue remains fragile on the inside. BE PATIENT, and keep cleaning throughout the entire healing period.
Even healed piercings can shrink or close in minutes after having been there for years! This varies from person to person; if you like your piercing, leave the jewelry in place.
WHAT TO DO - Wash your hands prior to touching the piercing; leave it alone except when cleaning. It is not necessary to rotate the jewelry while healing except possibly during cleaning. - Stay healthy. Get enough sleep and eat a nutritious diet. The healthier your lifestyle, the easier it will be for your piercing to heal. Exercise during healing is fine, just “listen” to your body. - Make sure your bedding is kept clean and changed regularly. Wear clean, comfortable breathable clothing that protects your piercing while sleeping. - Showering is safer than taking a bath, because bathtubs tend to harbor bacteria. If you would like to take a bath, clean the tub well before each use.
WHAT TO AVOID - Avoid undue trauma such as friction from clothing, excessive motion of the area, playing with the jewelry and vigorous cleaning. These activities can cause the formation of unsightly and uncomfortable scar tissue, migration, prolonged healing, and other complications.
- Avoid the use of alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, Betadine, Hibiclens or ointment. - Avoid over cleaning. This can delay your healing and irritate your piercing.
- Avoid all oral contact, rough play, and contact with others’ bodily fluids on or near your piercing during healing.
- Avoid stress and recreational drug use including excessive caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol.
- Avoid submerging the piercing in bodies of water such as lakes, pools, jacuzzis, etc. Or protect your piercing using a special waterproof bandage* such as Tegaderm, which is available at drugstores.
- Avoid all beauty and personal care products on or around the piercing including cosmetics, lotions, and sprays, etc.
- Don’t hang charms or any object from your jewelry until the piercing is fully healed.
- Hints and Tips for Jewelry - Unless there is a problem with the size, style, or material of the initial jewelry, leave it in place for the entire healing period.
- Leave jewelry in at all times. Even old, well-healed piercings can shrink or close in minutes after having been there for years! If removed re-insertion can be difficult or impossible.
- With clean hands or paper product, be sure to regularly check threaded ends on your jewelry for tightness. (“Righty-tighty, lefty-loosey”).
- Carry a clean spare ball in case of loss or breakage.
- Should you decide you no longer want the piercing, seek professional help in the removal of the jewelry and continue cleaning the piercing until the hole closes. In most cases only a small indentation will remain.