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All hail A&D!

er having recently received my fifth tattoo, I have formed some very strong opinions regarding the correct way to heal them. Most specifically, these opinions center around the proper ointment to use, which I feel is A&D.

I got my first tattoo about five years ago, when I was 19 and living in my native California. It was definitely a beginner tattoo—a small sun and moon that intertwine on my ankle around my sun and moon astrological signs. I know, I know, it sounds very girlie but I did design it myself and I still like it. At the time I felt very brave getting it, since no one I knew had any tattoos at all. Healing wasn't really an issue, since the tattoo was so small and in such an easy place to care for. I believe I did use Neosporin that time, but again the surface area was tiny (about 1 x 2 inches.)

My next tattoo was done about a year later in South Lake Tahoe by a guy named Josh. The studio where Josh had been apprenticing had closed, and he was doing work cheap to save up money to open his own shop. My roommate had had several pieces done by Josh (he is an awesome artist-I wish I knew his last name!) and so I decided to have him tattoo a gecko on my lower back. The tat was done in this guy's kitchen (it really was sanitary, though it doesn't sound like it!) and it turned out to be probably the most artistic tattoo I have-it is all black and gray and shaded to look very lifelike, like it is actually sitting on my skin and casting a shadow. It is about 5 x 3 inches, I guess. To be honest, I can't remember what I used to heal that one. I think it was Neosporin again, but I can't say for sure. I didn 't have any problems with it, though.

So, when I went to get tattoo number three done last summer, I didn't have any qualms about using Neosporin to heal it. This time the artist was Erick Lynch at Midnight Moon Tattoo in Chichester, New Hampshire. Erick is an awesome artist, though his prices aren't necessarily low. The piece this time was my largest so far—a tribal design that I had drawn to go across my upper back. It reaches from one shoulder blade to the other, about 9 inches across. Erick took the design that I had drawn and blew it up until it was the right size, then he got to work. The tattoo went fine, it was a little more painful than I had expected but nothing too major. As usual, on the way home I bought a brand new tube of good old Neosporin. That would prove to be a mistake!

After about the third day of liberally applying Neosporin as I had in the past, I developed a very, VERY nasty rash all over and around my new tattoo. Let me just tell you that the rash was ten times worse than actually getting the tattoo done. It itched like hell, but I was of course terrified to scratch it and fuck up my new piece. Thank God for my boyfriend, who got the unfortunate job of carefully scratching around the fresh inkwork to try to relieve my discomfort. I of course stopped the Neosporin right away and switched to lotion, but the rash persisted for almost a week. The fact that it was a hot, sticky New England June only made matters worse.

About a month later, still with that tattoo bug, I finally designed my much awaited armband. It is a sort of delicate tribal design that fully encircles my right bicep. Once I had it drawn out, it was back to Chicester again. Erick did a fantastic job-the band looks great and it is practically impossible even for me to find the seam. Of course this time I was very wary as to the healing process. However, I thought that maybe I had gotten the rash last time because I had simply been applying too much Neosporin. That tattoo being where it was (on my upper back) it was hard to apply the ointment myself so I had globbed a lot on to make sure it was fully coated. This time, with the armband, I used the Neosporin very sparingly, and switched to lotion after the second day. It healed OK, but I think it should have had more protection in those early stages. Why didn't I just use something else? I had always figured that these ointments are all the same. That opinion would soon change.

I got tattoo number five in April, a little over 2 months ago. This time I went south, to Rhode Island (I live in Massachusetts, where tattooing is illegal) to Bulldog Tattoo in Pawtucket. My artist this time was Autumne, and she rules! I can't wait to go back and have more work done by her. Not only are her prices quite reasonable, but she is just a cool person and a great artist. They also have a pool table and two huge bulldogs in the outer part of their studio, which provide entertainment for anyone who goes with you.

This time the tattoo was another self-designed tribal: a sun on my left bicep. The piece came out great, exactly like I had drawn it, and it only cost $80. While she was working on it, I discussed my Neosporin problems with Autumne. She suggested that I use A&D ointment, and said that most of her clients healed really well with it. She wasn't sure why, exactly, she just knew that people had more success with A&D. When I left, Autumne gave me a couple free sample tubes of A&D and sent me on my way.

Now, A&D may stink a bit, but it works! I had no problems whatsoever using it, and I used it quite a bit, as my new tattoo was sore for several days. Not only did I not even develop a hint of a rash, I found A&D easier to apply to a sensitive new tattoo since it is a little more viscous than its counterpart. I don't work for the company or anything, I just thought I would pass on my experiences. Anyone who has a tattoo, or who is considering getting one done, knows that it is a serious investment, financially, physically, and emotionally. The last thing you want to do is mess up the body art that you have planned for and wanted so long simply because it doesn't heal properly.

I know I will use A&D from now on, and I plan to be using it again soon. By the end of July I will have matching tribal feet pieces done by Autumne at Bulldog Tattoo. I can't wait! Take care everybody, and take care of your tattoos-they'll be with you for life!

Amber D.

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submitted by: Anonymous
on: 01 July 1999
in Tattoos

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