I Got It From Some Kitty Next Door
Turns out there's been a slight complication with the aprez-inking situation.
I went in to see Michael at the tattoo shop yesterday after work, because I was having some concern about the way the piece was healing up - or not as the case may be. Upon lifting my trouser leg to expose the area, the first thing he said was, "You have cats, don't you?"
When I replied in the affirmative, he explained the problem, "Cat hair is very fine, and during the healing process it can get into the pores pretty easily. The mites that naturally live on the hair then get in there and start doing their thing, which can lead to an infection."
Okay, news to me. And it hadn't been a problem before, although in the case of my previous work, which are also much smaller designs, it was all covered for the most part by shirt sleeves, so probably never exposed to cat hair to the same degree this one has been.
He suggested putting antibiotic ointment on the tattoo for about ten minutes after the first washing of the day, then removing it (apparently antibiotic creams actually retard the body's natural healing process - i.e. they prevent scabbing, which is necessary to help remove the upper layer of skin after the ink has been applied subcutaneously, so generally they're not recommended), in order to kill any bacteria the wee beasties may be leaving in the pores. He also indicated that, if the inflammation hadn't become noticeably less after a few days, I might want to see a doctor about a prescription for some mild antibiotics, to prevent any possible bacterial infection from setting in.
So, naturally I rushed home, washed my leg again and applied some Neosporin - for about fifteen minutes, just to be safe - and went to bed last night wearing sweats - my cats occasionally like to crawl beneath the sheets, so even with relatively fresh linen there's sure to be cat hair down there somewhere.
This morning there was a definite improvement: the scabs are beginning to loosen (TMI, I'm sure, but hey, this is about as bad as it gets), and the red, irritated skin around the edges of the ink seemed to be noticeably reduced. Also, I wasn't feeling the amount of "pinching" on my calf, which I had previously attributed to the natural shrinkage of the dead skin tissue as it dessicated. Good signs all.
So, I'm going to give the remedy a try for a couple more days, and see how things progress. With luck, the irritation will dissappear by the beginning of next week, and I figure most of the scabbing will be gone by then as well, hopefully leaving the piece in a showable condition.
Labels: cats, Tattoos
on 11:08 AM