We all long for beautiful and full rosy lips, and few people are so lucky! Redefinition of an irregular lip line can be accomplished with a lip colour procedure or restoration of colour that has faded.
Just getting your lips tattooed should not be all. Lip tattoo, unlike tattoos on other parts of the body, is more vulnerable to getting faded away in a few days. As most people go for the inner carving of such tattoos, it makes it difficult to care for them. This is because the lips are a high-moisture area, and so most lip tattoos fade away quickly – about 40% of them. So, what is needed is a proper aftercare regimen.
Beautiful sensual lips are created by adding natural colour where needed, achieving instant fullness and definition. Subtle corrections can be made to thin, uneven or asymmetrical lips, and the size and shape can be altered as desired. Facial lines around the mouth are instantly camouflaged, and lipstick bleed is eliminated.
Many people request colour similar to that of an infant – a very natural soft pinkish/red. Others desire a more dramatic effect. During your consultation, you can discuss how many colours you want. The intensity of the desired colour will determine the number of touch-ups that will be required. Most lip procedures require at least one touch up.
How do I prepare for the lip procedure?
You MUST understand that if you have EVER had chickenpox, a fever blister, or a cold sore, you MUST take Zovirax, Famvir or Valtrex or other anti-viral pre and post-procedure to help prevent the outbreak of cold sores. There are NO exceptions to this rule! If you do have an outbreak, it will usually occur on the third (3rd) day following lip colour application. This rule holds true for every time you have any amount of permanent lip colour applied.
You will need to call your physician to obtain your prescription strength anti-viral medication. You must inform them of your decision to have your lips permanently coloured, and they will need to call your prescription in for you to pick up at your pharmacy.
How will I look immediately following the procedure?
Your lips will look slightly larger than normal and look as though you may have had a slight lip filler injection. The “natural” lip colour, however, will look quite dark, like lipstick. You need to know that the size of your lips will shrink back to about normal and the colour will significantly fade up to 50% within the first three days. You will lose colour on the inside of your lips first, the edges last. Just remember all procedures must HEAL, PEEL and FADE! This process may take up to 10 days.
Post-Procedure – After Care
The “aftercare” procedures are as important to the retention of the pigment as the actual implantation process. During this period, the primary objective is to allow the bonding process to be completely sealed inside the dermis. Your compliance will ensure that you receive maximum benefits from the procedure and reduce inconvenient follow-up visits.
The judgment of your results should be deferred until three weeks to one month following the final procedure. Immediately following the procedure, your look may be harsh and painted on looking, but it will soften up and look more natural as you heal. Again, the intensity of the procedure is most prominent following the procedure itself. Over the next 3-7 days, the outer layer of colour will appear crusty and start to flake off. Special care should be exercised while the treated area is healing. Under no circumstances should you pick, scratch or rub the treated area or attempt to remove the crusty material. Removing the crusts may result in the removal of the actual pigment and infection may occur. This protective “cover” must stay on during the healing process (three to seven days). As the outer layer flakes off, you will notice that the colour is lighter and softer. For the following two weeks, the colour that was implanted under the skin will move forward. After three weeks, your healing process should be complete.
After you leave, I recommend that ice packs be applied for 10 to 15 minutes each hour for the first 4-8 hours following the procedure. The ice is used to reduce swelling and provide comfort. After the early 24 hours, the use of ice is no longer beneficial. Old wives’ tale: Cooled used tea bags are also useful for preventing swelling. No soap, cleanser or shampoo on the treated area for seven (7) days. Soap and cleaners are designed to remove any foreign substances. This is detrimental to the bonding process required for the pigment to become permanent. Toothpaste and mouthwash are considered “soap” and will remove lip colour, so proceed with caution when using.
All cleaning should be done with a clean Q-tip dipped in cool water and gently dabbed on the treated area. Do not rub the area in any way.
Apply A & D ointment with a Q-Tip in the procedure area for the first 24 hours. Then for the rest of the week, apply Vitamin E oil or Liquid. Apply to the treatment area with a Q-tip several times per day (Do not use mineral oil or petroleum-based products such as Vaseline.) This is to be done in a gentle dabbing motion as not to disrupt the pigmentation bonding process. This will keep the area moist and accelerate healing. Do not let the area dry out, keep moist all times. Check your lips every thirty (30) minutes, re-apply ointment as necessary. Do not press or rub when applying ointment. Apply an extra heavy coat of ointment to the treated area before bedtime, bath, washing of adjacent areas, and immediately upon rising in the morning. If any form of redness, tenderness, drainage, fever or rash occurs, please contact Enhanced Cosmetics or your health care provider immediately!
Baths and showers are permitted but do not wash, scrub or touch the treatment area. Hot, steamy baths and showers should be avoided completely. After two weeks, you may resume all regular activities. When brushing teeth for the first three (3) days, coat lips with a lot of ointment before brushing and use a minimal amount of toothpaste.
For the first two (2) days, use a straw when drinking liquids; avoid sandwiches, biting into fruit or foods that might cause friction to the lips. Smoking is discouraged for optimal results. Do not use any lipstick or cosmetics on or near the treated area for seven (7) days. The procedure, even after the first treatment, looks so natural that you can feel very secure appearing in public without any additional makeup on the affected area. This rule also applies to non-allergic makeup, as it may contain chemicals that interfere with the bonding process. If or whenever you do begin using cosmetics again, invest in a new lipstick to support your new look. This will eliminate the possibility of bacteria breeding in an old container. For at least two (2) weeks, you need to minimize exposure to the sun. I discourage swimming in fresh, salt or chlorinated pool water.
If needed, over-the-counter Tylenol is recommended for temporary relief of pain.
If you use Retin-A, do not allow it close to the treated area for thirty (30) days. It will cause the area to peel and lighten. Since your procedure is facial, I recommend you sleep on a clean satin pillowcase for seven (7) nights. This will minimize the loss of pigmentation caused by rubbing against cotton, textured pillowcase as you sleep.
Special care should be exercised while the treated area is healing. Under no circumstances should you pick, scratch or rub the treated area or attempt to remove the crusty material. Removing the crusts may result in the removal of the actual pigment and infection may occur. This protective “cover” must stay on during the healing process (three to six days). Always use good health habits. If you have any questions after you get home, feel free to call. Variations to these recommendations are not encouraged and will most likely affect the outcome of your procedure, if not remove the implantations.
You will need to continue your antiviral medication (if you are using one) until the end of the prescription. You must stay out of intense sunlight for six weeks post lip colour application. Then, afterwards, it is recommended to wear an SPF over your lip colour to help prevent the colour from fading prematurely. Drink through a straw for the first few days. Do not eat citrus fruits and juices, greasy, salty, oily or spicy foods until your lips are completely healed (about two weeks).
While eating, do not constantly wipe your lips with a napkin or keep licking your lips as this will impede the healing process. DO NOT PICK dry healing skin tissue or you WILL remove the pigment colour!Before brushing your teeth, first, apply ointment over your lips to act as a barrier against toothpaste touching your new lip colour. Also, do not bleach your teeth while your lips are healing (about two weeks).Keep your new lip colour well lubricated for a minimum of two (2) weeks or longer. Petroleum products are excellent choices.After the initial healing period, you should apply a total sunblock that is also waterproof 3-4 times daily to help prevent fading. Chapstick with SPF is an excellent choice. Available for retail.No smoking while your lips are healing (approximately two weeks).No kissing, rubbing or friction on your newly coloured lips until the area is healed or else you will lose colour (about two weeks).
The main step is to keep the tattoo dry, at least for the next 4-5 days while the healing is in progress. As the lip is in constant contact with the teeth, it also causes the tattoo to fade away gradually. To avoid this, you can keep a paper towel in between the lip where the tattoo has been carved, and the teeth. Although this might feel uncomfortable, it helps in keeping the tattoo drier. Eventually, the tattoo swelling and the scabbing will reduce completely, and you can stop using the paper towels.
You can use ointments which are vitamin A and vitamin D based, or alcohol-free mouthwash to tend to the tattooed area. Some people recommend against using antibacterial soaps, while some people advise otherwise. So going with an expert tattoo artist’s opinion would be a wiser choice.
It is equally important to rinse your mouth before and after getting the tattoo, especially after meals and after smoking. Experts recommend avoiding eating for a few hours after the initial tattoo.
Avoid eating foods with acidic content until the tattoo has healed completely. Also, abstain from scratching and rubbing the tattoo in any case. Before you go for any retouch by a tattoo maker, let the swelling and bruising go away.
You may have wondered about how long do lip tattoos last. Well, such tattoos cannot be expected to stay forever, as they are highly susceptible to fading. Some lip tattoos have known to last for about 1-5 years while some lasted only for a few weeks or months. Following the above tips might keep the tattoos from rapid fading. Speaking of cost, lip tattoos might get a bit heavy on your pockets. Also, there might be cases, and wherein, some artists might refuse to work on such tattoos altogether.
To conclude, caring for a lip tattoo is different from caring for tattoos elsewhere on the body, due to the vulnerability of the former to getting pale and worn-out. Constant retouching helps keep the tattoo for a longer time. And needless to say, it is also important to go for a well-known tattoo artist and a reliable parlour.