You’re feeling like shit? Your Feet and ankle swelling after you just got your leg or foot tattoo? Well this isn’t so much a travel tip, as a general experience I have had while getting tattooed abroad. This is in no way a reflection on the tattooist in any way!
So the million dollar question is have you recently had a calf tattoo, leg tattoo or foot tattoo and experienced your foot or ankle swelling up after it? I have and I’m going to share my thoughts on it.
Recently I got my whole left calf and some of the front of my leg (shin area) tattooed all in one session. The length of the session was 7 hours. The first night was an absolute nightmare for me. I was struggling to sleep, could not get comfortable due to the pain, I was restless and getting extremely frustrated quickly.
The skin burning pain was unbearable, you know the pain, the worse possible sunburn multiplied by a thousand, adding in razor blades and itching. Throughout this pain, I actually ended up with a mild fever due to the trauma caused to the muscle.
As you may or may not be aware, cold is your friend for helping with the pain, ie cold water or ice packs. This helps, as for getting to sleep, try some Valium if you have access to it.
The next morning waking up my foot was the size of a football or watermelon. My ankle was also very swollen as you can see from the photo above.
Laying there in bed didn’t really hurt any more, but the moment I stood up and put my foot on the floor, the blood rush to the leg almost dropped me to the fucking ground in a pile of weaping shit. I couldn’t even stand on it! What the fuck is going on?
I slowly put pressure on my leg and foot and within about a minute the pain went away and I was able to stand and even walk. Seemed odd.
Then as I walked, more pain went away and I found that I could walk without pain, but the moment I stopped walking, and stood in one spot for longer than maybe 20-30 seconds, the pain came back ten fold and I felt like my leg was going to colapse under me.
This odd sensation of pain, well it continued for about 4-5 days. So brace yourself. The swelling, well I kept the foot elevated, took same anti-inflammation tablets and stayed away from wearing shoes.
Whether it’s been a combination of the size of the tattoo, or the amount of trauma specifically to the calf muscle isn’t clear, but the trauma is definitely the cause of the swollen ankle and foot.
It’s just fluid build up, and staying off your feet and keeping elevated will help it diminish quicker than abusing it.
Don’t forget to use all the normal care for the actual tattoo itself, keep it clean, moisturized and try and use a cream with an antiseptic in it like Bepanthen.
I am still working through getting both my legs fully done, and I have changed how I do it. Basically I book appointments approximately 2 weeks apart, and I never get tattooed more than 3 hours at a time. That is my limit and it seems to be working.
I have been using a Tattoo Balm also for the days after getting the work done and this seems to have helped, I definately know when I have missed putting it on.
Yes to get a full leg sleve done is taking considerably longer, but I am surviving without the type of pain you are experiencing now.
Another thing to speed up healing with a knee tattoo can be ensuring your tattooist is using a rotary tattoo gun, the new technology on these guns means that the recovery healing time is a lot faster.
No longer do you experience deep scabs that take weeks to heal, you can experience the pealing stage within under a week and only mild scabbing which clears fast providing your using a good tattoo balm or cream.
Below I have outlined some of the products that I find helpful through this process, and a couple of valuable tips, I hope this helps you guys!!
- Anti Histamines
- Hustle Butter Deluxe Tattoo Butter for Before, During, and After
- Warm water and soap
- Avoid clorinated pools for 2 weeks
- Do not pick at scabs as this will pull colour out try a Tattoo Balm to help healing
- Get to a docotor for anti-biotics if you feel there is an infection
Why not grab a complete Tattoo Goo Aftercare Kit for ONLY $13.18
Stay safe getting your new ink.