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?
So what’s actually going on with your body and how long is it going to last? Recently after getting my whole left calf and some of the front of my shin tattooed in one session, I made the mistake of trying for the first time to use some tattoo numbing gel. Now I will say that it was great using it during the tattoo, I felt nothing, BUT this is where the good news ends.
The length of the session was 7 hours and after returning home, the numbing gel started to wear off and the first night was an absolute nightmare for me. The skin pain was unbearable, you know the pain, the worse possible sunburn multiplied by a thousand, adding in razor blades and burning. I even ended up with a mild fever due to the trauma caused to the muscle and needed to crank some valium to try and at least get some sleep.
A common questions is “can you put ice on a new tatttoo?” As you may or may not be aware, cold is your friend for helping with the pain, ie cold water or ice packs, even some ice cubes in a rag will suffice. This helps, as for getting to sleep, try some Valium if you have access to it or some anti-histamine’s.
The next morning waking up my foot was the size of a football, well compared to the other foot it was. My ankle was so swollen I could barely see the bone. Laying there in bed didn’t really hurt, but the moment I stood up, the blood rushed to the leg almost dropping me to the fucking floor. I couldn’t even stand on it.
I slowly put pressure on it 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 30 seconds, the pain came back.
This odd sensation of pain, well it continued for about 3 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.
All in all, you can potentially be expecting the it to last up to 2 or 3 weeks, sorry to be the bearer of bad news there, but if you keep it rested, it will go back to normal quicker.
Does getting a knee tattoo hurt? Getting a knee tattoo also falls into this same category. Getting the tattoo itself falls into a pretty high pain threshold, the places on the body it can be compared with are the shin or elbows. Given the tattoo is being done right ont he knee cap, the ability for your tattooist to be able to move the skin away from the knee cap is limited, so sucking it up and hoping your tattooist is quick is about the only thing you can wish for here.
Me personally, I would rate the knee up there in the top three places on the body to be tattooed that kill. The other places in my top 3 are the ribs, elbow and shins.
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.
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. If you notice any signs of infection in your new tattoo, go to a doctor or hospital immediately. Remember that your new tattoo is an open wound, and infection can quickly travel into your joints without proper care.
- 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.