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How long does a tattoo take to heal and what can I expect during that time?

A brand new tattoo will feel like a sunburn during the first day or two. The tattoo may form a layer of dry skin or lightly scab within a few days- this is normal. Do not try to remove any scabs or dry skin by picking at it or scrubbing in the shower- let your tattoo heal by itself! You should be fully healed within about 2 weeks.

What do I need to do after I get a tattoo?

The tattoo artist will advise you on specifically what you will need to do after the tattoo. In general, until the tattoo is healed, you will need to protect the tattoo from direct sunlight, avoid prolonged wetness (swimming, bath tubs/hot tubs,etc) and no petroleum jelly as the initial healing agent. We do sell a specific aftercare cream that will help get the tattoo off to a great start. Don’t be cheap and buy a $1.59 tube of A&D ointment at the local pharmacy- ointment has petroleum jelly in it and that is a no no…

Does it hurt?

Every person is different, but generally speaking, the anticipation of any pain is usually worse than what it actually feels like.

Is it safe to get a tattoo?

Yes, it is safe to get a tattoo. Every tool and piece of equipment is sterilized immediately after each tattoo is completed. All tattoo needles are 1-time use only. They arrive to us from the manufacturer in individual pre-sealed pouches and are opened up right in front of you.

What kind of tattoo designs can I choose from?

We have thousands of pre-made flash designs in the shop, but all of our tattoo artists do custom artwork. If you have an idea, bring in a rough sketch or picture and the tattoo artist can draw something up for you. We will not tattoo any hate or gang related imagery.

How much does a tattoo cost?

Our studio’s minimum price is $100, depending on the part of the body to be tattooed. The individual pricing of a tattoo must be done in person however and cannot be done over the phone, through email or social media messaging.

How old do I have to be to get a tattoo or piercing?

Tattoo: Sorry- no one under 18- it’s the law. State/Gov. issued ID required. Piercing: 18 years of age with State/Gov. issued ID. If under 18, a parent/legal guardian must be present with the *minor’s birth certificate, *a State/Gov. issued ID for the parent/guardian and *a picture ID for the minor.

What is considered a proper form or ID?

A state issued driver’s license or state ID card, a military ID or a passport. Many forms of ID are valid for 5 or more years and though the ID presented may be valid, the photo must be current enough to match the person presenting the ID.

Can I bring someone with me for support?

Unfortunately, the only person allowed in the tattoo area is the customer receiving the artwork. Friends and family may wait in our lobby. Children are NOT allowed in the store- Period! It’s not that we don’t like children, it’s just that this is just not the right environment for an impressionable young mind…

Can I just walk in to get a tattoo/piercing, or do I need to make an appointment?

Piercings are appointment only to ensure that we have one on one time reserved for you so that we can assist you with the style you are looking to achieve.

For tattoos, we take both walk-ins and appointments. Granted, not every tattoo can be done as a walk-in due to time constraints, artist availability or design needs, but we will do our best to work with you.


What Do I need to bring to get pierced?


Any over the age of 18 needs a Valid (non-expired), State- or Government-Issued, photo I.D. 


Some Examples are:

  • Driver’s License

  • Passport

  • Military I.D.


If you are over 18, you must have your OWN I.D. no exceptions. 

A parent may not sign for you. A birth certificate and school I.D. will no longer be a valid form of I.D.


Anyone under 18 years old must be 13+ and bring:


  • Photo I.D. (School I.D. or Driver’s License, to confirm link to the Birth certificate

  • Birth Certificate (to prove parental custody of the minor to the parent)

  • If the minor has a legal guardian rather than a parent, guardianship paperwork will also be required. A sibling/aunt/stepparent CANNOT sign for you without this paperwork)

  • The parent/guardian’s valid, government-issued PHOTO I.D. (see above for examples)  and be present to sign a release form


Any Minor getting pierced must have all three documents EVERY TIME they wish to get a piercing, NO MATTER THE CIRCUMSTANCES. 


Age Restrictions for Certain Piercings:

  • 18 years and older for any Surface piercings, Surface Anchors, Nipple Piercings, and Genital Piercings, No Exceptions.

  • 16 years and older for, Septum, Navel/Bellybutton, and Eyebrows

  • 14 years and older for Lips, Cartilage including Helix, Conch, Nostril, Rooks, etc.

  • 13+ for lobes in Boston and Somerville Studio.


Do you pierce kids? Do you pierce babies/infants?

Our piercers do not pierce babies/infants. It is generally recommended against, as babies are still growing and their piercings can easily become shallow/crooked/uneven as they age. Please contact us if you would like recommendations for safe piercers in the area that provide these services. 


Can I just walk-in or do I have to make an appointment?

Generally, we recommend making an appointment as this secures your chosen timeframe and allows our piercers to assist you quickly and with undivided attention, however we do accept walk-ins on a “first come, first serve” basis. The only way to guarantee a time is to book an appointment slot on our website, available at 


I’m going to be late for my appointment! What should I do?

Please call the shop of the appointment you booked at and let us know! Generally, anything later than 10 minutes will have to be rescheduled (5 minutes on busy days, such as weekends) but our piercers may still be able to squeeze you in. If it will be greater than 15-20 minutes, of a 30 minute slot, you will have to cancel or reschedule.


How late can I walk-in?

Without an appointment, our piercers usually wrap up around 7:30pm and begin closing responsibilities. Please call ahead if you intend to walk in between 7:30pm and 8:00pm, closing time, to ensure there is still someone available to help you!


Can I Bring Someone with me?

Yes! Clients are allowed to bring a maximum of two “emotional support humans” to their appointment.

If you are under 18, one of these MUST be your parent/guardian. 


My friend and I want to get pierced together. How do we do that?

Please book two (or more if you have more friends getting pierced!) appointments back-to-back in order to ensure our piercers have enough time. Piercings involve jewelry selection, sterilizing, tray setup, aftercare, etc and so multiple people cannot fit into “one appointment”. If you do not see two appointment times back-to-back in our software, then you would not be able to go back-to-back as we have to prioritize clients arriving at their exact appointment time.

How much does it cost to get pierced?


Our pricing is set up in two parts: The piercing fee + the jewelry cost = Total.

Piercing fees are fixed costs whereas our jewelry selection is wide, allowing us to have price ranges to fit most budgets. For an exact price breakdown, please call ahead and ask to speak to a piercer! The following include the cost of basic jewelry for simplicity but are not fixed prices. They do not include tax. We have Implant-grade, mirror finish titanium starting at $45, and Solid gold options starting at $85


  • Lobes: $30* Single | $50* Pair

  • Cartilage, Lips, Nostrils, Rooks, Eyebrows, Vertical Labrets, Septums, Daiths, Conch, Bridges, and Navel/Bellybutton: $50*

  • Industrial: $60 

  • Nipples: $60* Single | $90* Pair

  • Genitals: $100*

*Fees do not include jewelry*

$10 off for multiple services done in the same appointment, on the same person


We DO NOT perform Cheek piercings, Smileys, Tongue Webbing, or  “Snake Eyes”/ “Frog Eyes” / “Tongue Scoop” / etc under the “horizontal tongue” piercing umbrella. “Surface piercings” are anatomy dependent and subject to piercer discretion. Our client’s safety and healthy healing are of utmost importance to as and as such, we neither perform nor recommend the piercings listed above.


Do we pierce helix or nostril piercings with hoops?

No, we don't. Due to the initial swelling and healing, these piercings do much better with studs. Hoops, especially snug-fitting ones, cause a lot of downward pressure on the fresh channel which leads to extra pain, bumps, and in severe cases keloids or skin rejection. If a snug-fitting ring is your end piercing goal, we do checkups on the piercing anywhere between 6-9 months after the piercing date to see if it’s ready.


What kinds of jewelry do you stock?

All of our jewelry is either Implant-grade Titanium or 18 to 14 karat Solid Gold, available in Rose, Yellow, or White. Everything is manufactured to a mirror finish to create less surface space for bacteria. We work with an assortment of wholesale companies to provide the highest quality jewelry, including Neometal, Anatometal, BVLA, Tether, Buddha Jewelry Organics, and more! 


For most Gold Jewelry, we use a titanium post at the time of piercing since it will be longer to allow for swelling. Once the swelling period is over, a shorter post can be purchased for a snug fit. We have titanium or gold posts available for healed- or healing piercings. The initial titanium post is included in gold price quotes, but a solid gold post can be substituted at any time for additional purchase.


We also have glass or plastic “retainer” alternatives for healed piercings if jewelry needs to be removed

for medical procedures, sports, etc.


We stock internally threaded (curved/straight/circular barbells, labrets) and Threadless (curved/straight barbells, labrets) in the “flat back” style with a disk on the backside of the piercing. We have many gauges and lengths to fit most anatomy. 


  • We Do Not stock nostril screws, nostril bones, butterfly backs, externally threaded pieces, gold-plated jewelry, “costume” jewelry, anything below a 20 gauge, or any jewelry that does not meet our quality standards.


For rings, we have cup-and-divot seam rings, Fixed Bead Rings or Captive Bead Rings (FBRs or CBRs), and Seam Rings or Clickers with fixed stopping points. 


Do you have Sterling silver? What’s Titanium?


Implant-grade Titanium is silver in color, lightweight, won’t rust, and doesn’t have nickel or cheap metal alloys that many people have sensitivities to. The metal grade we use, ASTM F136, is what is used in bone screws and hip replacements to ensure biocompatibility. Titanium is also able to be machined to a mirror finish, removing possible microscopic “troughs” for bacteria to be stuck in, which is why we use it instead of steel. Even “surgical steels” can be nickel-alloys and cause reactions.


We also use 18 to 14 karat solid golds. With solid gold, there’s more versatility because gold can be poured into a mold unlike titanium. 18 to 14 karat is the acceptable range of not-too-porous and not-too-weak, but we avoid “plated” or “gold filled” options as platings tend to come off in chips that can get lodged in fresh tissue.


Can I bring my own jewelry?

Yes and no. You are welcome to bring previously purchased or worn jewelry with you, but our piercers must meet minimum quality requirements and may not be able to use it. 


In general, most professional piercing studios that stock high quality body jewelry can only use high quality jewelry available from their wholesalers. Body jewelry purchased from Boston Tattoo Co or any other APP-accredited piercing studio is a safe bet, but standards do change over time so we can’t make any guarantees. Anything else, like from Kay’s, Banter, Piercing Pagoda, etc. will likely be turned away. You can bring it in, or message a piercer with pictures to ask if it’s compliant. We can re-use “tops/ends” i.e. the decorative part but do use a new post at the time of piercing, due to biofilm buildup. Please arrive 15 minutes early for your appointment if you intend to bring jewelry in, as it must go through a more intense sterilization than “new” jewelry.


For jewelry standards, please see “Jewelry Standards” as outlined at


Can I use body jewelry I have previously worn in a fresh piercing?

Yes, for the tops only. A new post is used from fresh piercings to ensure correct gauge and length, and to remove risks caused by biofilm buildup. These  do require additional sterilization, so please note it on your appointment and arrive at least 10 - 15 minutes early to allow extra time re-processing of the jewelry.


I think my piercing is infected! What should I do?

We strongly encourage you to stop in and check in with one of our piercers: most times, what looks infected could just be a sign of irritation of the fresh wound and our piercers can walk you through the trouble-shooting process. At worst, our piercers will confirm based on their experience if they would recommend medical intervention. If you have serious concerns however, we recommend seeking medical advice from a doctor or dermatologist. As piercers we cannot give medical advice and submit to the advice of healthcare professionals.


I was pierced a few months ago and My jewelry is too long now! Is this normal and what should I do?

This is normal! Your piercer will have used jewelry that was a little longer to accommodate swelling from the initial piercing “wound creation”, though this settles down usually after 4-10 weeks depending on the piercing location. Again, depending on the location, extra length may or may not bother the piercing for the remainder of the healing process. If it does bother you (aesthetically, getting caught on things, etc) or you have particular jewelry goals (like wanting a snug-fitting ring in a nostril or helix) we highly encourage you to stop in to swap for a shorter post, as extra length can cause migration (i.e. the angle of the piercing to change, usually from sleeping on it or excessive snagging) and make future jewelry goals impossible or sit incorrectly.


I bought jewelry and I no longer want it. Can I return it?

Unfortunately all jewelry sales are FINAL as jewelry is inserted into the body and as such has biomaterial on it that (in laymans terms, cooties!) and as such cannot be re-sold in studio. Our piercers will work diligently with you to get the proper look and fit for you, though Jewelry comes in pre-measured lengths and as such a “snug” fit can only be guaranteed during a jewelry change appointment booked with a piercer. If you don’t see exactly what you want, let us know and we are happy to custom order pieces for you as well!


  • We recommend buying a gift card instead, so that the person who will wear the jewelry can pick their jewelry and the length with the piercers. Again, jewelry is NON-REFUNDABLE.


Can I special order / custom order jewelry?

Yes! Please book a consultation or contact one of our piercers to begin the process! Our piercers are happy to discuss your style preferences, jewelry and anatomy, etc and then search through our accredited jewelry companies for high quality jewelry to match your flair. Feel free to bring any reference photos you have (BVLA allows the public to browse their pieces, just not prices, as an example) and we can get price quotes and estimated delivery. Custom jewelry requires a 50% deposit of the final price, and is non-refundable. The remaining balance will be due at the time of pickup.


Do you pierce with guns / hand-pressure implements?

No. Our piercers only use single-use, disposable, blade needles designed for piercing. “Guns” and other cartridge-based piercing implements cause blunt force trauma, swelling, irritation, and are generally non-sterile and cause more infections/irritations than piercing needles. We strongly recommend against studios that use piercing “guns”, especially for young children, and especially for cartilage piercings.


Basic Aftercare Recommendations


A premade, piercing specific saline solution (typically from a spray can) is highly recommended for cleaning fresh or even healed piercings. Simple Care WoundWash, or NeilMed, are great examples of these products. It is generally no longer recommended to mix your own, as often people include too much salt and cause irritation from overdrying their skin.


For the first few weeks, you may see some fluid or some “crustiness” on the jewelry, as well as a little redness or swelling. As attractive as this sounds, it is also normal; this is your body’s natural reaction to a new piercing. “Spritz” the piercing with your solution, allow it to soak in for about a minute,  then gently wipe away any discharge from the piercing site. You could also “soak” the piercing with a saline saturated gauze pad, for 5-10 minutes, then gently wipe away the discharge. This method works better for stubborn “crusties” or caked-on discharge.


This is best done twice a day for the first month, once a day for the next two to three months, and then as needed after that for the duration of the recommended healing time. Piercings, when healed, should also be (every now and again) checked in on and cleaned thoroughly for proper hygiene!


Important side note:

Many doctors may not understand body piercings, but are still medical professionals. In that same light, body piercers, while specifically trained and experienced in piercings, are not doctors and their suggestions should be taken as relevant experience and not be taken as medical advice.

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