For some clients, I use a medical-grade adhesive bandage called Saniderm. This is the clear plastic sticker that stays on your new tattoo for 24-72 hours, or longer if directed by me. If you’ve used it, you know how awesome it is for fast, hassle free healing!!
CLICK HERE– for Saniderm aftercare instructions and any questions you may have about the product, or the use of the product. I recommend buying your own roll (amazon is the best value) if you’re getting tattooed regularly.
Sometimes, your new tattoo will be too large of an area to use saniderm, which is why I recommend you purchasing your own (I will always give you the first sheet free!) if you prefer to use it for the entire healing process. If you have an adhesive allergy, or just don’t like saniderm for whatever reason, you will want to follow traditional aftercare instructions, as mentioned below.
1. Remove bandage in a CLEAN bathroom after 2-3 hours. Bandage may be left on overnight if it feels comfortable and secure. If the bandage is removed on the first night, the tattoo may stick to or stain bed sheets. Maintain clean bedding throughout the healing process (about 2 weeks).
2. After removing bandage, wash the tattoo immediately with warm water and soap. I highly recommend plain, antibacterial gold Dial soap out of a pump bottle. No soap with fragrance, moisture beads, or scrubs. No bar soap, as it is a breeding ground for bacteria.
PROCESS FOR WASHING A FRESH TATTOO:
- Carefully remove bandage and tape
- Make a lather in your hand with soap and warm water
- Gently clean tattoo using a circular motion, until all ointment, blood, and lymphatic fluid are removed
- Rinse the tattoo with lukewarm water and wash once again, gently, until the skin is clean
- Gently PAT the tattoo dry with a clean paper towel. Do not use bathroom towels that have been used or sitting, as moisture is a breeding ground for bacteria, and can lead to infection.
3. Only use CLEAN HANDS to wash your tattoo. NO washcloths, bath towels, bath sponges or loofahs on a fresh tattoo.
4. Once the tattoo is dry apply AQUAPHOR healing ointment, made by Eucerin. Apply a thin layer and rub it in, then dab excess off with a clean paper towel. Use the Aquaphor for the first 2-3 days then switch to a regular FRAGRANCE FREE lotion such as Lubriderm, Eucerin, Aveeno, or any other fragrance free brand. Some clients like to use coconut oil, but personally I don’t recommend that, as it can clog pores and hair follicles.
5. Fresh tattoos sometimes “weep” during the first couple of days, meaning that plasma and ink form a thin moist coating on the skin. This can be DABBED with a clean paper towel. Press the paper towel to the skin and remove. Do not wipe the tattoo or be rough with it. Do not panic when you see the colors of the tattoo on the paper towel, or on your hands as you clean it. This is simply excess ink being sloughed from the surface or the skin.
6. Once a day, in the shower, is usually enough cleaning for any new tattoo. Consult your artist if you plan to do any strenuous activity within the first ten day of having your tattoo. Lotion may be applied to the tattoo as it dries out; however if your skin is extremely sensitive, lotion may cause acne- like break outs. This can be taken care of by reducing the number of lotion applications per day.
7. Wear loose, preferably cotton clothing, over the fresh tattoo. The tattoo need not be rebandaged except in certain, rare instances. A bra strap, tight waistband, sweaty gym shoe or itchy cotton sweater can potentially create healing problems. Consult your tattoo artist for advice on what clothing to wear/avoid. If you choose to re-bandage your tattoo after washing be sure that only sterile bandages are used.
8. After a few days, the tattoo will begin to form flaky scabs that will fall off on their own. DO NOT PICK OR SCRATCH AT YOUR TATTOO. Keep it moisturized and the scabs will slough eventually. Once again, they will be the color of the tattoo. It normally takes 2-4 weeks for a tattoo to completely heal. If you have ANY questions about your healing, please contact me. Please do not consult your friends about healing issues.