Proper Tattoo Aftercare
Proper tattoo aftercare is as important as the application to keeping your tattoo looking bright, bold and clear for years to come.
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Leave the Saniderm bandage on for 48 to 72 hours. We have found that this is optimal for most people based on the climate here in North Texas.
Your tattoo will weep lymph, blood, ink, and other bodily fluids, which will collect under the bandage. Don’t be alarmed, this is normal. These fluids may affect the adhesion of Saniderm. If it comes off prior to the 48 hours, just begin follow up care as directed below.
Some of our clients are unable to tolerate adhesives and may be given other products.
If you were given a Drilock bandage you should wear it for the 2 – 4 hours after your tattoo then remove it and follow the directions below.
Your artist may have also given you Armor Gel. Armor Gel is a water based gel that contains colloidal silver, which helps reduces the risk of infection and may inhibit the growth of microorganisms. If you were given this product by your artist, use a small dab of gel for the first 3 days after each wash. Apply a very thin layer so that it dries quickly. This is important for tattoo aftercare.
The best way to remove the bandage is with heat & hot water. If you can get sweaty before taking the shower, that will assist in the bandage removal.
Peel up a corner of the bandage & peel over and across itself, and NOT AWAY from the skin. Do not lift as this could cause damage to your tattoo and surrounding skin.
Wash the tattooed area in HOT water (as HOT as you can stand without hurting yourself). This will cause discomfort but will not damage the tattoo. Wash with Optiscrub using just the pads of your fingers (no nails, sponges, washcloths, or loofahs, etc.) for a MINIMUM of 30 seconds. If you are not washing for at least 30 seconds, you are not killing any germs. Optiscrub is a lotion based, anti-microbial soap that won’t dry your skin out like Dial, while killing more germs.
This process helps to remove the elements that create thick scabs and will make for proper healing of your new tattoo.
Pat the tattooed area dry, wiping only the wet areas around the tattoo with a dry paper towel. DO NOT use the same towel you dried your butt with.
Once your tattoo is clean and dry apply a small dab of an organic, petroleum- free, vegan ointment or moisturizer. Coco butter, coconut oil or shea butter are all great choices.
It is key to apply a thin layer of ointment. Only use what you can rub in. We recommend working the ointment between your fingers for a moment to warm it up prior to applying as this will make it easier to spread.
A thick layer is bad. More is not always better. You are not buttering toast.
For the first week after getting your new tattoo, apply the ointment 3 times daily after washing. In the second week you can taper down to 1-2 times per day. This is important for tattoo aftercare.
General Aftercare Info
During the healing process, it is important to keep the tattoo OUT of direct sunlight/ tanning beds.
You and others will be tempted to touch your new tattoo. DO NOT touch the tattoo except to clean it and definitely don’t let other people touch it.
DO NOT pick or scratch at your tattoo as this my cause scarring.
Keep your clothes off of your healing tattoo as much as possible. Socks, bra straps, tight pants, etc. can cause discomfort and poor healing.
DO NOT submerge your healing tattoo in water including but not limited to bathtubs, pools, lakes and oceans.
If you have animals that sleep with you we recommend you change your bedding and remove the pet from the bed while you are healing. We understand you want to cuddle but pets can track all sorts of things into the sheets, greatly increasing your risk of infection.
NO sunblock, tanning, spray tans, fragrances, pools, hot tubs, rivers, lakes, streams, fjords, bodies of water of any type UNTIL YOUR TATTOO IS FULLY HEALED.
The key to keeping your tattoo looking good down the road is keeping your skin healthy. Use lotion daily, drink plenty of water and ALWAYS USE SUN BLOCK ONCE YOUR TATTOO IS HEALED. U/V light exposure does the most damage to tattoos. Tattoo aftercare is forever.
What makes this better than other aftercare?
Simply put, Saniderm promotes the body’s natural healing agents and provides a protective barrier helping to protect your tattoo from dirt and germs. It expedites the healing process, reduces scabbing, and enhances color quality. Helping to ensure your tattoo heals in the most efficient manner possible.
Can I shower while wearing it?
Yes, Saniderm stays on skin even in water… so you’re able to shower as normal. It is waterproof, however excessive exposure to water should be avoided because it could weaken the adhesion.
Can I sunbathe with it on?
No, Saniderm does not contain any kind of UV protection, so you should avoid prolonged sun or UV ray exposure. We do not recommend exposing your new tattoo to UV rays, ever – with or without Saniderm. Even after your tattoo is fully healed, continue to use sun protection to maintain the integrity of your tattoo colors.
What if I run out of the tattoo aftercare you gave me?
If you have gone through the provided aftercare and still feel like you are needing more you have plenty of options.
In place of the Optiscrub you can use any mild, fragrance free soap.
Coconut oil or a dye and fragrance free lotion make excellent substitutes for the ointment.
Could I have an allergic reaction?
Saniderm is both latex free and hypoallergenic, so allergic reactions are very rare. Some people, however, have very sensitive skin and are allergic to adhesives. (Tape, bandages, etc). Please let you artist know if you are sensitive to adhesives and we will use another product.
If after the application of Saniderm you experience a rash, abnormal skin irritation, or other symptoms of an allergic reaction, carefully remove the bandage, wash with mild soap and contact your artist for further instructions.
If you have further concerns please contact your regular physician.
My new tattoo is peeling or has bruising, is that normal?
Yes, some peeling or flaking is totally normal. Also, depending on how sensitive your skin is you could experience bruising following the tattoo.
In any case, if you are concerned, please call the tattoo shop or stop in for the artist to look at it.
How long does it take for a tattoo to heal?
To say that everyone heals differently is more than an understatement. Smaller tattoos tend to heal faster. Larger more extensive work can take considerably longer.
Generally your skin will be back to normal after the 2-3 weeks of healing. The deeper layers of skin will still be repairing themselves for several weeks more.
What do I do if I think my tattoo is infected?
More often than not, what people perceive as an infection, is actually an irritation. Allergic reactions and infections are fairly uncommon but the reality is, there is always a chance for an infection when you have an open wound.
If you think there is an issue, please contact your artist as they can often times identify the problem and give you a good solution. Potentially saving you the time and money of a trip to the doctor’s office. That being said, the best way to deal with an infection is by calling you physician, they will know the absolute best way to combat your infection and may prescribe you antibiotics.
You can help to prevent all the unpleasantness by keeping your tattoo clean and avoiding risky situations. For example; don’t let other people or things they’ve been in contact with touch it. We recommend skipping the gym for a little while. You should also change your bedding and don’t allow pets in the bed while your tattoo is healing.