We use a hypo-allergenic self-adhesive bandage that allows your skin to breathe, but protects it from the environment. Because of this it is safe to keep the bandage on for 3-5 days, but if it is bothering you remove it and follow the regular aftercare instructions. When the tattoo feels closed—dry and less sensitive—then you should remove the bandage. Remove immediately if:
- Water or fluid pools up under the bandage. Some plasma will leak from the tattoo, making it appear blurry. This is completely normal and doesn’t mean your tattoo is bleeding out.
- Skin feels irritated by the bandage itself. It is uncommon, but some people may be sensitive to the adhesive. The tattoo will be itchy and the bandage may be an annoyance, but if you see a rash forming under the bandage or it feels painful, remove the bandage right away.
- The tattoo becomes exposed to the air. If the seal is compromised remove bandage immediately.
Remove bandage carefully. Peel the bandage back gently from the edge. Warm, soapy water will help break down the adhesive. It may be helpful to pull the bandage straight out to stretch and release the adhesive. After removing bandage clean adhesive from area gently but thoroughly. The tattoo should be mostly healed, but some areas may still be in the initial stages. Pick up with normal aftercare where you are in the healing process. Without a bandage: Keep regular bandage on for 45 minutes to 1 hour. When you remove it, wash the tattoo with liquid anti-bacterial soap. Wash your hands first, make a lather in your hands and then apply to the tattoo. Rinse with cold water and pat dry with a clean towel. Wash twice a day for the first week. Wear only clean, loose, breathable clothing over your tattoo, and keep it elevated as much as possible if it is on a lower extremity. Avoid excessive moisture for the first 2 weeks such as baths or swimming, which will also expose your tattoo to harmful bacteria and microorganisms. If you experience some swelling around tattoo or in nearby lymph nodes in the first few days, this is fairly normal and can be treated with cold compresses (not more than 15 min if moist) and/or ibuprophen. If the tattoo leaks any blood or plasma, rinse this off with cold water. If your tattoo touches anything dirty in the first few days wash it immediately. Around day 3 the tattoo may crust over or get dry and flaky. Keep your skin as close to normal/healthy as possible. This may mean a light application of fragrance free, hypo-allergenic lotion. Begin with a very small amount. As the tattoo begins to flake you can increase applications. If the skin feels gummy, you’ve over moisturized. Gradually the crust or flakes will begin to fall away. These protect your tattoo-- DO NOT PICK AT IT!!! Even over-stretching or rubbing can seriously damage your piece. After crust falls away, the skin beneath will be thin and tissue-paper like. Continue to massage tattoo with lotion a few times a day-- this will speed the final stage of the healing process.