Tattoo aftercare advice
Getting a new tattoo involves breaking the skin surface so there is always a potential risk for infection to occur afterwards. You must treat your tattoo as a wound initially and it is important that this advice is followed so that the infection risk is minimal.
Minimising infection risk - tattoo aftercare:
- Avoid unnecessary touching, scratching or picking of the new tattoo site to reduce the risk of introducing infection;
- Always wash and dry your hands before and after handling a new tattoo site;
- Your new tattoo will consist of an area of tiny skin breaks, caused by the tattooing needles, so it should be kept covered afterwards for at least an hour using the sterile, non-adherent dressing, applied by your practitioner. This dressing is only intended to get you home without the treated area catching on clothing, or being exposed to the air (unless we use Dermalize Protective Tattoo Film, please see additional instructions on that below) . The dressing will also help to stop any bleeding/fluid oozing, but you must remove it when you get home (max 5 hours);
- After removal of that dressing, gently wash the tattoo site with warm tap water and pat dry with a clean paper towel. Do not rub or skin will become irritated;
- If possible, shower rather than bathe whilst the tattoo is healing so that unnecessary water exposure is prevented;
- Do not use skin products on the treated area that have not been recommended by us or your GP or are not intended for open wound healing. You need to apply tattoo aftercare cream 2-3 times a day to assist healing and prevent skin cracking, but avoid petroleum based creams as they may affect the colour of the treated area. You should not share skin products with others;
- After approximately two weeks, any scabbing should have gone and been replaced with new, intact skin. The area should be completely healed in a further 10-14 days;
- Avoid swimming, gym activities, sun beds and sun bathing until your new tattoo is fully healed, as direct sunlight/chlorine can interact with tattoo dye pigments causing skin irritation and inflammation;
- Try to wear loose, cotton clothing to minimise rubbing and irritation to a new tattoo site;
- Always keep a new tattoo covered and protected if working in a dirty/dusty/oily environment;
- If you have any problems/queries, contact us straight away. We will refer you onto your GP if there are signs of adverse reaction/infection.
Dermalize Protective Tattoo Film - aftercare
Dermalize is the all-in-one tattoo aftercare solution for the initial healing stage of a tattoo: a film that acts as a second skin to protect tattoo wounds from germs and bacteria and at the same time, is permeable allowing the skin to 'breathe'. The film assists the skin to heal naturally from the inside out, by locking in the body's natural fluids and enzymes, which guarantees beautifully healed tattoos.
The thin self-adhesive film provides a moist healing environment during the initial, and most critical, healing stage of a tattoo wound. It protects the new tattoo from friction and provides a waterproof, antibacterial barrier that prevents pathogens and external contaminants from entering the wound. The film is breathable, letting oxygen in and allowing excess moisture vapour to be released from the wound. It's light to wear, flexible and stretchable which allows it to be placed anywhere on the body and will stay put for up to several days. No more scabbing, no risk of infection, no rubbing clothes or other external factors that will damage the tattoo. Just beautifully healed tattoos like you intended to!
Your tattooist has already applied the first layer and explained to you how to use the film during your sessions, here is a reminder of what you need to do when you get home:
- Once applied, the first piece of Dermalize Protective Tattoo Film can be left on the skin up to max 24 hours, the exact time will depend on the amount of fluids that the wound exudes: this will vary from person to person and from the genre of tattoo. If you feel uncomfortable, or develop any irritation around the film - remove it and follow the aftercare instructions without the Dermalize film (see above).
- After 24h take the Dermalize film off (you might want to use warm water to soften the film), wash your tattoo with warm water and mild soap, pat dry with paper towels and leave to dry for 5 min.
- After that use the fresh Dermalize sheet given to you on the skin as shown during your session, try to overlap strips if needed to avoid uncovered gaps and make a better seal.
- Keep the second layer for around 3 days. After 3 days take it off, wash with warm water and mild soap, pat dry with paper towels and apply your aftercare cream.
- Wash the tattoo 3 times per day, pat dry it and apply the aftercare cream right after until your tattoo is fully healed. Do not pick or scratch the tattoo and try to stay away from animals if you have any to minimise the risk of infection.
Yes, you can shower and bathe normally. Dermalize is waterproof and will stay put on the skin even when immersed in water. To avoid the adhesive bond from weakening, excessive exposure to water should be avoided.
The tattoo will “weep” under the film and some of the ink will weep out as well. This is normal.
Certain tattoos weep more or less, depending on a lot of different factors. Your body excreting plasma and “weeping” is a completely normal beginning to the tattoo healing process. However, excessive weeping may negatively affect the adhesion of the film. If you are experiencing excessive weeping, you will simply need to clean the tattooed area more often than normal, by removing the first film sooner then 24 hours.
Completely soaking the tattoo in a bath can cause the scabs to become saturated with water and roll off before they are healed pulling the ink out with them. The same thing can happen if they are saturated with ointment or moisturizer so only put enough on so the area doesn’t crack with movement. Using too much balm, cream or ointment can clog pores and cause a break out on or around the tattoo.
No. Open water such as oceans, streams, lakes, and rivers are full of bacteria so avoid these completely. Exposing the tattoo to bacteria in open water could cause infections.
Chlorinated water is also bad for tattoos. Chlorine is a chemical and can irritate the healing tattoo. Irritation can cause it to heal much slower and often cause damage to the appearance of the tattoo.