your tattoo is a wound and must be treated accordingly. the better your health, the better your tattoo will heal.
leave your tattoo covered. this will prevent the introduction of bacteria
from hands, clothing etc. it will also stop the transfer of blood onto surfaces that can endanger others.
second skin dressing should be left on overnight at least. it can stay on for as long as it’s comfortable. 3-4 days is common. this is a breathable barrier and will protect your tattoo. if you work in a dirty environment, leave it on until you finish for the day.
stretch to remove. you may notice some redness where the dressing was, this will settle and recover with the tattoo.
excess fluid can be ‘massaged’ or gently moved out the side and washed away in the shower. excess fluid trapped like a ‘blood blister’ can be punctured and drained with a clean pin, or removed and washed after the first night.
if it doesn’t stick: in some cases the second skin may not stick, In this case follow the ‘clingfilm’ procedure below.
clingfilm should removed as soon as you get to clean washing facilities, due to the fact it isn’t breathable. It promotes sweating which can increase bacteria.
ice ice baby is a good idea, especially for any areas prone to bruising or swelling, e.g. elbows, inner elbows, wrists, around armpits.
we recommend: ice in a ziplock bag, wrapped in a clean paper towel, for 10-15 minutes on top of your wrapped tattoo.
avoid vigorous activities. exercise and friction can cause irritation and excessive swelling. chill out and wear loose clothing for a few days if possible.
days 2 – 4
wash your tattoo gently. remove the dressing gently. second skin is best removed in the shower by stretching from a corner along the surface of your skin, as stretching will release the adhesive. pull down, don’t peel. (see diagram overleaf).
use no soap, only warm water and clean hands to gently wash away all blood matter and ink residue.
pat dry with a clean towel, and ensure any clothing that will come in contact is fresh and clean. cotton is best as it breathes and has no ‘loose fibers’ like wool.
do not use any lotion yet/straight out of the shower as your tattoo needs to dry and seal itself from possible contaminants, wait at least a few hours after dressing is removed.
appreciate how awesome you are. a mirror, partner or flatmate will suffice!
aka the scabbing period
shower as normal but avoid soaking, as this will open the tattoo and result in potential infection and colour loss. ensure you always pat dry with a clean towel.
to wash your tattoo we recommend a gentle wash using a mild soap such as dr bronners organic mild castile soap.
start applying a suitable healing lotion such as tattoo tonic with clean hands. apply light, even applications 2-3 times daily. we stock some in the shop starting from $10.
do not pick, scratch, lick or abuse your tattoo. your tattoo needs to settle under healthy skin. disrupting the scab will prolong the healing period and cause colour loss and scarring.
do not expose to sunlight. keep clean clothing between your tattoo and the damaging rays of the sun. avoid sunblock until the scab has peeled completely.
do not soak your tattoo. this means no swimming in the ocean, pools or baths. wash gently and quickly in your daily shower.
weeks 2 – 4
the fresh skin under the scab will cause your tattoo to appear slightly lighter for a week or two. you can switch to using a standard moisturizer to help the skin recover to full health. continue to avoid sunlight, it is now okay to use sunblock. swimming is okay, unless you can’t swim.
weeks 4 – forever
sunblock, moisturize, stay healthy and love your tattoo.