AFTERCARE


After years of trial and error and trying different methods of tattoo aftercare, on both myself and feedback from customers, I have finally put together what i feel is the best method in healing my tattoos.


Every artist knows how their tattoos heal and should be the first point of contact if anything seems concerning during the healing process. It is an individual process depending on size, style, colour, skin condition, placement etc. Please don't take aftercare advice from your mate or from random people on social media, if you have any questions or concerns, don't hesitate to contact me at any point. 


YOUR SHOPPING LIST 


Things you will need to buy prior to getting tattooed

  • cling wrap / film
  • medical tape (less irritating than regular tape)
  • mild soap (try an unscented soap for sensitive skin or you may prefer to use an antibacterial hand soap)
  • savlon antiseptic cream (its good to have ready just incase infection occurs or to help prevent infection on un-wrapped fresh tattoos in the 1st few days. In this case mix 50/50 savlon cream with a mild moisturiser)
  • moisturiser (natural hand creams work great)
  • unscented baby wipes (great for cleaning your tattoo when out and about or at work
  • hand sanitizer, for cleaning hands prior to using aftercare when out
  • recommended aftercare cream / balm / salve - all my clients receive a free aftercare pack with handmade natural tattoo healing balm


AFTERCARE ROUTINE


  • After leaving the studio, keep your wrap on for 1-2hrs at this time you will need to wash your fresh tattoo (in the shower is the easiest) with warm water and a mild soap (try using an unscented soap for sensitive skin or if you prefer an antibacterial hand wash) use your fingertips (not a cloth) to wash and rub any excess blood, ink and plasma away (stop when it isn't slimy anymore).  once clean, switch the water from warm to cold for a minute (this will help close your pores and aide in healing)
  • Once clean, pat (dont wipe) your tattoo dry with a clean paper towel then apply a thin layer of aftercare cream (just enough to make your skin shiny, dont over do the cream) let your skin air dry for 20-30mins before applying a fresh wrap (cling wrap is fine or you may prefer to use a non stick wound dressing) secure the wrap with surgical tape (this is less irritating to the skin than regular tape)
  • You'll need to repeat the process above a few times a day (around every 4-6hrs or so) each time washing, pat dry, small amount of cream, air dry for 20-30mins and re-wrapping for 4-6hrs, using a clean fresh wrap each time 

TATTOO 'DERMALIZE' PROTECTIVE FILM

  •  If you were wrapped with the special 'Dermalize' tattoo film in the studio, it's advised to leave the film on for around 4 days (up to a week) the film is breathable and waterproof, so you can just go about your days and forget about it... No need to take off or re-wrap at all. It's great way to keep your tattoo clean and promotes faster healing by tricking the skin that it has a scab over the wound... You may experience fluid (ink, blood, plasma etc) into air bubbles under the dermalize... This is normal... If it gets uncomfortable or worried it may burst, just get a pin and prick a hole in the air bubble to release the fluid (best in a shower)... You shouldn't need to take the film off at all until day 4... If the film itself is irritating you, take it off, wash well with soap and follow above instructions with cling wrap until day 4
  • From day 4: Stretch film under the shower, then peel off... Wash well with soapy water, let dry, once skin feels tight, apply balm... Your tattoo should go straight into a light peeling stage a day or so after.... Keep clean and moisturised with balm or moisturiser until fully healed

HOW LONG DO I LEAVE THE WRAPPING ON FOR ?

  • For COLOUR TATTOOS, or solid black tattoos, the skin is saturated with ink/pigment, all of your pores are open and traumatised, I recommend the above process and leaving the wrap on for at least 4 days and nights (or up to 6-7 days), if wrapping for more than 4 days, allow the drying time to increase  to 1 hour each time, after washing and before re-wrapping again
  • For BLACK AND GREY, the skin isn't as saturated as colour. i'd recommend keeping the wrap on for 3-4 days
  • For TATTOOS ON JOINTS and areas that bend (knees, elbow area etc) you will need to keep your wrapping for as long as possible (6-7days) the tattoo must not dry out too much as this is when cracking, scabbing and scarring occurs (ive personally had this happen and it really sucked) i'd also recommend this method when healing HAND TATTOOS using latex or nitrile gloves (with the fingers cut out) instead of cling wrap works really well
  • For DOTS AND FINE LINES, these tattoos are the easiest and quickest to heal, the skin isn't overally traumatised and is more like healing a cut. You can get away with leaving the wrap off after the 1st wash on day 1, you will still need to keep it clean and moisturised


The science behind the cling wrap / film is that it prevents your healing skin from losing moisture, it keeps the ink in, and traps essential oils that are kept moisturised by the aftercare cream and allows for rapid synthesis of your damaged skin cells which regenerate at an incredibly accelerated rate that cannot be matched by dry healing your tattoo, without wrapping. You are giving the wound as much air as it needs and also washing it every 4-6 hrs keeping it well hydrated, moist and in an environment that promotes faster healing than traditional non wrap methods. The washing in between wraps and using fresh wraps will keep the wound as clean as it needs to be without the risk of infection. 


During the first stages of healing, your skin may swell, be extra sensitive, be a little red and may peel... this is all normal!
However if you think its looking too red around the edges, is burning, painful, bubbling, oozing, looking infected or you are concerned with anything at all, please contact me asap with photos to ebanyangel@gmail.com with 'AFTERCARE ADVICE' written in the subject line


Once you leave the wrapping off you will have very light peeling, and may slightly itch, don't scratch!! you can ease up on the washing routine and stick with keeping it clean as needed, you can also switch to a moisturiser during this stage (if you are wanting something a little lighter than the aftercare cream), don't over use the cream / moisturiser... its only needed when its feeling tight / itchy / dry 



By following this aftercare routine you will experience

  • no scabbing
  • no scarring
  • minimal ink loss
  • great colour retention
  • faster healing
  • minimal peeling


DON'T
  • pick or scratch your new tattoo
  • submerge in  water (bath, swimming etc)
  • sunbake or solarium
  • wear super tight clothing or footwear over your fresh tattoo while its trying to heal
  • let your tattoo get too dry, keeping is lubricated and moisturised is the key!
  • over use the aftercare cream, a little goes a long way, a thin layer, just enough to make your skin shine is all that is needed
  • don' t use bepanthem, paw paw ointment or anything that is petroleum or lanolin based, these products are too thick to be absorbed by your skin. you may experience a pimple rash and / or colour drop out
  • touch your tattoo with un-clean hands or let anyone else touch it (especially after smoking or touching pets, always wash your hands)


Your tattoo should be healed in 7-10 days (or 10-14 days for full colour) although it can take about 1-2 months for the ink to fully settle into the skin... this is why your freshly healed tattoo may still look a little shiny or raised for a bit longer


If you have any concerns at anytime during healing, don't hesitate to email me at ebanyangel@gmail.com


Xx Ebany