How Long Should Tattoo Be Wrapped?

How Long Should Tattoo Be Wrapped
You’ll need to keep your tattoo wrapped in cling film from one to three days. Depending on the size of your artwork this may be longer and your artist will let you know but a general rule of thumb is: Small line-work pieces – keep the cling film on for one to two days.

How long should a new tattoo be covered?

⏳ How long should I keep my tattoo covered with cling film? – After you leave the salon or your tattoo artist, you need to keep the tattoo wrapped for 2-4 hours if you use simple cling wrap (plastic foil). If you have a protective tattoo film, then keep it for 3-5 days.

How long is too long to keep tattoo wrapped?

Fresh tattoos can take anywhere from 4 to 6 weeks to heal. During this healing phase, there are 7 things that can ruin your new tattoo before it has even healed. Bad art from a bad artist It’s possible to ruin your new tattoo by choosing an unskilled artist.

  1. When speaking about skills, I’m not referring to their artistic skills;
  2. This would be about the artists’ tattooing procedure and application skills;
  3. Everyone’s skin is different skin;
  4. Healthy, unhealthy, plump, loose, tight, oily, or dry;

Our skin’s surface, thickness, and tightness are also different throughout our bodies. These differences can have a detrimental impact on how the ink lays into your skin. An inexperienced artist can further implicate this. Finding and choosing an experienced artist goes without question 2.

  • Keeping your fresh tattoo covered too long Fresh tattoos are open wounds, and after the tattoo session, the artist will cover your new tattoo;
  • Every artist has a different preference for what they use;
  • Some still use the old school plastic Saran Wrap crap made for sandwiches;

Try to avoid using this food cellophane wrap on new ink. Fresh tattoos should be wrapped with a sterile bandage. The best options are medical-grade adhesive bandages and protective tattoo films like Saniderm or Dermalize. Wrapping a fresh tattoo is essential to help the initial healing while providing protection from environmental contaminants like dirt, germs or anything else that should not go near an open wound.

After the wrap has been on for a few hours, you will start to see blood and plasma underneath. Once this happens, it’s time to remove the wrap, as this can block your skin pores from breathing. This can ruin your new tattoo before the first day is over.

And trust me, I’ve ruined two tattoos by leaving the wrap on too long as per the artist’s instructions. The bandage or wrap should stay on no longer than 6-8 hours max. If using products like Saniderm or Dermalize, you can always remove it, clean the tattoo and apply a new layer.

Tattoo Infections As discussed above, the post-procedure wrapping helps protect your skin from getting infected. Once unwrapped, keep your skin clean and follow proper tattoo aftercare instructions. This will ensure your new tattoo heals without getting infected.

During tattoo healing, avoid touching your ink unless washing or applying aftercare. It’s very easy to transfer dirt and germs onto your fresh tattoo (open wound) from dirty hands. Sleeping with a fresh tattoo Getting a goods night’s sleep can be awkward during the tattoo healing process.

Even more awkward is the size and location of your new tattoo. Try to avoid laying on the tattoo, and or having it covered under the sheets or blankets. Covering a fresh tattoo under blankets or sheets can cause a risk of infection.

The bed is a great place for hidden germs that you do not want to get into an open wound. The same as above, your skin needs to breathe, so not covering up under the sheets helps. Then there’s the issue of laying on the tattoo. You risk having the tattoo stick to the bed or pick up dirt and germs.

You can always lay down a clean towel on the bed if you need to. Another option for sleeping is applying a breathable medical wrap like Saniderm. Make sure to remove it as soon as you wake up so that there’s not too much blood and plasma accumulation.

Cleaning and excess water exposure Keeping a fresh tattoo clean goes without question. So never submerge a fresh tattoo underwater. Also, avoid excessive water exposure while showering. Our skin is like a sponge and it will absorb the water, which can damage the tattoo.

When it comes to cleaning your new tattoo, make sure you do this several times a day. You can read our 17 Best Tips To Heal New Tattoos here. Picking or scratching itchy or peeling skin During the tattoo healing stages, some people experience itchy and scabby skin.

The reason for this to happen is part of your skin’s healing process. But whatever you do, resist the urge to pick or peel your skin as this can damage the color and lines of your new tattoo. To avoid or end any itchy peeling skin during tattoo healing, always use a good aftercare product.

  1. Keep your tattoo clean and moisturized several times throughout the day;
  2. Don’t let your tattoo get dry, and only apply a thin layer of tattoo aftercare after every cleaning;
  3. Now, in regards to peeling and itchy skin, I have never suffered from this;

I followed the above directions and none of my 21 tattoos have ever peeled or got itchy. Excessive sun exposure Excessive sun exposure is a fast way to ruin a new tattoo. Be aware of any direct sun exposure on your fresh ink. If you must be outside, always keep your tattoo covered, for at least the first 40 days.

Cover Up with clothing or try to stay out of the sun. Never apply any sunscreen on a fresh tattoo. Some of these products have ingredients that are not good for your fresh ink during healing. A list of nasty skincare ingredients will be for another blog.

After your new tattoo has healed, make sure to keep it protected with quality sunscreen product if going outside. Excessive direct UVA/UVB sun exposure  accelerates skin aging, which causes tattoo fading.

Should I wrap my tattoo under clothes?

So, What Kind Of Clothes Should I Wear Over a New Tattoo? – After getting a tattoo, and during the healing process, which can last between 2 weeks and a month in its initial and most important stage, you should be wearing loose-fitting clothes. That is of course if the tattoo is placed on your body apart from the neck, head, and feet.

  • For those areas, you need to pay special attention, especially in the case of feet tattoo (the issues of wearing socks and shoes);
  • Loose clothes will cover the tattoo so much so that it stays protected;
  • There is a lower chance the fabric will stick to the tattoo and introduce contaminants as well;

There will be minimal or rubbing of the fabrics against the tattoo, which will significantly minimize healing issues or the chance of an infection. Note: After getting a new tattoo, it will be wrapped and well protected. You can wear loose clothes over the wrap and not really worry about it.

What should you not do after a tattoo?

What happens if I take my Saniderm off early?

Saniderm Aftercare ​ To purchase Saniderm and Sanibalm please visit  Saniderm. com and use the code rosenoir  at checkout for a 10% discount!  ​ Day 1: So you got a new tattoo? It’s probably on fire- use ice packs or ibuprofen to reduce the stinging. Your first piece of Saniderm applied by the artist must be worn for 24 hours, do not remove it early.

  • You will have irritation, redness, bleeding, seeping, and ink collect under the bandage;
  • You will notice plasma (looks like clear watery liquid), ink, and blood trapped in the bandage, and it may leak out of the Saniderm;

This is NORMAL and part of the healing process. Don’t freak out over this. Day 2: Remove 1st bandage after 24 hours- peel off slowly (this will likely be uncomfortable). Wash thoroughly with plain anti-bacterial hand soap – no exfoliating beads, no oils, no scents.

  • (You may consider removing your Saniderm under luke warm or cool soapy water in the shower to loosen the adhesive;
  • ) Pat dry with a paper towel and let air dry for 2-5 minutes;
  • Blot with paper towel;
  • To apply 2nd Saniderm remove the paper backing first, apply sticky side to tattoo, then remove plastic backing (it’s ok if there are air bubbles/wrinkles);

Day 2-6: Leave on for 6 FULL DAYS – During the next 6 days you may still have some plasma, ink, or blood. (If you have an excessive amount of liquid collecting under your bandage and feel replacement is necessary please check out the web link https://www.

  1. rosenoirstudio;
  2. com/alternate-aftercare-instructions for replacements;
  3. ) You may notice the skin looks dry/peeling/crusty/”cracked”- this is normal;
  4. The bandage and area may smell a little bit, this is ok;
  5. DO NOT REMOVE BEFORE THE SIXTH DAY;

Doing so will result in color loss and can require a touch up at an additional cost. It is harmful to the tattoo and to your health to leave a healing tattoo untreated. If your Saniderm peels up before the 6th day, carefully cut the excess off. If the tattoo is exposed place another small piece of Saniderm (or similar product) to cover it.

(See drugstore products at QR code link. ) Day 6: Now it’s time to remove. Wash again and apply a thin layer of Sanibalm or lotion/moisturizer to your tattoo. Day 7 +: Use thin layers of Sanibalm/lotion/moisturizer for several days or weeks until skin is smooth again.

You will most likely experience peeling and itchiness. Your tattoo is fully healed when your skin is smooth and no longer shiny. This can take several weeks or several months. Everybody’s skin is different. Long term care: Keeping your skin moisturized will keep your tattoo looking fresh and bright. ​ While your Saniderm is on DO NOT: ​

  • DO NOT soak your new tattoo- no baths/swimming (running water/showering is ok). Soaking can lead to major infections.
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  • DO NOT apply soap, lotions, oils, on or around the patch.

  • DO NOT expose you tattoo to direct sunlight, this will be painful and can damage the skin until it is healed over.

  • DO NOT allow shampoo/conditioner to run down the patch.

  • DO NOT sweat excessively- this can push ink out and weaken the adhesive- sweat will collect under the Saniderm and smell bad and clog your sweat glands resulting in bumpy skin, raised scarred tissue, color loss, and possible infection.

  • DO NOT move or stretch your tattooed skin excessively until it is fully healed (up to 14 days).

  • DO NOT allow pets or animals to come into contact with your healing tattoo (if contact occurs with exposed (uncovered) skin, wash immediately with antibacterial soap, then apply plain lotion).

  • DO NOT allow plants (such as when gardening) to come into contact with your healing tattoo (if contact occurs with exposed skin, wash immediately with antibacterial soap, then apply plain lotion).

  • Most importantly, do not listen to your friends who say you can’t have a tattoo wrapped that long. This product is much different from what they’ve used before. It is intended for long wear. This is not saran wrap.

Signs of Infection: Signs and symptoms of an infection include but are not limited to, redness, swelling, tenderness of the procedure site, red streaks going from the procedure site to towards the heart, elevated body temperature, or pus-filled drainage from the procedure site. Seek medical care if you have a fever, extreme pain 3 or more days after the tattoo procedure, spreading rash well outside of the tattooed area, worsening and spreading redness around the tattoo, blisters on the tattoo, red streaking around tattoo, or foul odor and pus drainage.

  1. I highly recommend Sanibalm or Sanibalm+ from the makers of Saniderm;
  2. Always wear sunscreen, tanning and sun fading will make a tattoo look dull and will diminish the pigments;
  3. How it works: After a tattoo your skin is left damaged so your body begins working immediately to heal itself by sending liquid enzymes and plasma to your skin’s surface;

These dry out and become scabs. With a tattoo, it is vital to avoid scabs. The healing patches allow the enzymes and plasma to stay moist and therefore heal your skin without drying out. The patches are breathable so your skin is not suffocated. Saniderm also keeps your new tattoo clean and safe from outside bacteria, dirt, lint from clothing, etc.

which will help prevent infection. Furthermore, the patches help to protect your clothing and bedding from ink and blood that seeps out during the first several days. Long term care: Keeping your skin moisturized will keep your tattoo looking shiny and bright.

Always wear sunscreen, tanning and sun fading will make a tattoo look dull and will diminish the pigments. Frequently asked questions: Q: What do I do if my skin looks irritated around the edges of the Saniderm? A: Irritation can occur for several reasons such as:

  • Saniderm has been applied too tight
  • There is excessive movement of the skin around the Saniderm
  • The area wasn’t washed clean of the adhesive from the previous Saniderm piece
  • Too much sweat.

Irritation can look like:

  • Bumps, hives, clogged pores/pimples  •   Blisters  •    Redness  •    Itchiness

When this happens, gently clean the area with antibacterial soap. Then use some rubbing alcohol on a paper towel to wipe the area. Apply some light moisturizer and give the skin a few days to heal. Q: What do I do if I take my Saniderm off early? A: If for any reason you remove your Saniderm early, it is extremely important to take necessary steps to prevent infections and to ensure your tattoo heals properly. ​ Q: Why is my tattoo oozing liquids after the first day? A: This can be caused by several factors:

  • Some people bleed and/or excrete plasma more than others during the healing process.
  • Too much movement and stretching of the skin.
  • The area was not cleaned well enough before application.

If there is excessive liquid, your Saniderm should be replaced again. ​ HELP! My Saniderm was removed early- Alternate Instructions for Early Removal: If you have removed your Saniderm wrap early or it has peeled up on its own, exposing your tattoo and you do not have enough Saniderm for a replacement, you have two options to ensure your tattoo heals properly and vibrantly.

  1. Scroll down for further instructions;
  2. Early means before a total of 7 days wrapped, 6 days for second set;
  3. ​ OPTION 1 (best and easiest option): Go to your local Walgreens/CVS and purchase Tegaderm (usually near the bandaids);

Do not purchase anti-bacterial bandages, they look similar. See photos below for different product packaging, and look for similar products. Apply and wear the Tegaderm for the remainder of the week. Make sure to apply it to your freshly cleansed tattoo, lease use antibacterial soap.

Follow all instructions provided on your aftercare sheet (listed above). ​ OPTION 2: You must keep your tattoo clean and prevent it from drying out and scabbing. To do this, wash your tattoo thoroughly with antibacterial soap 3 times a day.

Immediately following use Sanibalm or plain lotion to moisturize (plain lotion should be unscented, free of oils, perfumes, butters, etc. Apply a thin layer and rub into skin well, do not leave excess lotion on skin. Try Aveeno, Cetaphil or Lubriderm. I do not recommend petroleum based products like Aquaphor.

It is vital to wash a full 3 times daily until your tattoo is fully healed. Washing removes infection causing bacteria. Moisturizing is important to prevent think scabs from forming. Scabs will pull out ink and dull or eliminate color.

You will have peeling for several days, this is normal. Your tattoo is fully healed once your skin has peeled completely and is smooth again which may take several weeks..

Can I drink 2 days after getting a tattoo?

Drinking before or after – That drink beforehand is not smart. Bruno Vincent/Getty Images If you’re thinking about downing some liquid courage before taking the plunge, think again. Drinking before and after getting a tattoo is a no-no. Alcohol thins your blood, which means excess bleeding. When you bleed more than normal, it can cause visibility issues for the artist, potentially compromising the quality of the design.

Excess bleeding can also thin the ink. Of course, there’s also the fact that alcohol impairs judgment, and you don’t want to make permanent decisions while impaired. And it’s not cute if you have to stop and puke in the middle of a four-hour tattoo session.

Furthermore, drinking after the fact can compromise the healing of the tattoo because of its effects on your blood, so take it easy for a bit.

Should you keep your tattoo wrapped?

How Long Should a New Tattoo Be Wrapped For? – This is where many people start to get confused, and this confusion is mainly caused by the fact that there are so many different opinions with regard to the most optimal time in which to keep a tattoo wrapped up for.

What may help to alleviate some of this confusion is to understand the rationale behind the wrapping. As already mentioned, the main goal of having your new ink wrapped and covered is to help keep harmful germs and bacteria out of your new open wound.

These germs are can pose a serious risk; not only to your tattoo, but also your general health by causing unwanted infections. Generally speaking, the wrap is there to keep your ink germ-free, up until the point where you’re able to clean the area yourself.

Once you’re home from the studio, there’s no reason why you cannot remove the wrapping as long as you’re able to give the tattoo  a good clean  in soapy, lukewarm water straight away, before using a suitable healing/moisturizing lotion on the area.

This initial wash not only helps to keep the area clean, but also assists in the removal of any blood or  plasma  that may have dried and stuck onto the skin since the wrap was first applied. The moisturizing cream then helps to soothe, hydrate and nourish the area to promote healing.

The best tattoo lotion I’ve ever personally used is a vegan aftercare product called  After Inked Tattoo Aftercare Lotion. This stuff works amazingly well during the healing process; not only by keeping your tattoo really well hydrated but also by soothing any annoying itching and irritation.

When using it from the very start of the healing process, this lotion will help to decrease tattoo healing times and work towards eliminating any lingering dryness and scabbing. However – it is generally advisable to wait for at least a couple of hours after leaving the studio before taking the wrapping off.

  • This is just to let the area settle down a bit, and to allow some of the blood around the tattoo to disperse (which may also help to slightly reduce swelling and tenderness, so that the cleaning process isn’t unbearably sore or painful);

Another reason for the wrapping is to help prevent direct contact between anything that you may accidentally rub up against or knock into – especially if the tattoo is on a very exposed area of your body, such as on the forearm, shoulder or foot. These knocks and bumps can not only be painful, but they can also aid in the transfer of germs and bacteria to the area if you come into contact with anything unsanitary.

  1. Finally, some people prefer to sleep in their wrapping for the first night , and some artists recommend this too;
  2. This is especially true if the tattoo is in an area that is highly likely to come into contact with your bedsheets, which can expose the area to bacteria and can also cause the sheets to become stuck to the skin due to the drying/hardening of leaked blood and plasma;

At the end of the day, you should trust the advice that your own specific tattoo artist gives you, as they know you and your tattoo better than anybody else. If your artist tells you that you can remove your wrapping in an hour, then go ahead. Alternatively, if your artist suggests that you keep it on until the next day, then I would suggest taking their professional opinion as long as they’re a reputable and experienced artist. .

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Should I cling film my tattoo at night?

This info should guide you through the care of healing your tattoo, but if you have any other questions while it is healing, do not hesitate to contact your artist directly or call the shop for immediate reply. There are no stupid questions about healing.

– After your tattoo is completed, your artist will bandage your tattoo for your trip home. Leave the bandage on for one to three hours. When you take the bandage off, wash it with very warm water (as hot as is comfortable) and mild liquid hand soap (like Dr.

Bronner’s, Dial or Softsoap, just no perfumed or exfoliating body washes). Pat it dry gently with a paper towel, and let it air dry the rest of the way (never scrub the tattoo with a towel or sponge). Then you will apply a very small amount of Aquaphor Ointment or plain, unscented skin lotion (we recommend Aveeno, Lubriderm, Curel, or any of their generics) to the tattoo, just enough to lightly moisturize.

  • Your first night sleeping, your artist might recommend you re-wrap the tattoo with plastic wrap (like Saran Wrap) to sleep without the tattoo sticking to your sheets. This is generally for larger or solid-color tattoos. If your artist did not recommend re-wrapping, just let the tattoo stay exposed to air overnight.
  • Every day from then on, you will wash the tattoo in the morning and at night, and apply lotion 3 times a day or so, or whenever the tattoo feels dry or tight.
  • Always wash your hands before touching the tattoo.
  • DO NOT apply Vaseline, Neosporin, Bacitracin or any other medicated or perfumed product to your tattoo.
  • After a few days, the tattoo will form a thin scab over it, and in about a week the scab will begin to flake off in the shower. DO NOT pick or scratch at the scab, just keep it clean and moist and the scabs will all fall off by themselves in about two weeks. Picking any of the scabs off will cause faded color and damage to the skin.

During healing do NOT:

  • Wrap the tattoo after the first night (wearing breathable clothes over it is fine as long as they are not causing friction. (Keeping tattoos wrapped in plastic or bandages will stop air from getting to the tattoo, slow healing, and make gross stuff grow in there. )
  • Submerge the tattoo in water. This means baths, pools and oceans. Regular showering is fine.
  • Expose it to strong sunlight (Like outdoor activities or beach days. Walking to your car is fine)
  • Shave over the tattoo (ouch!)

When all the scabs fall off and the skin feels smooth again to the touch, it is all healed and you can shave over it again, and swim and everything else. Sometimes after the scab falls off there is a secondary shiny, raised or waxy coat over the tattoo. This is just another healing layer of skin. Continue to moisturize it and it will smooth out by itself over time. If you have any questions about your tattoo while its healing you are always welcome to come by the shop and have us check it out, or email the artist who did the tattoo with “AFTERCARE” in the subject line for an immediate response.

  • Do not slather a big, thick coat of product over it; just enough for it to stay moist and flexible;
  • If you are using Aquaphor, you can switch to a plain lotion after the first few days;
  • Lotion is generally fine for everyone, your artist will recommend if you would benefit from ointment;

If something doesn’t look perfect After your tattoo is finished healing, we’ll do our best to make it right. Sometimes with excessive scabbing, or other unpredictable reactions during healing, your skin can reject some ink, leaving a “light spot” that is closer to your skin color in the tattoo (or a line might get thinner or lighter in one spot).

This is common as its unlikely your body will accept every spot of pigment uniformly, so just contact your artist via email after your tattoo is finished healing with a photo to see if a small touch up is in order.

Unless you were negligent during the care of your tattoo, touch-ups are very minor and quick, and guaranteed by our artists if you contact them about it within 3 months of getting the tattoo. Because older tattoos that have settled in fully and aged require more work to make uniform, we suggest coming in as soon as possible when it’s healed, as touch ups are performed for a fee at the artist’s discretion after 3 months.

How do you sleep with a fresh tattoo?

Can you sleep on a new tattoo? – In an ideal world, you would be able to sleep and not have to worry about the tattoo. Actually, tattoos are effectively open wounds. This means that you need to take some precautions. Going days without sleep isn’t an option.

People have different techniques. If you can, you should try to avoid sleeping directly on the tattoo. For instance, if you have a tattoo on your back, try to sleep on your front and let the tattoo breathe.

A lot of tattoo artists recommend sleeping with the wrap that was put on. Others recommend re-wrapping, or just applying healing ointment and keeping the tattoo clean. The important thing is avoiding infection.

Should I cover my new tattoo at night?

Like any art, we tend to have divergent opinions when it comes to tattoo aftercare methods. One of the most discussed subjects is whether tattoo wrapping is necessary before bed. Yes, you should wrap your tattoo before bed, but only if recommended by your tattoo artist, as they know best for your own personal situation.

Can you over moisturize a tattoo?

What Are The Risks of Over Moisturizing a Tattoo? – By applying thicker layers of lotion or ointment, several times a day (or every hour or two as some people do), you’re risking over-moisturizing a tattoo. By over-moisturizing a tattoo, you can cause the following problems;

  • Due to excess moisture, the tattoo won’t be able to dry and heal
  • Excess moisture can create a perfect environment for bacteria and germ growth
  • Over moisturizing can lead to tattoo inflammation and infection
  • Excess moisture can cause clogged pores since the moisturizer prevents the skin from breathing
  • Excess moisture can cause the tattooed skin to break out

To avoid these issues, make sure to follow the moisturizing rules we mentioned before. However, make sure to not under moisturizing your tattoo as well. Some people are afraid they might over-moisturize their tattoo, so they leave it dehydrated, which results in heavy scabbing and tattoo dryness. So, make sure to stay in the middle and simply apply a thin layer of lotion/ointment twice a day.

When should I start moisturizing my tattoo?

Week one – Some tattoo artists recommend waiting between 24-48 hours before applying moisturizer, though others recommend doing so as soon as the first wash. A person with a fresh tattoo should follow their tattoo artist’s instructions on when to start using moisturizer.

For the first couple of days, the tattooed skin may feel warm to the touch and have a reddish appearance. The colors may also appear very bright against the rest of the skin. The tattoo will become less vibrant as the healing process continues.

A person should avoid submerging the tattoo in water or getting the tattoo wet during the first 3–6 weeks, except for when washing it. A person can continue using the washing technique above throughout the first week when needed. How often washing is necessary will vary depending on a person’s activity levels and environment.

Someone who is sitting in an air-conditioned office all day may only need to wash the tattoo once a day. However, someone who is working in a hot or dirty environment and sweating may need to wash the tattoo every few hours.

It is best to wash the tattoo with clean fingers only and not a cloth or towel, which may irritate the skin and prematurely remove any scabs that may have formed. Scabs will often form in the first few days, and ink may still come up through the skin and need to be washed away.

  • It is important not to pick the scabs or scratch the skin;
  • In general, Scabbing is not a sign of improper wound care;
  • Scabs will form anytime the skin is injured, and can be a sign of healthy tissue forming underneath the wound;

Keeping some form of antibiotic ointment or moisturizer under occlusion (as long as there is no known allergy) on the wound can help it heal better and the sooner this is done the better healing will happen with less chances of scarring. Any redness or mild swelling usually goes away near the end of the first week.

What is tattoo etiquette?

Let the artist take lead on the design Most tattoo artists are in fact artists. They want to tattoo you with their own art. This isn’t just a creative preference. Tattooers generally have perfected a certain style (or styles). Their best designs and their best execution will be in this style(s). They want to be confident and and proud of your tattoo.

  • Don’t send them a picture of another artist’s work and say “I want this tattoo”.
  • Don’t be surprised if the artist does not want to tattoo in a style that is not their own.
  • Do share reference images for the subject matter you like.
  • Do share reference images from the artist’s own portfolio and say “I like the style you used here. “

Be as specific as you need to be. Not more or less. Artists love it when you give them creative freedom but don’t do it unless you really do want them to make all creative decisions. If you have something specific in mind, tell them.

  • Don’t tell the artist “you have complete freedom” and then come to the shop and make a lot of corrections.
  • Do tell the artist any specifics you have in mind before they work on the design!

New tattoos are always a better option than “adding on” to, or modifying an existing tattoos. Most artists would rather not work with another artist’s tattoo. It adds constraints to their design potential and it forces them to either: (a) Vandalize an existing, nice tattoo or (b) Have their work seen alongside an existing ugly tattoo. Either way, this won’t be a portfolio piece and won’t get the best work from the artist.

  • That’s not possible if you give excessive direction or if you force the artist outside of their core styles;
  • Also, remember that good artists won’t copy another artist’s design so don’t ask;
  • Consider: do you really need your existing tattoo to keep growing and becoming more and more of a Frankenstein’s Monster? Or can you offer new real estate to each artist? Cover-ups are a different story;
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If you need a cover-up, you need a coverup. Not all artists are technically capable of good cover-ups and not all artists like to do them because of the additional constraint but it’s always worth asking.

  • Don’t think of your tattoo as a house you are continually remodelling.
  • Do think of tattoos more like paintings you are commissioning. Give the artist a clean canvas.
  • Do consider going back to the same artist for modifying or touching up an existing tattoo.

Don’t design by committee There’s nothing worse than customers who bring an opinionated friend or loved one to “help” them with design decisions. You hired the artist to help you with design. Adding a third party can complicate the already-delicate balance of artist/client in the design process. The more opinions you solicit, the harder and more confusing the process will be. Only you know what you want and the artist can help you.

  • Don’t bring a friend or spouse to speak for you.
  • Don’t text photos of the design to friends asking for their opinion.
  • Do tell your opinionated friends to quiet down if they become too involved in your tattoo design process.

Limit your party to yourself + 1 max Speaking of bringing others with you… consider visiting the shop alone for your appointment. Most shops are limited in their space and cannot accommodate your friends. Not only that, your friends might think it sounds fun to be at the shop while you get tattooed, but it’s not. Your friends will be bored.

  • Don’t bring extra people with you to be tattooed without asking the shop first. Most shops don’t want your friends sleeping in the waiting area while you get tattooed.
  • Do limit your party to just you or one other if you must and encourage your friends to go do something while you get tattooed so they don’t sleep in the waiting area.

Let the artist concentrate while you get tattooed Even the most experienced artists need to limit stressors during their tattooing. Tattooing requires intense concentration. Some artists love to gab while tattooing but others prefer to be quiet. Let the artist take the lead or ask them what they prefer.

  • Do bring a book to read or movie to watch provided you can do it without moving.
  • Do let your artist take the lead on whether or not to talk.
  • Don’t stare at the tattoo while your artist is working. This is stressful.
  • Don’t talk too much unless your artit is the chatty one.

Sit still! For obvious reasons, you never want to move while there is a tattoo needle inking your skin. If you might have trouble with pain, consider a numbing cream in advance of getting tattooed (ask your artist first). If you’re jumpy, you’re wasting tattooing time and risking mistakes. Generally though, you’re stressing out the artist which can mean not getting their best work.

  • Don’t move unexpectedly.
  • Don’t talk if you’re getting your ribs tattooed.
  • Do let the artist know if you need to move or stretch.
  • Do let the artist know If you think the furniture can be adjusted to be more comfortable.
  • Do consider topical numbing cream in advance of your tattoo if you’re worried about tolerating the pain (ask the artist first though)

Tipping It is customary to tip tattoo artists just like (in the US) it is customary to tip restaurant wait staff. Because it’s customary, not tipping is seen as a sign of being dissatisfied with your tattoo.

  • Do expect to tip when budgeting for your tattoo.
  • Do tip the artist directly and in cash.
  • Do tip big (e. 20%+) if you love your tattoo.
  • Do talk to your artist whenever you feel something isn’t being handled well (consultation, design, etc). A small tip (or no tip) shouldn’t be the only sign that you are dissatisfied.

Aftercare There are many different aftercare procedures out there. Always follow the artist’s own aftercare instructions because you and the artist are both responsible for the quality of your tattoo.

  • Do make sure to get precise instructions for aftercare from your artist.
  • Do feel OK to ask questions during the healing process if something seems wrong.
  • Do a little research about healing tattoos to know what’s normal. Scabbing is normal. Ink on the bandage is normal. Looking faded in the first couple of weeks is normal.

Touch-ups Most tattoos will not need touching up — at least for many years. However, sometimes ink does fall out or fade. This can happen for many reasons. The artist’s tattoo technique matters but it’s just half the story. Healing/fading is also affected by aftercare, your biology, the placement on the body (bendy parts like wrists, elbows, fingers, etc will fade more and faster).

  • Do wait 30 days before even considering a touch-up. Tattoos can look less-than-perfect while healing and need 30 days to be completely healed.
  • Do take good care of your tattoo following artist instructions and avoiding any strong sun exposure, rubbing, or soaking of the tattoo area while it’s healing.
  • Don’t expect the tattoo ink to look as vibrant as it did the day of your tattoo. Tattoo ink sits under the top layer of skin so, once healed, you’ll be looking at the ink through the top layer of skin.
  • Don’t be confrontational with the artist about your touch-up. Your artist cares as much as you do about the tattoo looking great so there’s no reason to take an aggressive posture if you have concerns about your tattoo.

Should I keep my tattoo wrapped?

How Long Should a New Tattoo Be Wrapped For? – This is where many people start to get confused, and this confusion is mainly caused by the fact that there are so many different opinions with regard to the most optimal time in which to keep a tattoo wrapped up for.

What may help to alleviate some of this confusion is to understand the rationale behind the wrapping. As already mentioned, the main goal of having your new ink wrapped and covered is to help keep harmful germs and bacteria out of your new open wound.

These germs are can pose a serious risk; not only to your tattoo, but also your general health by causing unwanted infections. Generally speaking, the wrap is there to keep your ink germ-free, up until the point where you’re able to clean the area yourself.

Once you’re home from the studio, there’s no reason why you cannot remove the wrapping as long as you’re able to give the tattoo  a good clean  in soapy, lukewarm water straight away, before using a suitable healing/moisturizing lotion on the area.

This initial wash not only helps to keep the area clean, but also assists in the removal of any blood or  plasma  that may have dried and stuck onto the skin since the wrap was first applied. The moisturizing cream then helps to soothe, hydrate and nourish the area to promote healing.

  1. The best tattoo lotion I’ve ever personally used is a vegan aftercare product called  After Inked Tattoo Aftercare Lotion;
  2. This stuff works amazingly well during the healing process; not only by keeping your tattoo really well hydrated but also by soothing any annoying itching and irritation;

When using it from the very start of the healing process, this lotion will help to decrease tattoo healing times and work towards eliminating any lingering dryness and scabbing. However – it is generally advisable to wait for at least a couple of hours after leaving the studio before taking the wrapping off.

  • This is just to let the area settle down a bit, and to allow some of the blood around the tattoo to disperse (which may also help to slightly reduce swelling and tenderness, so that the cleaning process isn’t unbearably sore or painful);

Another reason for the wrapping is to help prevent direct contact between anything that you may accidentally rub up against or knock into – especially if the tattoo is on a very exposed area of your body, such as on the forearm, shoulder or foot. These knocks and bumps can not only be painful, but they can also aid in the transfer of germs and bacteria to the area if you come into contact with anything unsanitary.

  • Finally, some people prefer to sleep in their wrapping for the first night , and some artists recommend this too;
  • This is especially true if the tattoo is in an area that is highly likely to come into contact with your bedsheets, which can expose the area to bacteria and can also cause the sheets to become stuck to the skin due to the drying/hardening of leaked blood and plasma;

At the end of the day, you should trust the advice that your own specific tattoo artist gives you, as they know you and your tattoo better than anybody else. If your artist tells you that you can remove your wrapping in an hour, then go ahead. Alternatively, if your artist suggests that you keep it on until the next day, then I would suggest taking their professional opinion as long as they’re a reputable and experienced artist. .

Can I leave my tattoo bandage on overnight?

TEGADERM METHOD – Some of our artists will provide you with a Tegaderm (also known as Saniderm or Tattooderm) bandage. This method of healing is a little different, so it’s important to follow these steps. Tegaderm is a sterile, breathable, waterproof, germ-proof barrier to protect your new tattoo.

  1. Tegaderm will protect your tattoo from contamination and will also protect your clothes and sheets from excess ink, blood and fluid that are the normal by-products of healing a tattoo;
  2. You can shower normally while healing, but please still abstain from swimming or submerging your tattoo in bodies of water;

Your artist will bandage your new tattoo with Tegaderm. He will provide you with a second bandage. Leave the original bandage on overnight. Remove your bandage slowly and carefully the next morning. Discard this Tegaderm. Wash your tattoo with warm water and liquid soap.