Aftercare

HOW DO I TAKE CARE OF MY TATTOO?

SECOND SKIN OR SANIDERM BANDAGE

We believe in promoting the best healing for our clients and we've been using Second Skin Total Aftercare Adhesive bandages and Saniderm bandages(this is dependent on which artist is applying your bandage).

This removes a lot of the guess work as well as potential for bad heals due to cross contamination of tattoos from exposure to foreign materials. Taking care of your tattoo this way is highly recommended for most clients and is our preferred method of aftercare.

After the tattoo is complete we will clean the area and apply the Second Skin or Saniderm bandage. We prefer that you leave this on for 24 hours and come back in for a bandage change at the shop(DO NOT REMOVE THE BANDAGE YOURSELF IF AVOIDABLE TO REDUCE RISK OF CROSS CONTAMINATION). This is crucial, as during the first 24 hours your body will create a lot of plasma as it tries to heal the wound and this will make it difficult to keep the bandage on for the remaining 5 days we would like this bandage to stay on for maximum healing efficacy. **If you are unable to come back into the shop after the first 24 hours to change your bandage please let our artists know and we can provide you with a care package and instructions for home use for a small additional fee.**

After we clean and apply a fresh bandage you will leave this new bandage on for four to five days. During this stage you are able to shower as normal but we do not recommend bathing in a tub or going for a swim(anywhere). These bandages are waterproof but have limitations and to ensure no water can get into the bandage during the healing process we encourage that you limit your bathing to quick showers. Due to the bandage being adhesive as well we also recommend that you do not take the hottest showers in the world as that can melt the glue that the bandage adheres to your skin with and make it less effective or remove it entirely.

We also recommend that you refrain from any excessive movements, such as going to the gym, or hard labour if avoidable until the four to five days is up. Excess movement can loosen the bandage and increase risk of your tattoo becoming infected due to exposure or having a longer, harder heal as a result of the bandage coming off.

These bandages are designed to 'breathe' so that your tattoo can heal efficiently. Oxygen is vital to a healing tattoo as well as the healing fluids your body excretes to help heal your wounds. Essentially, the bandage locks in those healing fluids, while allowing your wound to breathe but also protecting your tattoo from irritants, water, dirt and germs, as well as any friction that might discourage a quick and scab free heal.

After five days is up we encourage that you remove your bandage in the shower. Warm water, some soap and your finger tips work wonders at removing the bandage but be forewarned this stage can be painful to some. Afterwards, pat dry your tattoo and be amazed at how quickly you heal in comparison to traditional ways of healing. It can reduce the healing time by a minimum of 3 weeks for many tattoos.

At this point you can heal your tattoo in a more traditional fashion by applying lotion to the skin in limited controlled pea sized drops, being careful not to drown your tattoo. Your tattoo will mostly be healed, though, so you can return to the gym or increase the amount of labour you do for work, etc., if you desire.

**PLEASE NOTE** Some clients do experience allergic reactions to these bandages despite their being latex-free and hypoallergenic. Unfortunately, sometimes the only way to find out is to try out. Most allergic reactions(such as small red bumps) are quite insignificant and can be treated with a mild antihistamine such as Benadryl. If you have a more serious reaction we recommend you remove the bandage as soon as you see these symptoms to prevent them from getting worse. At this point we would encourage that you heal your tattoo in a more traditional fashion as described below. If you suspect you have a skin allergy to adhesives please tell your tattoo artist before we apply these bandages.


BANDAGE(CLING FILM AND/OR ABSORPTION PADS)

Depending on the size of the tattoo and your tattoo artist’s advice, you should leave the bandage on the new tattoo two to three hours, unless instructed otherwise by your artist.

When removing the bandage, do so gently by slowly peeling the bandage. If it sticks at all, STOP! Pour cool water between the skin and the bandage. Make sure that you don’t stick your tattoo under a full force faucet; remember that 'easy does it'. Wait a few minutes, and try to remove the bandage again.

The cool water should loosen your skin from the bandage without yanking any color out. Do remember throughout this, not to pull any skin or scabs off the tattoo, as you could pull out the ink, which can result in uncolored or dull gaps in your tattoo.

WASHING

Once the bandage is off, wash the tattoo very gently with your fingertips. Use a mild, gentle soap that is free of deodorants, skin softeners, or other additives. Make sure if you’re using bar soap, that it is a new bar. Make sure, if you’re in the shower, that you wash your hair and body first before you wash the tattoo.

Rub the soap gently on the tattoo using your fingers.

After you clean the tattoo, gently pour cold water over it for a few minutes. The cold water will tighten your pores, which will help the tattoo heal healthily and quickly. Some tattoo artists believe that the cold water helps the color set in.

Lightly, pat the tattoo dry with a soft towel.

AFTER WASHING

Leave the tattoo alone for 24 hours. Remember, this is an open wound, so treat it as such for the next two weeks. Avoid:

• re-bandaging the tattoo
• constricting or abrasive clothing against the tattoo for the first few days and ensure that the clothing is clean
• intense sunlight
• chlorinated or salt water (can leach the colour)
• gyms and hot tubs (they are very dirty places)
• soaking your tattoo in water

SLEEPING

Do you have a pet? When was the last time you changed the sheets? Depending on the placement of your tattoo you could be getting lots of contaminant contact while sleeping. Change your sheets and keep your tattoo clean.

LOTION

After 24 hours, you can begin to use a mild unscented, water based lotion, such as Lubriderm or other specific tattoo aftercare products, no more than twice a day and only when necessary. Ensure that this is not immediately after showering, wait a few hours for tattoo to dry. When applying the lotion, make sure to use only a very thin layer. If too much lotion is applied, dab off the excess with a clean paper towel. Remember that too little lotion is better than too much. Never apply the lotion just before bed as it will stick to your sheets. Make sure that you always wear clean clothes to cover the tattoo.

HEALING

It is normal to see the tattoo begin to flake during the first week of healing. Don’t pick at these flakes, they will fall off on their own. Do not soak the tattoo in any body of water during the flaking phase and never scratch at the flakes. After the flakes fall off, your tattoo will have a shiny look. Eating the flakes is quite gross and is not advised. If you are itchy, try patting or slapping the area, but do not scratch! You can potentially pull colour out of your tattoo. Do not expose your tattoo to the sun during this phase. Once the shiny skin is gone, you can expose your tattoo to the sun as long as you cover it with sun block to keep the tattoo looking crisp.

TOUCH-UPS

You must wait at least a month for free touch-ups. **If you have not followed these instructions and touch-ups are necessary, they will be at your own expense.** However, if there is something that you feel needs to be corrected, please call us to set up a consultation as we want you to be happy and carry our work with pride. Note that we do not touch-up hands, feet or certain other unusual areas due to these areas having a high rejection rate. Your artist will advise you at the time of your tattoo if your tattoo is NOT eligible for free touch-ups. That being said, we will touch up those areas at your own expense.



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