SD Tattoo knows a tattoo is one of the most dynamic symbols of self-expression ever created and it’s essential to rely on the expert guidance of your artists for proper aftercare. If you follow the directions outlined below your tattoo should heal quickly. We also carry several aftercare products that can be suggested by our team. Our front counter assistants or tattoo artists are available and always happy to assist clients with any questions that arise, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Removal of Tattoo Wrap / Bandage

After the completion of your tattoo, you can expect your artist to clean the tattooed area and then wrapped or patched. Our tattoo artists typically use Dri-Loc pads, Saniderm self-adherent wrap, or Saniderm tattoo bandage.

Dri-Loc Pads
You should leave the pad on your newly tattooed skin for 1 to 2 hours. The pad will not only protect the skin but absorb any excess ink or blood. After you remove the pad it should be thrown away, and the area cleaned gently, using your clean hands, with unscented antibacterial soap and warm water then softly pat dry with a clean towel and air dry before applying your aftercare ointment as outlined in the section caring for your tattoo, located lower on this page.

Saniderm Tattoo Bandage or Wrap
You can leave both the Saniderm wrap or bandage on your new tattoo for 8 to 24 hours. Everyone heals differently so the length of time will depend on how much fluid your tattoo leaks, which will affect the adhesive. If you notice excessive fluid under the patch, then you will need to remove.

The best way to remove the patch or wrap is in a warm shower; the warm water will loosen the adhesive, find an edge and pull in the direction of your hair growth. Then clean your new tattoo with unscented antibacterial soap and warm water.

After cleaning, you can use another patch; which you can leave on the tattoo for 3-5 days or apply a thin layer of ointment and follow the cleaning instructions outlined below.

Caring for Your New Tattoo

It is essential your new tattoo is kept clean, allowed to breathe, and the skin kept slightly moist during the healing process. We have outlined the general instructions on caring for your tattoo.

  • Wash the tattooed area, twice a day (morning and night), using an antibacterial soap with warm water; Dab or blot dry the skin gently.
  • With clean hands, apply a small amount, creating a thin layer, of anti-bacterial ointment 2-3 times a day for 3 to 4 weeks. Any of the following will work: Vitalitree, A&D, or Aquaphor.
  • Do not swim, soak in a hot tub, or take a bath for two weeks after getting your tattoo. Also, avoid tanning.
  • Do not scratch your tattoo; It will itch during the healing process. This process can last up to two weeks.

What to Expect After Your Tattoo

A tattoo causes trauma to your body. Depending on the placement, the size, and an individual’s hygiene, and daily activities, healing is different for everyone. Because a tattoo is an open wound they are susceptible to infections, it is best to follow the aftercare instructions listed above to lower your risk of problems during the healing process.

You should expect your new tattoo to be red, irritated, swollen, and possibly bruised. These are normal reactions to the tattoo area. Usually, you can anticipate 1 to 3 days for red or irritated skin to subside. If swelling or bruising occurs, this could last for up to a week, especially if tattooed in a sensitive area such as the feet.

Scabbing is a result of the body’s healing process. For some, your tattoo may have some scabbing. If you experience any scabbing, it is imperative that you do not pick at it. Let the scab fall off naturally. You will also want to make sure that you keep the area clean as well as moisturized, but do not over moisturize, follow the instructions listed above.

During the final stages of the healing process, typically 3 to 10 days you can expect the skin to start to flake and peel. It is imperative that you do not pick or scratch at the area, this could remove ink from the tattoo and damage it. A light slap, preferable over clothed skin, will give you relief when itching occurs.

If during the healing process you experience bubbles forming on the surface, not as common but can occur, stop applying any ointments, the moisture can get trapped and lead to possible scabbing; you want your tattoo to dry out. Make sure should wash the tattoo, pat dry it, and let it dry and peel on its own. Any scabs should fall off on their own, and if no trauma occurred such as scratching, the ink should remain.

At SD Tattoo, we stand by our work. If a touch up on your tattoo is needed, our artists will complete at no additional charge, as long as you return within the first 90 days. If you are not in the area during this time frame, please contact us to explain your circumstance, and we would be happy to extend that period.