Tattoo Aftercare

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Depending on the placement and size of your tattoo our recommendations will vary. Your tattoo artist will recommend the method best for your needs during your appointment. 

If you have any further questions email us at contact@crimsonoathtattoo.com

 

Second Skin Method
 

At the time of your appointment your artist will place a piece of second skin on your tattoo. In many cases it is necessary to change the second skin bandage within 24-48 hours. We will let you know if your tattoo may require this at your appointment and give you enough to change at home. Second Skin products can be purchased at many pharmacies and most medical supply stores. We offer bandage changes in studio; cost varies based on size of rewrap.

Fluid build up under the dressing is normal and to be expected, it will not damage your tattoo. If you notice air bubbles do not pop or try to remove. Some tattoos will weep more than others based on varying factors.

If you develop a reaction contact your artist. You may need to remove the film to prevent further irritation and continue the remainder of your heal with the manual method. It is normal for healing tattoos to have redness, swelling, minor irritation and itching as the healing progresses. Removing film will not reduce these symptoms. An ice pack used in short intervals or applying pressure may relieve discomfort. 

Avoid hot showers, extended exposure to heat from clothing or exercise. Heat may weaken the adhesive and cause premature lifting, as well as, a potential heat rash if continually affected. 

Removing Second Skin 

To remove your second skin it can be helpful to loosen adhesive with a steamy shower. Ensure your hands are washed before removing dressing. When removing hold your skin taught and pull back small areas at a time. Once removed, use lukewarm water to rinse your tattoo and lather with soap. Wash and rinse your tattoo 2 - 3 times in order to remove all residue. Allow to air dry completely or pat dry with paper towel. Do not use a towel or cloth.

Re-applying Second Skin 

With clean hands or gloves, ensure area is completely soap free and dry. Do not apply lotion or ointment. Apply second skin bandage by removing white backing, once applied you can remove the clear backing. If using multiple pieces overlap by at least 1-2cm and that you haven't missed any areas of the tattoo. 

Check out this instructional video by Luka Lajoie for a great visual!

After Second Skin 

If you find your tattoo is sticky it may have some adhesive left on it. Gently massage coconut oil onto affected area and allow to sit 5-10 minutes before washing again. Repeat if necessary. Do not use this step if you are applying another dressing. 

If you are not re-applying second skin and take it off sooner than 4 days check out our manual aftercare method on how to complete your healing process.

At this point your tattoo is either beginning to peel or it already has during the second skin removal. It shouldn't have any scabs or be weeping any more. You will only need to wash twice per day and apply light amounts of moisturizer as it becomes itchy. The flaky ink coloured skin will come off during each wash; remember not to pick. Your skin will appear tight and shiny. Your tattoo may appear to be healed on the outside but its still vulnerable to damage for the first 6 weeks.

Sunlight, chlorine and saltwater can still negatively affect your tattoo PERMANENTLY for the first 6-8 weeks before your skin undergoes a full regeneration cycle in order to effectively protect your tattoo. Saline is a form of tattoo removal by osmosis and in extreme cases your tattoo could be significantly altered. 

 

After your tattoo is finished peeling you are able to apply sunscreen for prolonged exposure to sunlight. Refer to our recommended aftercare products for more information. 

Contact your artist via email with any questions.

Additional Tips!

Pay careful attention to the edges; if you notice edges lifting that have NOT exposed the tattoo you can carefully trim the edges with sharp clean scissors. You may also do this to alleviate tension on the edge of the film that may present as redness only on the edge of the bandage in high mobility areas. 

If your tattoo becomes exposed or would require to be drained best practice is to completely change the dressing (not recommended after 48 hours) or remove all together and continue with manual aftercare method.

 

Manual Aftercare Method

First Day

Leave the bandage applied at your appointment on for up to 6 hours. Using clean hands, remove dressing. Gently but thoroughly wash your tattoo. You may need to wash your tattoo 2 - 3 times in order to remove all residue. Allow to air dry completely or pat dry with paper towel; do not use a towel. No need to apply creams or ointments the first night.

You may notice a subtle weeping of the tattoo, this is normal. This fluid helps clean the area but it can lead to a scab if left unaddressed for too long; this is why we recommend having your tattoo covered the first night while you sleep. You can use saran wrap or a non stick wound pack; do NOT use gauze. Take off first thing in the morning ideally within 8 hours of application. If your clothing or bandage is stuck to your tattoo hop in the shower and allow lukewarm water to soften and ease removal process. 

Washing Routine

Refer to our recommended aftercare products for information on what to use. 

You will need to begin washing your tattoo 3-4 times per day to prevent fluid buildup and bacterial growth. With clean hands wash your tattoo, as your tattoo heals this step will become less sensitive. Rinse thoroughly and allow to air dry completely or pat dry with paper towel. Do not use a towel to dry your tattoo.

Once completely dry and the area begins feeling tight you can apply a very thin layer of lotion. For even application spread the lotion across your palm before your apply. After 5-7 days flaky ink coloured skin will come off during each wash; remember not to pick. Your skin will appear tight and shiny. Your tattoo may appear to be healed on the outside but its still vulnerable to damage for the first 6 weeks.

Continue routine until your tattoo has finished peeling.

Additional Information 

The highest infection risk lays in the first 4 days while your tattoo remains an open wound, as it heals and begins to toughen the surface layer protects the healing skin beneath. This is the most important time to keep your tattoo away from unwanted bacteria and debris. If a scab appears allow it to harden; do not soak or try to soften with moisturizer. Scabs create an infection risk and may also result in ink loss.

Sunlight, chlorine and saltwater can still negatively affect your tattoo PERMANENTLY for the first 6-8 weeks before your skin undergoes a full regeneration cycle and can effectively protect your tattoo. Saline is a form of tattoo removal by osmosis and in extreme cases your tattoo could be significantly altered. 

Oxygen is essential for healing so the less your tattoo is covered by clothing the better. Clothing and bed sheets may cause irritation if directly contacted with the tattoo due to pet hair, detergents and perfumes.

 

After Inked moisturizer, available in studio.

Pure Castile Soap locally made by Rooted Natural Products. Used in studio during tattoo application and recommended for aftercare use. Rooted Castile products can also be found at Nature's Fare, Fill Store, Annas Vitamins

We recommend organic coconut oil or jojoba oil for long term use to brighten and moisturize your tattoo. 

There are many products that work well for healing tattoos. Ointments, lotions, aloe vera, coconut oil are all options. Do not use products containing colouring, perfumes, or petroleum. We highly recommend researching aftercare products via the Environmental Working Group.

Many products have the potential to cause reactions in a healing tattoo. Even if the ingredients pass inspection; some simply don't do a good job of moisturizing and some are too heavy risking wet scabs if not applied sparingly. If you experience burning sensation, bubbling of skin, blisters, odd smell, scabs that become soft/wet after using an aftercare products discontinue use and contact your artist. 

 

Our favourite natural sunscreens can be found at Nature's Fare.

Our Favorite Aftercare Products
 

 

Hands, Feet, Neck and Joints!

For placements like these often second skin won't stay on as long. You will need to review both method of aftercare if second skin is the goal. 

Second Skin Method           Manual Method

Often placements like these can have a difficult time healing with too much physical activity in the first week. There is often more inflammation in these areas and higher risk of scabbing and therefore infection. 

You may have to wash these placements more often due to exposure but take care not to over moisturize. Less is better in this case, even if it means skipping the lotion for some washes. 

 

Anywhere your skin prunes in the bath you can assure getting tattooed in those placements will be a different experience. These areas are considered difficult to apply and heal effectively. This includes palms, sides of fingers, and bottom of feet. If ink fall out is going to occur you will know within 2-3 weeks.

Due to the high risk of infection, scabbing and issues with healing in these placements often follow up appointments will be necessary. These will be charged at artists regular rate.