DISCLAIMER: though the tattooers at Crooked Tree Gallery are licensed and professionally trained, they are not medical professionals. These aftercare instructions are recommended based upon our personal and professional experience, industry research, and common sense.
TRADITIONAL TATTOO AFTERCARE INSTRUCTIONS
• Right after your tattoo was finished, we wiped off any ink and blood and you left the shop with a thin layer of ointment on your tattoo. If your tattoo was bandaged with saran wrap, a paper towel, or gauze, be sure to remove your bandage as soon as possible, leaving it on no longer than one hour.
• Your tattoo will go through an ooze-y stage for the first hour or so. Mostly this 'ooze' will consist of clear plasma, but some ink and blood can be in there as well, which is normal. This 'ooze' will give your tattoo the appearance of 'sweating' (think, like a soda can on a hot day) and it will probably run- so we usually recommend dabbing it with a clean, disposable cloth, like a paper towel, but avoid washing it until it seems like most of that oozing has stopped.
• Once you're ready to wash your new tattoo, simply clean it with an unscented, antibacterial soap (like the regular orange dial), warm water, and your fingers (wash those hands first!) and wash your tattoo very gently- usually circular motions works best. Be sure to get all the blood and plasma off your tattoo. Then, pat it dry (gently!) with a clean and dry paper towel. You're going to want to avoid using regular towels and rags on your tattoo as it heals, because they tend to harbor bacteria- just clean hands and clean disposable paper towels only!
• After washing, cover your tattoo with only a thin (THIN! SUPER THIN! ALMOST-NOTHING-THERE THIN!) layer of ointment. We recommend (and personally use) Aquaphor ointment (or a tattoo-industry equivalent, like H2Ocean's Aquatat ointment). These are a little more forgiving and are much better for your skin than the traditional A&D ointment. The key is to just use a tiny amount of ointment- just barely enough to make your skin shiny. If you feel like you may have too much ointment on your tattoo, simply blot it with a fresh paper towel and that should remove any excess.
• After applying the ointment after the first hour, you're going to be good for the rest of the day. You will need to repeat the process of washing old ointment off of your tattoo and reapplying the ointment, very thinly, that first night before bed. If possible, be sure to have clean sheets, blankets and/or pillowcases on your bed.
• The next day, you're going to start to repeat the process of washing off of your tattoo and reapplying the ointment thinly 3x/day for the next 3 days (morning when you wake up, sometime in the afternoon, and then once more at night before bed). Use the ointment no more than 3x/day (it is perfectly fine for your tattoo to become dry between applications; that is much better than it being smothered in ointment!).
• On the 4th day, stop using the ointment, and switch to a fragrance-free, medication-free lotion. You can use just about any brand of lotion (though there are specific ones made just for healing up fresh tattoos), as long as it has no medicines or perfumes in it. We usually recommend putting lotion on your tattoo about 3-4x/day for the next 4 weeks, but feel free to use it more! Unlike with the ointment (where using barely any is key) you can feel free to lotion your tattoo as many times a day as you like. The healthier and more moisturized your skin is, the better your tattoo will be!
• During this lotion-ing phase, your tattoo will go through a flakey-peely stage- similar to how a sunburn peels. This may cause some itchiness and discomfort- however, don't pick at or scratch at your tattoo! Those flakes need to come off on their own; any that come off prematurely can cause some light spots and uneven healing. If it is uncomfortable, try applying more lotion to your tattoo- usually that itchiness is your skin signaling to you that it is dry, and needs some moisture.
• Once your tattoo is all done flaking and peeling, let us see it! You might notice some light spots- even if you followed these instructions to the letter, sometimes it just happens- for a variety of reasons (your skin, the size and location of the tattoo, etc). It's all however part of the healing process, which you are now almost all the way done with. When we look at your tattoo, we'll be able to tell you if you'll be needing a touch up. Get in contact with us, and we can tell you the best time to stop by. WE HAVE TO SEE YOUR TATTOO IN PERSON BEFORE WE CAN SCHEDULE YOU A TOUCH UP APPOINTMENT!
• DO NOT PICK OR SCRATCH!
• DO NOT SUBMERGE YOUR TATTOO COMPLETELY UNDERWATER FOR THE FIRST 2 WEEKS. You can get your tattoo wet (like when you wash it off between each new layer of ointment, and in the shower) but don't soak it completely underwater for any extended amount of time. In the shower, do not scrub your tattoo. Try to avoid using scented soaps and abrasive sponges/loofahs on your tattoo.
• DO NOT TAN (AT ALL!!!! IN A BED OR IN THE NATURAL SUN!) FOR THE FIRST 3 WEEKS. Ideally, you should try not to tan at all, ever, once you get tattooed... tanning is major tattoo abuse. Each session can add years to the appearance of your tattoo, cause fading and blurring, and just all-around be not good. If you do choose to tan with a fully-healed tattoo, you should protect your tattoo by either covering it completely with clothing or by using at least 50SPF sunblock.
HEALING A TATTOO USING SANIDERM
Saniderm is a medical-grade adhesive bandage that seals your tattoo to create a barrier against
water, dirt, germs, and friction. Bandages similar to Saniderm have been used by doctors and surgeons
for over 30 years.Saniderm works bv locking in your body’s natural healing fluids so your tattoo stays
hydrated and heals quickly and efficiently with no scabbing and reduced scarring. Oxygen is vital for a
healing tattoo- without it, your skin suffocates and your tattoo suffers. Saniderm is engineered to be
gas permeable so your skin can “breathe” and get all the oxygen it needs to heal perfectly.
1. Clean and dry the new tattoo and surrounding skin- any kind of lotions
and/or ointments are not necessary.
2. Cut the bandage to allow at least 1’ of Saniderm to be in contact with
undamaged skin (allow more clearance in highly mobile areas)
3. Peel off the paper backing to reveal the adhesive side.
4. Ensuring the skin is in a neutral position, gently apply the bandage
using light pressure.
5. Remove the plastic backing, leaving only Saniderm on the skin.
6. Wear the bandage for 8-24 hours, depending on how much the tattoo
weeps, then remove the Saniderm.
7. OPTIONAL: Clean and dry the area and apply a second bandage which
can be worn for up to 6 days.
TIPS FOR SANIDERM TATTOO AFTERCARE
• For maximum comfort ensure skin is in a neutral position when applying Saniderm.
• When little bleeding will occur, (line work, on a hand, etc.) you may apply a small
amount of lotion or ointment directly on the tattoo before applying Saniderm to
prevent adhesion to the tattoo.
• When cutting to size, rounded corners provide the best adhesion.
• For large areas, pieces of Saniderm may be overlapped by 1/2” (1 cm).
• When applying to elbows and knees, the joint should be in a neutral position-
neither straight nor completely bent.
• Do not use Saniderm if you have allergies to adhesives.
• If cleaning the tattoo with a soap, be sure to rinse thoroughly as any residue will
react with the adhesives and cause increased binding and possible irritation.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Saniderm locks in the body’s natural moisture and healing enzymes, allowing the body to heal itself in
the most efficient manner possible. After skin has been injured, healing elements are produced to help
break down dead tissue and rebuild new tissue. Under normal circumstances, these healing elements
dry up and evaporate which reduces their effectiveness. When this happens, longer healing times are
required and scabbing and scarring occur. Saniderm locks in these healing elements, and allows the
skin to continue to function as normal because the bandage is permeable to oxygen and water vapor
(breathable). In addition, Saniderm protects against dirt and germs while eliminating friction and other
irritations that might further interfere with the healing process.
WILL IT AFFECT THE TATTOO?
Saniderm’s adhesive will not attach to the weeping area of a tattoo, therefore it can never damage or
pull out ink. In fact, customers report that the colors of their tattoo remain more vibrant after using
Saniderm, compared to tattoos that have healed by other aftercare products.
WHAT MAKES IT BETTER THAN OTHER AFTERCARE PRODUCTS/METHODS?
Simply put, Saniderm eliminates the tedious process that accompanies traditional aftercare and
promotes the body’s natural healing agents. With Saniderm there is no need for lotions, ointments or
maintenance 3-5 times a day. Not only is it extremely simple and convenient, but it protects your tattoo
from dirt and germs, expedites the healing process, reduces scabbing, and enhances color quality, all
while overcoming the following complaints associated with other aftercare products. Lotions are vehicles
for bacteria, which can cause allergic reactions, infections and scabbing. Antibacterial soap can dry out
the tattoo and cause bleeding, scabbing and fading of color. Antibacterial Ointments can create allergic
reactions, discoloration, and excessive fluid weeping while petroleum based products contain no healing
agents and may drain color, leaving clothes and sheets stained. Saniderm eliminates all these
complaints,while harnessing the body’s natural healing enzymes and ensuring it heals in the
most efficient manner possible.
HOW LONG SHOULD IT STAY ON THE TATTOO?
The first piece of Saniderm can be left on your new tattoo for 8 to 24 hours. Since everyone heals
differently the length of time will depend on how much fluid your tattoo weeps, which will affect the
adhesion of Saniderm. If you notice excessive weeping or fluid under Saniderm, replace it with a
new piece. Many people choose to use the first piece of Saniderm for 1-2 days, and wear the
second piece for up to 6 days.
CAN I SHOWER WITH IT ON?
Saniderm stays on skin even when immersed in water… so you’re able to bathe, shower and swim as
normal. It is waterproof, however excessive exposure to water should be avoided because it could
weaken the adhesion.
CAN I SUNBATHE WITH IT ON?
Saniderm does not contain any kind of sun protection, so you should avoid prolonged sun or UV ray
exposure. We do not recommend exposing your new tattoo to UV rays, ever – with or without Saniderm.
Even after your tattoo is fully healed, continue to use sun protection to maintain the integrity of your
CAN I EXERCISE WITH IT ON?
Exercising with Saniderm is fine, just be aware that sweating can weaken the adhesive of Saniderm
nd cause the bandage to come off prematurely. So it may be best to take it easy and keep the
sweating to a minimum.
COULD I BE ALLERGIC TO IT?
Saniderm is both latex free and hypoallergenic, so allergic reactions are very rare. Some people,
however, have very sensitve skin and are allergic to adhesives. (Tape, bandages, etc). If you experience
a rash, abnormal skin irritation, or other symptoms of an allergic reaction, discontinue use and wash
with mild soap. Consult a physician if necessary. Of-course, Saniderm should never be used
on infected skin.
HOW DO I REMOVE IT?
The best way to remove Saniderm is to find an edge and pull the Saniderm back over itself in
the direction of hair growth. Pulling upward on the Saniderm can be painful. Rarely, some people
will stick to the Saniderm better than others and it can be difficult to remove. In this case try
removing Saniderm in warm shower, the warmth will loosen the adhesive and make if easier
to remove. If that doesn’t work then you can use a small amount of olive oil or coconut oil and
apply it to the edge of the bandage, the oil will weaken the adhesive and the Saniderm will
come right off.
ALL INFORMATION AND INSTRUCTIONS REGARDING THE USE OF SANIDERM IS PROVIDED BY THE MANUFACTURER OF THIS PRODUCT AND DIRECTLY AVAILABLE ON THEIR OFFICIAL WEBSITE WWW.SANIDERM.COM