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Tattoo Aftercare

Everyone has different skin and ways of healing. A general rule is to listen to your body and “less is more”. Keep your new tattoo clean, able to breathe with loose clothing, out of the sun, and free of touching too much. If you run into any questions, please email me,, with your specific concerns, descriptions, and/or photos. 


Recommended Aftercare Products: 

-Saniderm Bandage (you will leave with this applied, and new extra pieces to change your bandage) 

-Unscented Liquid Soap or Gentle Bar Soap (“Dial” brand liquid or Dove Bar Soap work great!) 

-Lightweight, unscented lotion (REDEMPTION Tattoo Care Balm, Aveeno, Lubriderm)

-Sunblock/sunscreen (once you’re healed, this can provide longevity for bright, crisp tattoos) 

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Saniderm Bandage:

-Dark fluid under your bandage is completely normal. These are your white blood cells doing their job. 

-The bandage is meant to allow your body to heal without external interruption, so NO lotions, balms, or soap residue should be underneath it. 

-Leaking fluid or redness/irritation at the edges of bandage: this is more common in areas of the body with high movement or are more sensitive skin (joints, armpits, inner arm, upper thigh, etc.) If the bandage starts to irritate your skin or is leaking fluid at all, remove the bandage right away, gently wash your tattoo with cool water and unscented soap, and skip to the lotion suggestions below. 

Changing Your Saniderm Bandage:

The day after getting your new tattoo, I suggest changing the bandage. Clean and disinfect the counter or table you will be working on, as well as wash your hands thoroughly. Prepare your gentle soap of choice, clean scissors, dry paper towels, and a damp one if desired. The bandage is a sealed environment, so be mindful to re-wash your hands after touching a cell phone to take photos, or touching anything else. 

-Prepare cuts of the new bandage no more than 8” long. The bandage is thin, and large pieces can be tricky to work with.

-Remove your current bandage by pulling from a corner downward, close to your skin, not outward and away. A damp paper towel can ease off the bandage if tender. If one corner doesn’t want to budge, try another. 

-Wash the area with a little gentle soap and cool water in a light circular motion, with no more pressure than used on your face. Rinse clean and pat dry the area entirely with dry, clean, paper towels. The bandage will not stick to moisture, so double check sneaky areas like elbows, armpits, and knees. If this does happen and you have a loose edge, wait until dry and place another piece of bandage over it. 

-Apply the bandage with your body in a relaxed position to avoid pulling and stretching when at rest or in a neutral pose. 

-Pieces can overlap and don’t need to look perfect to be effective! Large air bubbles can be pushed to the edge of the bandage, or snipped with scissors and patched over with another piece of bandage to keep contaminants out. Even if you can’t see a snipped hole, make sure it is sealed with another patch of bandage.

After Your Saniderm Bandage:

-After 3 days or so, the second bandage can be removed the same way as the first. The tattoo will likely have stained the bandage and it will look like your tattoo is peeling off with it, but it is absolutely not. Your skin will be wrinkled, but will smooth out in an hour or two. Wash the tattoo the same way, and next step: lotion as needed!


-Use a lightweight, unscented lotion in thin layers as needed. Aveeno, Lubriderm, or the slightly thicker REDEMPTION Tattoo Care balm are great choices. Always wash your tattoo before reapplying. If you choose the REDEMPTION Balm, I suggest switching over to one of the other lightweight choices after a few days, or you can just use your lightweight choices right away after removing your Saniderm bandage. I don’t suggest heavier products such as Goldbalm, or anything with fragrance. Simple is best.


Some light peeling or flaking (sunburn-like) is completely normal during healing. Do NOT peel or pick any flaking skin. These bits may come off in washing, which is completely normal. 

After two weeks, you’re okay to return to swimming or soaking in the tub, but please remember sunblock outdoors! Sun exposure is a fast way to fade a tattoo. When in doubt or any concern, just email me. If after three weeks of healing things look like they need a touch up, contact me and we will address it together. Remember, you’ve already made it through the tough part. Happy healing!

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