slayer9019

Re-wrapping tattoos

Recommended Posts

Now I have never re-wrapped a tattoo or left the original post-tattoo wrapping on, but after pursuing through the forums for the last year I have noticed that some people do it. I personally believe that saran wrap on tattoo = bacteria death trap. Hell I treat tattoos like road-rash, and never in a million years would I saran wrap my road rash, except maybe to save the interior of my car on the way to the hospital.

Any thoughts?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I followed that method for an early tattoo (because I was told to). My take on it is that, thinking about it rationally, I do not want to create a warm, moist, non-breathable barrier over my healing tattoo for days on end: I think that would, indeed, equal 'bacteria death trap'.

It's been suggested that this approach reduces the chance of a hard scab forming. To be honest, though, since I've started using a light application of Bepanthen I don't think I have had scabbing with any of my recent tattooing in any case... They've all healed with some peeling, but more like as if I had a bit of sunburn rather than scabbing.

I know there is an argument that individual tattooists know best about aftercare for their own methods, but it would take a lot of convincing to get me to try this again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think initially Saran Wrap provides an air tight seal to keep bacteria out, and the hot moist environment at the onset of the tattoo (first 24 hours) can definitely help eclude the lymph out of the tattoo and reduce scabbing. However I would never wrap my tattoo with anything after the first 24 hours, but again everyone has their different take on healing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hell I treat tattoos like road-rash, and never in a million years would I saran wrap my road rash

Road rash has ROAD in it, so no - you wouldn't want to wrap that in your skin.

2 of my last 3 tattooists swear by the wrapping method. They say it keeps the dirt out and "keeps the body's own natural headling juices in". You've got to give it about 4 half hour drying periods each day after washing and before re-wrapping - but it does eliminate any scabbing and hastens the initial healing process. I'm usually pealing by the 4th day and then no more wrapping. This process would be a pain in the butt if your work schedule might interfeer with the mid-day washing, drying and re-wrapping.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I should qualify what I posted earlier and mention that I have (and still do) keep a wrap on for up to 24 hours after getting work done - particularly if, as is often the case, I've travelled and have a plane to catch home. Besides, hotel staff don't like it when you leak ink onto their bedsheets during the night.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've known people that swear by the re-wrapping method also, and say it's the best they've healed. I tried it briefly with my last tattoo but gave it up when I saw how much moisture and nastiness was accumulating, it freaked me out so I abandoned it. I will try it again, though, as I'm told it won't be so messy after a couple of days. I also have been told not to use any ointment, etc, before wrapping and to wash and let air dry for a while and then dry wrap for a while and keep repeating cleaning and dry wrapping.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For all but one tattoo I've never wrapped my tattoos. The one I have was in my foot and it was recommended by the tattooer to wrap it for the first 3 days. It got so sweaty that I took of the wrap every few hours and patted all the sweat off, then rewrapped it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I got another on the opposite side of my leg when wrapping the new tattoo part of the existing (older 5/6 day) tattoo got in on the action, never again, it was a pain to heal colour fell, the lot.

I normally just keep it clean when its healed bit of moisturiser, splash bit of baby oil on them after a shower now n again if the misses leaves it out that is... Locks in the moisture so the advert says ha...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The tattoos of mine that have healed the easiest are the ones I've kept wrapped until the next morning and then removed the wrap in a warm shower. There is pretty much no reason you'd re-wrap. Well there are a few reasons but for the most part it's not something you should do.

If the person who did the tattoo keeps their shit clean, and you didn't touch the tattoo while it was being done without gloves on, and you didn't rub it against anything before being wrapped there shouldn't really be a ton of bad bacteria in there.

If you get your tattoos in some asshole's kitchen who doesn't own an autoclave, let alone even know what one is, then yeah, you might be sealing in some nice things.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As I said in another thread, the artist who did my last tattoo told me to keep it wrapped for 3 days as it's less likely to scab (I'm only on day 2 now). I've been washing it 2-3 times per day, let it dry for half an hour and then re-wrap. I've also been changing the dressing as needed so it's not sitting there all soggy. Pretty inconvenient if you're at work though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ive had best results with, getting home (so usually an hour our so after the session), unwrapping, washing with water as hot as I can handle with an unscented soap or hand wash, then patting dry with a very clean towel or kitchen roll, applying chosen ointment (I use After Inked) then re-wrapping.

I repeat the cleaning, re-applying ointment and re-wrapping 3 times a day, once when I wake up then half way through the day and then again before I go to bed for the first 3 days, thats usually when I start to peel, after that I just wash it as often as possible (usually 3 times a day realistically) and re-apply the ointment without wrapping.

Ive done the same process but without the wrapping before and to be honest I've had similar results, I just feel when its wrapped its more protected from knocks and clothes rubbing against it ect, I think the re-wrapping technique is fine as long as you change it regularly and keep on top of it, which can be hard because of work and stuff.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My usual routine:

Get home and remove wrap about two hours after the tattoo was done. Hot shower, gently clean it with unscented soap (Spectro-Gel up here in Canada, but I once got Hibiclens in the US.)

Pat dry, apply very thin later of Aquaphor. Just before bed, rewrap only the first night, mainly to: avoid it sticking to sheets, and stop pet hair from sticking to it. Next morning, wash again, no more wrap, thin layer of Aquaphor again, remove surplus by patting with towel. Repeat a few times a day.

After the peeling starts on the 3rd to 5th day or so, switch to unscented Lubriderm.

This works for me, but I also appear to be one of those people whose skin sucks in ink, and who heals amazingly well. Your mileage may vary.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The artists wraps it so you leave their shop in the best sterile condition possible. It protects them as much as it protects you. I usually have a few big wound pads taped over the work with saran wrap over it. When I get home, I may unwrap it for a minute to show it off, then it gets covered and I go to bed (towel on my side of the bed too...). In the morning, it gets unwrapped and washed in the shower per the shop's care directions, which I follow from there.

CG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I usually keep the wrap on until I get home/two hours after the tattoo is finished. Then frequent showers with dial and light A&D ointment. Whoever said "bacteria death trap" hit the nail on the head. Let your tattoo breath.

I couldn't have said it better D!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I re-wrapped a tattoo once never again.

I will never forget the smell when I removed the wrapping several hours later. It had the smell of death. The last time I smelt something like that was when I opened a packet of minced beef that had "gone off".

You can heal tattoos by using sarin wrap. I believe burns are healed this way. The wrapping needs to be changed at least three or more times a day.

The only thing I use sometimes, and thats only on lower leg tattoos is a very fine tubular gauze for a couple of days (it's to keep cats hairs away from the tattoo). The tattoo can breathe and if the gauze sticks to the tattoo a little warm water loosens it, no problem.

Personally I can't see the benefits of re-wrapping a tattoo with sarin wrap but each to their own.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

everybody has their own way to do this stuff. i've been convinced by much better tattooers than i to wrap it for 3 days. first day, leave the wrap on til morning. wash, let dry, no ointment, re-wrap. leave on until morning. repeat. after the third day, the tattoo is healed on the surface and begins to peal. i found this to be a nice way to deal with my knee and crotch being tattooed, which could have been quite uncomfortable at work. the problem with this method is getting the customer to do it correctly. so i only explain it to ones who i think are smart enough to follow directions and are getting bigger work in uncomfortable spots.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I rebandaged for the first time with my foot tattoo, and it seemed to do wonders in terms of swelling/general irritation. I just wrapped it that first night, but my foot was almost back to its normal size the next day, and was pretty much not bothering me at all by the day after. Other than that it seems to be healing normally. I don't know if I'll use this method for everything--I seem to have a curse where plastic wrap turns into a useless ball the second I look at it--but this one tattoo has been healing pretty awesomely so far.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK guys, I'm going to chuck this in here since it seems to fit best.

I would have fallen into the 'don't re-wrap after the initial period' school of thought, and I've had excellent results just using bepanthen and interfering with healing tattoos fairly minimally.

When I was in Chicago last week Christ Smith gave me a few sheets of Nexacare Tegaderm dressings and recommended I try them out. Now, it may have been because the tattoo was on my knee (an awkward spot to look after), but I get the impression he's using this as his aftercare across the board..

This was the first time I've seen this product but it's kind of what I always though should be used if the 'keep it wrapped' school of though was brought to its logical conclusion. It's adhesive, sterile, available in any Walgrens pharmacy and can be cut to size. My understanding is that it's used for burns in hospitals and probably you guys in the U.S have heard of it before, but it was a new one on me. Over here anyone I know who is keeping their tattoos wrapped for long periods is just using clingfilm, which gets kind of gnarly very quickly.

I guess the difference is that the Tegaderm (a) adheres more closely to the surface of the skin so less pockets of air and gunk (b) comes sterile and © is supposed to be breathable and allow air out while simultaenously being waterproof and stop germs and whatnot getting in.

At any rate, I did it for three days as recommended, changing the dressing every 8-12 hours or so.

The pros: This stuff sticks great and stays in place. You almost forget you've got a healing tattoo to worry about, in that it's not riding out of place or whatever. It appears to offer good protection against abrasion. Ultimately each time when I took the dressing off I was cleaning out fair amounts of gunk (lymph, coagulents?) but it never smelled too funky, which might lend some credence to the idea that it is breathable to some degree.

The cons: It's expensive (Nine dollars for 4 small sheets, which I had to use most of to cover my knee each time). Ultimately I also remained concerned about what exactly was happening under there. Although my knee looks to be healing OK the skin appeared a little soft / chalky (like when you've just gotten out of the bath and are a bit wrinkled) this morning. i'm glad it was the last day I was applying it- I'm not sure I'd want to continue for another day. The all-over adhesive nature of the Tegaderm means pulling the dressing off is a bit harsh on the skin too, not sure about that. Seems odd to try to avoid abrasions / suface knocks, and then be sucking the skin off when you're removing the Tegaderm?

Overall: Well, it protected the tattoo and allowed me a *lot* of free movement on my last few days in Chicago. It really stays in place and could be awesome for tattoos in awkward places (feet maybe?). I think I would certainly think it is a better, more sterile, option than just cling-film. Am I ready to entirely give up on my old bepanthen method for the future? Hmm, not sure about that just yet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am big fan of the rewrapping approach. I keep the tattoo covered for 48 hours. Every 4 hours the tattoo gets washed with medical grade soap, dried and the cling film goes back on (no cream etc.). After two days I unwrap it and wash it twice a day, applying a special bees wax based ointment my tattooer gives me if necessary. Works a treat. No scabbing and just very minimal peeling.

The one tattoo I didn't do this way scabbed like a bastard and will need retouched in future.

I suppose the healing process is very subjective and will differ from person to person but for me, the difference between rewrapping and not is night and day.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I think initially Saran Wrap provides an air tight seal to keep bacteria out, and the hot moist environment at the onset of the tattoo (first 24 hours) can definitely help eclude the lymph out of the tattoo and reduce scabbing. However I would never wrap my tattoo with anything after the first 24 hours, but again everyone has their different take on healing.

That's exactly how I do mine and tell my customers as well. I have never had issues with infection due to "bacteria death trap"

The tattoos of mine that have healed the easiest are the ones I've kept wrapped until the next morning and then removed the wrap in a warm shower. There is pretty much no reason you'd re-wrap. Well there are a few reasons but for the most part it's not something you should do.

If the person who did the tattoo keeps their shit clean, and you didn't touch the tattoo while it was being done without gloves on, and you didn't rub it against anything before being wrapped there shouldn't really be a ton of bad bacteria in there.

If you get your tattoos in some asshole's kitchen who doesn't own an autoclave, let alone even know what one is, then yeah, you might be sealing in some nice things.

I like to change the wrap once or twice during the first 12-15 hours. Makes it a little less nasty and also the washing will physically remove some of the bacteria.

I wouldn't leave the wrap on for more than 24 hours at the max. After that, just wash it good and let it dry. I like to put a little lotion if it gets dry(usually won't need any for 3 or more days)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Now I have never re-wrapped a tattoo or left the original post-tattoo wrapping on, but after pursuing through the forums for the last year I have noticed that some people do it. I personally believe that saran wrap on tattoo = bacteria death trap. Hell I treat tattoos like road-rash, and never in a million years would I saran wrap my road rash, except maybe to save the interior of my car on the way to the hospital.

Any thoughts?

I'm with you. I remove the wrap as soon as I get home.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I un-wrap it after an hour, have a hot shower and wash it with anti bacterial soap. Dry myself off, a light coat of Bepanthan and thats it. I dont let animals touch it or let it knock on things. Put Bepanthan on it and wash it morning and night for about 4-5 days and by then its usually completely healed.

If I was tattooed with a pneumatique gun, its healed in 2-3 days 100%.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just a thought......scabbing depends on the artist. (and of coarse, placement, and how much of a filthy motherfucker you are) The technical ability of the artist also goes into the healing process. Ever got a scratcher tattoo? Thick fucking scabs. Ever been tattooed by an ARTIST that knows what they are doing? Light scabbing to no scabbing. And just to point out the obvious, that many have seemed to fail to mention, scabs serve a purpose! Protection! The Natural healing process.

Hope I didn't piss anyone off. (but if I did G.F.Y., lol)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recent Posts

    • Everyone likes what they like, but true Japanese tattooing probably has had more influence on modern tattooing than anything else... American traditional a close second.  Janky kanji is not what it's about.
    • Look, tattoos are an adult thing.  Be an adult, decide what YOU think and what YOU think should be done about it and stop looking for someone to agree with you. You might not post to this site again, but you know you'll lurk and think pissy things about all of us, lol.
    • Bless your heart. I bet you'll be back when it looks even worse because no reputable tattoo artist would agree with you. You're not a very good listening, are you? Also? BYEEEEEEEEEE.
  • Last Sparrow Tattoo Sponsors

  • Instagram #LastSparrow

  • Recent Topics

  • Similar Content

    • By awaken
      Hey everyone! I'm a 20 year old college student just looking to talk tattoos with someone every now and again. I have one tattoo, and it's only 4 days old! In two weeks I'll be getting my second one, and I'm super excited. I hope you folks don't mind answering a couple questions I have regarding my tattoo. First, I notice a bit of blowout. I was wondering if a little bit of blowout is normal, and if it will go away. Secondly, I was not instructed to wrap it every day, so I have not been doing that. I have been, however, washing it and applying a bit of lotion on it twice a day. I want to know if I'll be alright just doing that, or if I need to take other measures as far as aftercare goes.
      I'll provide photos :) Let me know what you all think! Thanx!
    • By Buddhisttattoofan
      Hello tattoo enthusiasts!
      I am posting here today because 5 days ago I got a beautiful Buddhist mantra tattooed on my inner forearm and there seem to be a few color irregularities and a kind of hole. It was wrapped in plastic when I left the tattoo shop I did everything my tattoo artist told me to do except one thing. When I went to buy bacticrin or wtv it's called I could not find it, so I bought tattoo goo instead. Seems legit I checked online many agree it works well. So pretty much since I took the bandage off five days ago it has been covered in a very thin layer (as thin as possible) of tattoo goo. So far it's been good but now the two most important parts of my tattoo are experience some spots of color loss also the beginning of the tattoo nearest the hand is the same color as the end, yet it seems darker. The black in tattoo is behaving beautifully not red itchy or anything it almost looks like it's healed. It's only two parts of blue that are giving me trouble. I've been thinking about going back to the tattoo parlour but it's pretty far. But it's a reputable place and the tattoos he's done and drawings he's done were beautiful. http://i.imgur.com/Tz48BMC.jpg
      http://i.imgur.com/NflvXnB.jpg
      Help me Last Sparrow Tattoo Enthusiast, you're my only hope.
      lol
    • By virginia
      Hello, my name is Virginia and I went through all this trouble to create an account because I'd really, really like some opinions on my first tattoo I had done this Saturday (right in between my shoulder blades) My tattoo artist is out of town and the place I went was really far, its not like I can just make a quick trip. I don't know if this is normal or if its just my skin, but I have been following her aftercare instructions to the "t". Removed bandage after 4 hours, applied A&D lightly for 3 days, washed 3 times a day with anti-bacterial soap, then switched to fragrance free lotion (i used aveeno). Its only been 5 days and the parts that are purple scabbed really really bad, and it has faded so much.
      This tattoo means a lot to me as it represents Crohn's Disease, and needs to be purple since that is the official color, which I suffer from, I'm very sad how much the tattoo has fallen and its only been 5 days. It seems only the parts that were purple scabbed and faded. My artist said she'll gladly touch it up for me.
      Has this happened to anyone? Is it just natural for the color to fade this much? Could it be because my skin is dark? Could it be the ink, like maybe I need a different brand or color of purple? Or just any opinions on what/where I went wrong?
      Here's a picture. The picture on the left was the best I had of how it did look, on the right is how it looks now and the scabs. ):

    • By metalmancpa
      It's red and warm, and very bothersome. Bacitracin was put on it an hour before this picture was taken. The 1st two days, no lotion was used. From Day 3 on only Lubriderm, sparingly.
    • By Natveggie45
      Just was inquiring had anything like this happen or heard of it; hubby and I just had more tattoos done. Mine healed just fine with those products ( cream and foam). Hubby used them in the past just fine. But this time his lower arm is just a huge rash, quite painful. Thank God his tattoo did not discolor or anything ( fleur de lys and dagger). But the doctor thinks it is an allergic reaction to those products... Will take anywhere from 2 to 4 weeks to heal ( some of the sores were bleeding..). Just buyer beware..,,