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Tegaderm/Saniderm/Tatuderm healing process

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Ello. I will have a session on monday and tuesday on the same area. Im planning to use derm on wednesday. Can dern be aplied so late on some parts or will they be too far in the healing process?

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front_collar_tattoo_thumb.jpg

I wanted to share my experience with using Saniderm (8"x11 yd. roll) while healing the tattoo shown above.

I got the tattoo on Saturday, finishing up on Saturday evening. The artist cleaned the area and applied the Saniderm at the shop. We used a piece on each shoulder, a piece in the middle and one piece on each side to connect the shoulder and middle areas. There were also cuts made to accommodate the curves of the skin in the middle of my chest. I left this bandage until Sunday evening (a little over 24 hours). There was some ink leakage. I immediately noticed that I barely felt any pain on Saturday night. Normally, I am sore in the tattooed area for about 30-36 hours after it is finished. I removed the first bandage in the shower. It was full of ink and came off as easier than I expected under warm running water.

I placed the second bandage on after I got out of the shower and patted the tattoo dry. I didn't use any ointments or moisturizers. Monday, I felt great. Tuesday, I started to notice a smell (like the beginning of mildew growth) and also started to itch under the bandage. Wednesday, I tried to take extra care to pat the bandage dry once I got out of the shower. The scent was still there, but not quite as strong as the day before. The itching was getting worse, however. Thursday morning, I removed the bandage in the shower under running water. This hurt a bit more than the Sunday removal hurt, but it wasn't a high level of pain. There had been a small amount of ink leakage just about every day for the second bandage.

I went on to use Hustle Butter three times on Thursday. I noticed around five small areas of peeling, but that was it. I feel some raised/somewhat hard areas in the outline of the flowers on my shoulders, but this is in line with what I normally feel on healing tattoos except when using normal methods, the raised areas are throughout the majority of the tattoo. I haven't had the flaking that I normally have during healing, so I think that I have skipped that stage. I have also noticed a rash (several bumps) in the middle of my chest. I hope that this heals soon!

It is Friday now and I am still using Hustle Butter on the tattoo. I normally don't itch when I use Hustle Butter and don't use numbing gel during the tattoo. However, I do have some itching even after I removed the bandage and started the Hustle Butter routine.

Overall, my pros would be that there was much less pain after the tattoo was over (big pro), I didn't have to tend to the tattoo throughout the first four days, and I didn't have to worry about ink stains on clothes. The cons would be the smell, the itch, the rash and how hard it is to get the edges to stay down on areas that bend or curve.

I plan to try Tegaderm next time. I have the 4"x4" sheets of this already. Depending on how the rash heals, I may try Saniderm again if I don't see much of a difference between Tegaderm and Saniderm. Even with the cons, so far I think that this is better than what I was doing before.

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@21stNow thanks for sharing your story. I had an issue with the mildew smell myself (several pages back, probably) and now that I'm healing another one using Tegaderm I realized that last time I did not have enough overlap when I had to connect pieces, and the edge of the -derm was too close to the edge of the tattoo. This time I have a wider margin and everything is working much better, no smell, no issues. I am having a tiny bit of reddish skin under the non-tattooed skin that is covered at the margins, but I think this is from pulling (we've talked about the issue on this thread as well) of the -derm on my mobile dominant arm.

Itching and sensitivity to the product can't be helped, though, and I wouldn't put up with too much of that, but even when I had to take it off a day and a half or so early it still healed up WAY faster than the traditional way. This time I think I'll make it to this evening (full 4 days), at which time a full peel of all the extra ink should occur. However, removal is tough for Tegaderm, especially one-handed, and when it curves around the arm you can't stretch it taught from both sides like you might do for an IV dressing, which lifts it up off the skin beautifully. I'll take my time and get someone to help.

I have not used Saniderm, but I don't think it is stretchy like Tegaderm. Is that correct? Tegaderm is stretchy, light, thin and if you breathe on it the wrong way (practically) it will fold on itself.

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I'll cross post here since I haven't added to this thread yet.

I used saniderm for 4 days after my recent tattoos. I removed the original wrap after 5 hours since it was leaking out. After washing with Hibiclens Antiseptic/Antimicrobial Skin Cleanser and air drying, I put on saniderm overnight and replaced it the next day with another saniderm after washing. It worked great and never stank or became infected. I use aquaphor after that until it is healed.

The cool thing about membranes is that they don't stick to the inked sections of skin since it is weeping. Removal is a bit scary at first because it does stick to every skin break and gap in and near the tattoo. I slowly remove it in the shower and all is fine.

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@sora777 I'm not familiar with Dermalize, so I can't comment on how similar it is to Saniderm.

@LizBee You're welcome! Saniderm isn't stretchy or very flexible when you first apply it, but after it has been on and absorbed body heat, it is much more flexible. It did seem stretchy when I removed it in the shower.

To finish my review of Saniderm, I'm at 2.5 weeks from the tattoo and am completely healed now. I had minor peeling from the day that I removed the Saniderm until about the two week mark. I also had a lot more itching than I normally do, since I started using Hustle Butter. At two weeks, I was almost completely healed. The only thing that I noticed at that point was that my skin still felt a bit tender. I would say that the healing time was cut down by a week from my normal healing time.

What was unusual for me, both from my prior healing experiences with other methods and from what I have read in this thread, is that I did have scabs with this tattoo. I have never had scabs in a tattoo before. I did talk to my artist about it and we both thought that the scabs formed because the area bends and flexes (the area between my chest and shoulders). I don't have any other tattoos on areas that bend like this. Also, the scabs weren't bad and healed with no problems. Finally, the rash went away in about five days.

I still plan to try Tegaderm next time, but am open to using Saniderm again.

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Hi guys

I just recently got my first tattoo (3 days ago, Sunday to be exact)

It's a name behind my left ear . My tattoo artist applied a Saniderm bandage on it afterwards and gave me some extras to take home with me. I was told to remove the first bandage 24 hours after. To wash it with cold water, pat dry, allow it to air dry for 10 minutes and then apply the second bandage. To leave on for the next five days.

I have a couple of questions though.. After the fifth day should i apply another Saniderm bandage or should i start to apply Aquaphor ? Or what would you recommend?

Also my job consists of cutting tree logs with a chainsaw. So saw dust is constantly flying at my face. After I remove the second bandage would it be okay to leave it expose and go to work like that? Or should i apply a third saniderm bandage?

Basically after removing the second bandage what are my next steps?

thank you in advanced. :)

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Hi guys

I just recently got my first tattoo (3 days ago, Sunday to be exact)

It's a name behind my left ear . My tattoo artist applied a Saniderm bandage on it afterwards and gave me some extras to take home with me. I was told to remove the first bandage 24 hours after. To wash it with cold water, pat dry, allow it to air dry for 10 minutes and then apply the second bandage. To leave on for the next five days.

I have a couple of questions though.. After the fifth day should i apply another Saniderm bandage or should i start to apply Aquaphor ? Or what would you recommend?

Also my job consists of cutting tree logs with a chainsaw. So saw dust is constantly flying at my face. After I remove the second bandage would it be okay to leave it expose and go to work like that? Or should i apply a third saniderm bandage?

Basically after removing the second bandage what are my next steps?

thank you in advanced. :)

Hi there, your artist knows best how to heal their work, but five days seems like a long time without washing or changing the dressing. If you stick with that time frame, your tattoo should be as good as heald after 6 days covered. Most of my recent tattoos have been scab free and peeling (sunburn style) after 24-48 hours covered. After six days the weeping will be done, so no real fear of dust.

Best of luck with your new tattoo.

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My last 2 tattoos were done on Jan 3 & Tegaderm was used wich I never experienced before....I will say that this stuff is awesome and I will never go back to the old school way lol definitely better healing wise just simply amazing. Plus it was nice to be able to continue on with normal everyday living the 3days I had it on and not worry.

I got myself a roll of Saniderm for future tattoos.

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I have just finished using tatuderm for the first time. Tricky spot I'd say (just had both of my hands tattooed) so I had to do a lot of patching etc to get them to fit, and I wasn't able to get the recommended 1" space around the tattoo so I did experience some leaking etc. This means I changed it after 12hrs the first time. Pros : once I had actually got the stuff on (not easy given I had to dress my hands myself), they felt good. I had more mobility than with just clingfilm, everything felt a bit 'safer' and certainly not gooey. However,after dressing them for the 2nd time (I got my boyfriend to help this time and I think he pulled itit a bit tight)they were a lot less mobile. I also noticed some small spots forming so I decided to remove it again after 12hrs. This time I noticed the tatuderm had actually stuck to my tattoos (which it is definitely not meant to do!) I presumed this might have been due to my hands starting to heal and therefore not producing as much plasma but it was pretty sore removing what is essentially sticky tape from healing tattoos. Since then my hands have been dry healing (I feel like I messed them around a little already) and I'd say I'm generally having an awful heal (for me anyway,) got loads of scabs, very tight, very dry and still sore after about a week. I've got no idea if this is in some way connected to my use of the tatuderm or just that hands are a bitch to heal anyway! I've got a few more appointments coming up on much easier parts of the body so I'm going to try again. I'll report back!

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Just thought to drop a question here for those of you who heal with whatever-derm.

I'm planning to use either Dermalize or Tegaderm or both to heal my next tattoo (appointment's on Monday). It will be the first time for me & the artist as well it seems. He seemed quite excited to have someone ask to use it since he's heard so many good things about it.

It will be my fifth tattoo (second by this artist) and so far I've done dry healing complete with picking off the scabs (first one, was a mess of course), LITHA (second, came out fine), washing + tattoo-specific lotion (third, healed super quickly), and saran wrapping/washing for 48 hrs followed by lotion (last one by the same artist, also healed just great).

Since I pretty much took the initiative to use -derm this time, and I know the guy does not have much first-hand experience with it, I've been looking at the different methods people use. Firstly, Dermalize (my artist has some samples through the place where he gets his ink/equipment from) seem to recommend applying the film immediately, keeping the first one on for up to three days, then changing it and keeping it on for up to 7 days total. I might end up using Tegaderm since I already bought some before talking about this with my artist.

Quite a few artists I've found online also apply the -derm immediately and most don't recommend changing it at all until the tattoo is healed (unless the -derm comes off).

Then there's this thread; from what I've gathered, most of you apply the -derm at 12 hours after getting tattooed or so.

When we discussed using the -derm with my tattooer, his take on it was pretty much what Dermalize recommends. The thing is that I really wanted him to apply the film at the studio since I'm a little paranoid of introducing germs under it if I have to do it at home (pets, kids, lazy cleaner does not a hygienic environment make...) and obviously that's a huge deal since the tattoo will stay covered for days without washing. I do also have the possibility to ask him to wrap me up with saran/cling film for about four hours and then apply the -derm at the studio (my friend is booked for her first tattoo after me so I'll stay in for moral support) to get past the initial plasma weep.

So, do you guys think it's worthwhile to apply the -derm at 3-5 hours, or should I just let him apply it immediately and deal with whatever happens after accordingly (leave it on till healed/do a change whenever necessary)?

Edit: it's an inner forearm piece, should not extend to the wrist or elbow crease

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@Kurgana, I can understand the logistics of applying it immediately, but I personally think it is much better to wait until the initial plasma/serum has done its thing. That stuff will collect beneath the film in a big way, at least with Tegaderm. I don't know about some of the other -derms, and maybe the ones developed specifically for tattoos are more breathable or whatever, and could be designed to be applied right away. I know with Tegaderm (what I use) the plasma will collect underneath and things go much more smoothly if you can wait.

I have a St. Bernard and a Great Dane mix and teenagers, so even if I sat there with a vacuum cleaner at the ready at all times there'd be no way to stay ahead of the filth, lol, but it is possible to apply the film in a clean manner the next day. Just wash it, pat it dry with a clean towel, and apply the film. It does not have to be sterile, just clean. My two cents!

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My last 6 tattoos were using Derm. First 3 were with Saniderm and last three were with Tegaderm.

What I've always done was waited a full day before applying any of it for the exact reason @LizBee described.

Need to give your skin time for any excess goo to come off. You need your skin to be as dry as possible so the derms don't come off at any point.

This was my only issue with Saniderm, I'm guessing because it's slightly thicker, it kept rolling up on me.

I switched to Tegaderm after one artist used it and it seems to be a little bit thinner. I noticed with Tegaderm, it doesn't roll up as much. Now the artist that used this on me for the first time actually rubbed my tattoo with Alcohol to dry it up and then sealed it with the Tegaderm. Yea that hurt.

Tegaderm will now be my preferred form of healing. Wash and lotion for the first 24 hours, then put on a piece for 5 days. Remove for a day, wash and lotion for another 24 hours, then put one more piece for another 5 days. My last 2 pieces healed wonderfully with that method.

Now what I did for my most recent. I use rubbing alcohol around the tattoo to really dry the skin. Then use a piece that goes about 1 to 2 inches outside the tattoo to grab onto some skin that won't be leaking plasma.

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Thanks for bring this up, @Patrick Bateman, because it reminds me - the bigger border of -derm you can have outside the edge of your tattoo the better. When I've cut it closer, even an inch (which I thought was plenty) it tended to leak or fail in that area. The best, most hassle-free heals I have had were when I had a huge 2" or more border, which seemed overkill, but wound up working great. Set it and forget it, as they say, was really how it went, and that was so awesome.

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@Patrick Bateman, I have had it roll up some, but always pretty late in the game and never to the point where it was an issue, other than being tempting for me to pull on it, lol.

I do not let it air dry overnight and do not apply alcohol, but I do leave it in saran wrap or whatever overnight the night after tattooing to let the initial serum out. This is after an initial washing about 4 hours after tattooing. So, one wash 4 hours after tattoo, off to bed, next day wash again, pat dry, apply Tegaderm, then off you go for 4 solid days. When I do it this way the Tegaderm sticks like GLUE, so it hasn't occurred to me to try to get a drier skin surface before application. Removal of the stuff is almost worth its own thread, lol.

All of this is much affected by the part of the body as well, don't forget. The armpit area is a bit of a problem, but I did the best I could in there, and really any joint is going to require some creativity with how this stuff is applied. Someone helping you when you're applying to an arm makes a huge difference, especially with Tegaderm, since it is very, very thin, stretchy and once it sticks to itself it is difficult to get back into shape again. Doing it one-handed is a trick. I was able to do it by myself for a tattoo on my upper outer arm that didn't get into tricky territory and required a simple rectangle.

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Thanks for your advice guys! Sorry I can't seem to figure out how the user mention function works....

Lizbee, I really don't know if Dermalize is any different from Tegaderm, but the principal should be the same. (And a quick off topic, if you haven't experienced golden retriever hair before, do yourself a favour: avoid it lol...)

Patrick Bateman, I think someone mentioned using a lotion or a soap containing glycerin strengthens the bond between the skin and the adhesive (to the point that it was intended as a warning to avoid damaging the skin on removal)? Maybe worth a try with a small leftover piece of the -derm?

The thing is that my artist is going by the instructions from the manufacturer, which I gather involve an immediate initial application for up to 3 days, so what I'm trying to figure out is whether it would be beneficial to convince him to apply it at around the four hour point while I'm still at the studio or is that likely to make no difference whatsoever? I'll definitely be leaving the studio with the -derm applied though, fully aware that I'll probably need to remove and reapply.

Another question, I just put on a small strip of Tegaderm to check for any adverse reaction to the adhesive, and the skin is visibly wrinkly underneath although I was careful not to stretch out the film while applying. Is this normal or am I doing something wrong?

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@Kurgana, the skin will be visibly wrinkly underneath, and it will remain so the entire time. I'd leave it on a few days and be on the lookout for redness and itchiness. Itchiness after the tattooing isn't too uncommon, and that's related to the tattoo, but you shouldn't have any itching from just the -derm film alone.

I personally don't recommend using it immediately and then reapplying, because you haven't given the plasma/serum a chance to leak out. I'd slap a light absorbent pad on there (the kind with the black plastic backing, often used in the trade) to soak up the stuff for the first few hours.

Ultimately, however, no matter HOW you do it, the tattoo will heal, and everything will be great, lol. This is not rocket science or anything, just relating how things seemed to work best for me after trying it several ways. YMMV and whatnot. Next thing you know the entire heal is done and all this is behind you, so no worries.

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All wrapped up now :). (Sorry for the poor photo, not the easiest thing to take a pic of your dominant arm and I could only manage to do it with the iPad)

Straight after the tattoo was done yesterday at around 1 pm, the artist applied a couple of Dermalize patches but that didn't work out so well. To be fair I suspect the samples may have been quite old 'cause the adherence was soooo poor that it basically fell off on its own while the tattoo wasn't even weeping yet. So after a wash I went for the cling wrap for last night. This morning I washed up & applied the Tegaderm. The main difference, apart from the adhesion problems (which must have been due to deterioration or some other issue), is thickness: Dermalize is way thicker, and while I actually found this to be a good thing in terms of protection/sensitivity of the new tattoo, Tegaderm seemed to be easier to apply especially along the wrist and elbow crease area due to this. Also the range of motion is obviously better and the thinner film feels more comfortable in general.

So far so good. If at all possible, I'm hoping to keep this on until Sunday afternoon since we're out of town for the weekend.

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Lizbee, I know! Since I just had the other forearm done not 2 months ago, I can really appreciate the difference as well. I have been up & active just like normal all morning, while I really didn't feel comfortable doing much for the first 3-4 days with the first one - this is my right arm too so I've been really pleased with the difference the -derm makes.

And thank you :) I love this guy's work so much, the photo (and inky juices/tegaderm pull) does no justice whatsoever to the tattoo, I can't wait for it to heal to get some nice pics of both forearms together!

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So I'm on day three with the Tegaderm and I could use some more advice/reassurance. Overall it's been going really well so far, basically wrap&forget :). In comparison with the other forearm, it seems to have eased the inflammation a lot: the first one was nice and swollen/warm to the touch and sore probably up to the fourth or fifth day, this one has been fine since I applied the Tegaderm.

The tattoo wept quite a bit following the photo I posted, but thanks to adding a couple of smaller strips along the upper and lower edges, no leaks. What has happened in the last day or so is that all those lovely juices dried up and basically hardened the film (I know it's not a scab since some of it is way off the borders of the tattoo and it's similarly hard there). Also starting to feel the lightest itch at times. So right now I'm trying to decide when to remove the Tegaderm... Since we'll be away for the weekend, I could do it tomorrow afternoon (day 5 since tattooed, day 4 since -dermed), or otherwise I should wait until Sunday afternoon (day 7/6). I think the itch means it's entering the peeling phase, so possibly it would be better to wait so that I don't pull off anything too early? However I am a bit concerned that it's drying up too much under the film, and the tattoo could benefit from some extra moisturing with lotion (my skin is very dry)?

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I try to leave it on a good solid 4 days straight, so removal on the 5th day if possible. It is very hard to make it that last day, but I like to if I can, since then it peels all at once, very easily (for me) when I wash and apply lotion, and the whole thing is good to go right away. Otherwise, it is no big deal at all to remove it a bit early. The peeling might take a little longer.

I mention this only because I tend to want to "help along" the peeling when I shouldn't, and if it happens big all at once then I spend less time fussing over it and don't have to force myself not to mess with it. Everyone's skin is different, though, so this is just how it goes for me. Can't wait to see how it looks healed!

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