Bigboy67

Tegaderm/Saniderm/Tatuderm healing process

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Hey everyone!

No matter what I do I can never seem to get my tegaderm on completely smooth. Even when it LOOKS smooth when I first apply it it quickly develops little bubbles all over as well as lots of (what looks like) fluid filled wrinkles. I always get anxious about this as I know this needs to stay on for 5 days and I want my tattoos to heal well. I've tried popping and patching the less than perfect areas but it seems like no matter how many bubbles I pop more show up as I move my arm (I should also mention that I draw for a living so a bit of arm movement is kind of inevitable for me.)

Are small bubbles and wrinkles normal? Or should I just keep reapplying until it's perfectly smooth all over? I don't want to keep poking at the area with a needle for fear that I'll slip and stab my new tattoo and I also would rather not have to remove the derm I currently have on as removing it's pretty painful. I was hoping I could hear from other people who have used tegaderm/saniderm to heal larger tattoos on their experiences on this matter.

Edited by DDar

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The bubbles are perfectly fine and normal. You are capturing normal body fluids and keeping foreign material from getting into where those fluids are emanating from . . . except when you pop bubbles WHICH YOU SHOULD NOT DO!

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Hey everyone,

New to the site and new to Saniderm as well. First time using the saniderm bandage so I had a general question about heal time if anyone would be kind enough to provide some insight on the matter. I got a tattoo about two and a half weeks ago on August 22, and my artist put on the bandage immediately after, instructing me to take it off 3-5 days later which I did on day 4, August 26. Since then I've just been using aveeno to keep the tattoo hydrated. However, the healing process has been different from my usual A&D -> Aveeno process, the shedding process has been very minimal thus far (I hope) and there are still a lot of darker, raised pieces that have yet to flake off (again, I hope.)

I say I hope because after finishing I remember the lines being very crisp and straight yet these darker raised parts are mostly on the corners and protrude out, in a point, beyond the straight line underneath. I'm hoping and confident this isn't a case of ink spreading under the skin because normally a blowout from what I've seen will be consistent all over, far spreading, and not nearly as dark/bold. So my question is two fold:

1. Does ink dry on top of the skin underneath the bandage those first few days?

2. How long do you think until the darker raised bits flake off for good.

I've attached some pics

Thanks!

 

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Edited by BigE9690
Accidental publish, needed to add more

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it all sounds normal to me,it's not healed yet,let it heal for 6 or more weeks,

remember the tattoo will NEVER again look like it did the day you had it done

and using aveeno is what I do,the steps you described is also just about what I do too.

so relax and don't scratch the flaky stuff off,let it fall off and keep using aveeno a couple time s a day.

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Posted (edited)

Time to revive this thread. Hopefully someone can confirm what I should or shouldn’t be doing. So got a big piece on the outside of my arm that does from the crack in my arm up to my shoulder. Artist put a bunch of saniderm on but didnt do the best job/go far enough and after the first night of my sleeping with it there were a few sides that were peeled up and over part of the tattoo. I ran to Walmart and got some other style that they sell (forgot the name but apparently it’s exchange) to put over the side and push th back down over the tattoo. Additionally, my artist popped like 3/4 but air bubbles and not sure if he put another piece over it or not. Should I keep it on or recommend me going back and getting another put on or just healing it the old fashion way now? As of right now it has been on for 27hrs.  See pics: 

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Edited by Zmanlane

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it's perfectly fine to take it all off,

wash it with a anti-microbial soap,

and then re-apply new dermal film,

it's ok and recommended to overlap any pieces that you need to to cover it all,

it helps if you shave any of the area around the tattoo that you think the dermal film will stick to,(that will make it last better on your skin,

and make sure your arm is clean and dry before applying the new film.

get a good application and you can leave it on for 4 or 5 days.

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Posted (edited)

Day 6 after getting my tattoo. My artist applied Saniderm and because it started to peal I replaced it with Tegaderm about 40 hours after. I left the Tegaderm on for 4 days and just removed it. When removing it some of my skin came with it so some areas of my tattoo are dark and other parts are lighter. Is this normal or did I rip off some of my tattoo? I’m worried because I applied the second pieces later than the usual 24 hours.

Edited by Evwatt

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Posted (edited)

there is no way once the tattoo is done that any dermal film will "rip off some of my tattoo".

all you saw was some normal  fluid seepage coming off your skin on the dermal film,

and a tattoo needs 6 weeks to fully heal. 

it will be fine,

just use a little Aveeno a couple times  a day, and let it finish healing.

Edited by Dan

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6 hours ago, Dan said:

there is no way once the tattoo is done that any dermal film will "rip off some of my tattoo".

all you saw was some normal  fluid seepage coming off your skin on the dermal film,

and a tattoo needs 6 weeks to fully heal. 

it will be fine,

just use a little Aveeno a couple times  a day, and let it finish healing.

I should have been more specific. It seems like skin was peeling off with the Tegaderm. Like fairly large chunks.

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1 hour ago, Evwatt said:

I should have been more specific. It seems like skin was peeling off with the Tegaderm. Like fairly large chunks.

maybe the tattoo had already started peeling,that could look like skin.

if not ,then I don't know what to tell you.

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Wanted to say thanks for the info, and also post my experience with "Smith And Nephew Flexifix" (same idea as Taga/Sani-derm):

I got my outline and small amount of color fill completed last Thursday (upper arm wrapping around to bicep/tricep areas), and my artist wrapped with plastic.  I wanted to wait overnight, but the wrapping was starting to come loose enough that I went ahead and removed after ~4 hours post session, washed everything with Cetaphil, applied a very thin layer of Aquaphor to the tattoo'd area, and applied the Flexifix.

Since the Flexifix comes in a roll, I had to get creative with the placement in order to get enough coverage (I had plenty of overlapping pieces).  I left probably a 1.5" barrier around all sides in hopes of eliminating any leakage.  The Aquaphor I applied just to help insure against the Flexifix sticking too aggressively to the linework when I went to remove it later.

The next morning it was pretty clear that the outline had almost no seepage whatsoever underneath the bandage, but the few areas that received color definitely looked similar to other posts here.  This might explain why some people are able to apply right away the first night and leave it for 4-5 days, and why some people have too much seeping and have to wait until the next day, or change the covering after 24 hours.

I left things until this morning (Monday), removed the bandage (which was tougher than I was expecting after this much time), washed up things with the Cetaphil again, and applied some unscented lotion.  The lines still look great, the little bits of color are vibrant, and overall things look good. 

The arm feels slightly tender, but I think the majority of healing is completed now.  I'll keep babying this until my next color fill session next week, the 'derm method so far has worked great for me!

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On my first tattoo, I used Saniderm, so that is all I know. For me, the instructions were keep the initial derm on for 24 hours, remove in the shower and wash thoroughly with something like Dial Gold. Air or Pat dry with paper towel and put a new piece on for 3 days. After that, remove it carefully in the shower, wash it thoroughly 2-3 time a day and apply Dab tattoo cream. 

 

My experience was very good. The initial piece was filled with fluid, but the second piece was dry when I removed it. I had no scabbing. When I peeling, it was tiny flakes and no large chunks. This was a shoulder to elbow piece too, not a small tattoo. After that it was pretty well past the risk of infection stage and the hardest part was keeping my skin moisturized while not overdoing it. My skin in the winter is so dry anyway.  I would apply Aveeno after showering and by the time I was getting dressed, it was bone dry again. 

 

I plan to get my other arm done and will be following the same method. It definitely made it easier to care for and way less worry of infection during those initial first few days. 

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47 minutes ago, mfrank29 said:

On my first tattoo, I used Saniderm, so that is all I know. For me, the instructions were keep the initial derm on for 24 hours, remove in the shower and wash thoroughly with something like Dial Gold. Air or Pat dry with paper towel and put a new piece on for 3 days. After that, remove it carefully in the shower, wash it thoroughly 2-3 time a day and apply Dab tattoo cream. 

 

My experience was very good. The initial piece was filled with fluid, but the second piece was dry when I removed it. I had no scabbing. When I peeling, it was tiny flakes and no large chunks. This was a shoulder to elbow piece too, not a small tattoo. After that it was pretty well past the risk of infection stage and the hardest part was keeping my skin moisturized while not overdoing it. My skin in the winter is so dry anyway.  I would apply Aveeno after showering and by the time I was getting dressed, it was bone dry again. 

 

I plan to get my other arm done and will be following the same method. It definitely made it easier to care for and way less worry of infection during those initial first few days. 

I think applying and removing Saniderm in a single day's time is just needless pain, but that's my opinion. You'd be just as fine leaving the tattoo in its original bandage / saran wrapping and removing + cleaning the tattoo 24 hours later. The super adhesive being applied and removed in 24 hours seems unnecessary to me.

 

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31 minutes ago, Bearcat78 said:

I think applying and removing Saniderm in a single day's time is just needless pain, but that's my opinion. You'd be just as fine leaving the tattoo in its original bandage / saran wrapping and removing + cleaning the tattoo 24 hours later. The super adhesive being applied and removed in 24 hours seems unnecessary to me.

 

I think this is what I'm going to do for the color fill on mine:  clean after a few hours at home, re-wrap with plastic overnight, next morning clean again, then saniderm application.  This stuff is tenacious to remove (even after 4+ days), I'd hate to disturb things so much with only 24 hours passed.

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17 minutes ago, SJP0tato said:

I think this is what I'm going to do for the color fill on mine:  clean after a few hours at home, re-wrap with plastic overnight, next morning clean again, then saniderm application.  This stuff is tenacious to remove (even after 4+ days), I'd hate to disturb things so much with only 24 hours passed.

My personal process is leaving the bandage / saran wrap on 24 hours after completion of tattooing. Remove wrapping, clean with saturated paper towels (Soap and water) in hot shower, end with cold water, let the tattoo air dry for a few hours, apply saniderm with an inch or so extra on all sides in case you need to cut any edges that roll up / cause irritation. Leave on 4-6 days depending on the area. Remove in hot shower to help loosen the adhesive. 

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17 hours ago, Bearcat78 said:

I think applying and removing Saniderm in a single day's time is just needless pain, but that's my opinion. You'd be just as fine leaving the tattoo in its original bandage / saran wrapping and removing + cleaning the tattoo 24 hours later. The super adhesive being applied and removed in 24 hours seems unnecessary to me.

 

Just to clarify, my artist put the original saniderm on at the end of my session. 24 hours later when I removed it, it was so filled with ink, plasma, etc that it came off easily. It was leaking at the bottom at that point. The next piece stayed on for 3 days and that one came off pretty easily too in the shower even though everything was pretty dry. 

 

These were the instructions my artists gave me, not my own, others do it differently 

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On 11/11/2013 at 5:08 PM, Bigboy67 said:

Hey everybody, been doing plenty of searching on this. I tend to heal a little on th erougher side sometimes when i get tattooed. I stumbled upon Tegaderm while searching some other aftercare stuff... I see a spattering of shops, artists, tattoo collectors, mention of Tegaderm sprinkled around the internet, etc. but nothing real definitive on it.

Can any of you with actual first-hand experience with one of the -derm products share your experience, tattoo pics, your specific aftercare process, etc. ? I am hoping to see pros and cons from people who have actual used the products. I know, i know, some guys are gonna say dry is better, using curel, using aquaphor.... i know, there are plenty of schools of thought on this. Not looking for a X is better than Y conversation, just personal experiences, especially if you are an artist who uses this method exclusively for your clients.

Since I have tried dry healing, aquaphor, curel type lotions, etc. and had mixed results, I am thinking this may be next on the schedule (unless my artist objects)

For my first tattoo my artist covered it with Tegaderm, i was skeptical at first but i left it on for the 5 days he told me to and once i removed it the healing was almost done. Flaking, peeling, and scabbing was minute. This is the only "bandage" I will use for my tattoos now. I just recently got another and as bad as all the plasma and blood will look for new tattoos, the bandage hold all of your bodies healing enzymes for a quicker more healthier healing. 

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Just finished my 2nd Flexifix round this morning:

Thursday afternoon had color fill, left the cling wrap on until Friday morning.

Friday morning I removed the cling wrap, washed with Cetaphil, dried with paper towels and let air dry for ~10 minutes, and applied the Flexifix (no aquaphor this time).

I left things for four 24-hour days (Fri morn -> Tues morn).  There was a slight bit of bubbling/fluid visible on Friday, but after Sat morning I couldn't really see any bubbling/fluid at all underneath the covering.  

Upon removal this morning (still a bear to remove) the color fill was dry, and the bandage was definitely sticking to the colored areas.  After removal the surrounding skin was very red/angry looking, which I think is just a reaction to the physical removal (no redness at all while the bandage was on).  I'm wondering if it would have helped to apply aquaphor to the colored area before the bandage (I'll try this next color session coming up and see if it helps with the removal later). 

The colored areas skin feels very lizard-like, which is much different than when I just had the outlines (which remained smooth after removal).

I'll keep things lotioned for the next few weeks.  I'm guessing my difference between the first time and now is outline vs color fill.  

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4 hours ago, SJP0tato said:

Just finished my 2nd Flexifix round this morning:

Thursday afternoon had color fill, left the cling wrap on until Friday morning.

Friday morning I removed the cling wrap, washed with Cetaphil, dried with paper towels and let air dry for ~10 minutes, and applied the Flexifix (no aquaphor this time).

I left things for four 24-hour days (Fri morn -> Tues morn).  There was a slight bit of bubbling/fluid visible on Friday, but after Sat morning I couldn't really see any bubbling/fluid at all underneath the covering.  

Upon removal this morning (still a bear to remove) the color fill was dry, and the bandage was definitely sticking to the colored areas.  After removal the surrounding skin was very red/angry looking, which I think is just a reaction to the physical removal (no redness at all while the bandage was on).  I'm wondering if it would have helped to apply aquaphor to the colored area before the bandage (I'll try this next color session coming up and see if it helps with the removal later). 

The colored areas skin feels very lizard-like, which is much different than when I just had the outlines (which remained smooth after removal).

I'll keep things lotioned for the next few weeks.  I'm guessing my difference between the first time and now is outline vs color fill.  

no,the dermal film needs dry skin to stick to,  the redness is normal,  sticking good to all areas of the tattoo is normal,and the pain when removing the film is normal.

 

and yes, black outlines and shading and color all heal differently.

 

everything you described sounds normal to me for the dermal film use,

and BTW,I love that shit, I have used Saniderm a lot, many many times.

Edited by Dan

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1 hour ago, Dan said:

no,the dermal film needs dry skin to stick to,  the redness is normal,  sticking good to all areas of the tattoo is normal,and the pain when removing the film is normal.

I wonder if a "best of both worlds" could be achieved by having it not stick to the actual tattoo, but keeping a healthy border all around the inked areas?  That way it'd seal things in, but not need to tug so aggressively on the inked skin upon removal?

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19 minutes ago, SJP0tato said:

I wonder if a "best of both worlds" could be achieved by having it not stick to the actual tattoo, but keeping a healthy border all around the inked areas?  That way it'd seal things in, but not need to tug so aggressively on the inked skin upon removal?

The manufacturer states not to put anything under the bandage.  I wouldn't do it.

While removal wasn't super easy, I didn't find it painful.  I keep my original bandage on for 7 days per  my artist's instructions, so by the time I remove it's healed and maybe less tender. 

To remove I get in the shower, let hot water hit it for a bit, and start from the bottom up.  You pull the bandage down to break the seal, and work your way up.  My skin isn't even that red upon removal.  This was immediately after removing the saniderm after my last tattoo. 

Sanider.jpg

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3 hours ago, SJP0tato said:

I wonder if a "best of both worlds" could be achieved by having it not stick to the actual tattoo, but keeping a healthy border all around the inked areas?  That way it'd seal things in, but not need to tug so aggressively on the inked skin upon removal?

nope ! I wouldn't put anything on the skin under the dermal film,that would be defeating the purpose of the film.

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We had a client from another shop call us in tears this morning because she was confused about their complicated saniderm instructions, she thought she was going to ruin her tattoo... explained to her the simple time tested rules of healing and she calmed down.  I felt bad for her...

Also, I've used Saniderm before and i had a reaction to it... thankfully the rash was only around the edges of the saniderm and not on my actual tattoo.  

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