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Review My Aftercare Method for Full Back Tattoo.


Ciel
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Hi.

In preparation for my full back tattoo, I've been researching aftercare methods. Please review the aftercare method I will be using:


Day 1 - I'll be finishing the session at around 5pm, getting home at 5.30pm. I'll leave the wrap/bandage on all night. If it's a bandage, I'll wrap it in cling film. I'll try to sleep on my side as much as I can - will sleeping on the tattoo really harm it that much?!

Day 2 - 8am. Remove the wrap and bandage. Gently wash it with warm water until the bandage falls off. Use a lather from Dove Bar Soap and gently wash the crap off my tattoo and skin. Pat dry gently to remove excess ink, then let it air dry. Then apply a thin layer of Bepanthen, then a thin layer of coconut oil. Do not cover at this point.

3pm - repeat. Shower, soap, rinse, dry, bepanthen, coconut oil.

9pm - repeat. After the coconut oil, wrap it in cling film and seal with tape. This is to not let it touch the bed when sleeping.


Repeat Day 2 until skin starts to flake.

From then on, only shower twice a day (morning and night). No need to use Bepanthen. Continue to use dove bar soap and coconut oil. No need to wrap before going to bed.

 

Any flaws in the above method? Should i continue to use Bepanthen after the skin starts to flake?

I'll be discussing this with my tattoo artist, but I wanted different takes on it.

Thanks!

Edited by Ciel
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Hummm...I always thought that you should never re-wrap a tattoo? I've also never known anyone to use Dove. I've always used a gentle antibacterial soap like Dial Gold. Me, I stick to unscented lotions like Lubriderm and Aveeno until I'm healed then go for the coconut oil.

My biggest concern for you is the re-wrapping part. I'll let others chime in but that doesn't seem like it would allow your tattoo to breathe to heal.

My two cents.

Good luck!

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18 hours ago, Gingerninja said:

Hummm...I always thought that you should never re-wrap a tattoo? I've also never known anyone to use Dove. I've always used a gentle antibacterial soap like Dial Gold. Me, I stick to unscented lotions like Lubriderm and Aveeno until I'm healed then go for the coconut oil.

My biggest concern for you is the re-wrapping part. I'll let others chime in but that doesn't seem like it would allow your tattoo to breathe to heal.

My two cents.

Good luck!

Well my mindset is that if I don't wrap it, I might unconsciously use the bed sheet to scratch the injured area... It'd also allow dust to irritate the site too.

Surely if I apply anti bacterial ointment, along with coconut oil (which in itself has the perfect vitamins and proteins for skin repair, along with natural antibacterial properties) it'd be fine wrapped up for around 8 hours?

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I much prefer a drier heal - blotting dry with paper towels after a morning shower, making sure nothing dirty touches it and hardly any ointments or oils etc unless it feels overly raw or like it's gonna crack, even then, just a one-off microscopic amount of Bepanthen to take the edge off. The guys at my shop firmly believe the skin needs to breathe as much as possible to heal quickly... a layer of ointment, a layer of oil and a layer of sweaty plastic doesn't exactly sound breathable. Keeping the original wrap on until the next morning seems like a very long time too - I take mine off after a couple of hours or whenever I get home after a victory beer or two!  Then again I don't have any large scale work and I'm hardly a tattoo veteran (going in for my 5th hand-ish sized piece on Sat).

You should just fully trust your artist and follow his/her aftercare instructions. Maybe if sleep is a big concern you could discuss Saniderm/Tegaderm type products with your artist too. :12_slight_smile:

Edited by Howie
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I use Dove for my tattoos (just plain, white Dove) and have had no problems with any healing. 

I also back the "leave it alone" or "let it breathe" method for the most part. Two days of keeping it clean and very light applications of Aquaphor in the AM and at night before bed. Then just plain white Aveeno used sparingly until flaking/cracking/scabbing/whatever passes.

I would also discourage the re-wrap, as a lot of people have said. I take my initial wrap off after a few hours and have never rewrapped a tattoo.

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Per my tattooer, I take a 30 minute hot bath as soon as I get home from the tattoo. Let air dry for two hours then a little A&D ointment, rewrap and that's it for the night. Next day, I take another 30 minute hot bath, let air dry if I have time, otherwise a little A&D and wash/rewrap 3 times a day. I'm usually peeling by the third or fourth day so I then I just put cocoa butter on it morning and night for a week, then I declare it healed.

I know a hot bath goes against what most tattooers recommend, but since I started doing that, my heals have been amazing. My colors still pop almost 5 years later.

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I used to do the hot bath actually. I've been told that's a pretty traditional Japanese method. To be honest, I don't know why I ever really stopped, other than it hurt like hell and it's not always convenient, particularly when I was traveling to NYC for tattoos often.

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8 hours ago, Hogrider said:

Per my tattooer, I take a 30 minute hot bath as soon as I get home from the tattoo. Let air dry for two hours then a little A&D ointment, rewrap and that's it for the night. Next day, I take another 30 minute hot bath, let air dry if I have time, otherwise a little A&D and wash/rewrap 3 times a day. I'm usually peeling by the third or fourth day so I then I just put cocoa butter on it morning and night for a week, then I declare it healed.

I know a hot bath goes against what most tattooers recommend, but since I started doing that, my heals have been amazing. My colors still pop almost 5 years later.

interesting,I have never heard of that and it goes against all I have ever heard of re: tattoo healing.

not judging,just commenting.

Edited by Dan
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Doesn't traditional Japanese way of healing also include a hot bath?

My theory would be that the hot water loosens up all the plasma, especially if anything already dry, so you're able to wash it all away to set you up for a nice healing process. If you have scabs then you need to stay away from hot water because it will make the scabbed area all mushy and shit, but scabs take a few days to show up if you allow plasma to build up.

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On 2/21/2017 at 8:45 AM, suburbanxcore said:

Two days of keeping it clean and very light applications of Aquaphor in the AM and at night before bed. Then just plain white Aveeno used sparingly until flaking/cracking/scabbing/whatever passes.

This is basically my exact approach as well- right down to the brand names- but I don't have experience with a large scale or back tattoo. I do try not to sleep on it much the first few days but I doubt there is much than can be done to avoid it with a full back piece. 

Edited by AverageJer
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On 26/02/2017 at 7:55 PM, Gingerninja said:

@oboogie I think that you are right! Going for the backpiece as a first tattoo. Boom. I recently met a guy who did a gorgeous sleeve as his first tattoo. We laughed...go big or go home. All I know is that for me, tegaderm is my savior!

Hey!

It is indeed my first tattoo. :D 'Go big or go home' is my life motto.

Okay, I'll probably not use coconut oil, at least not in the initial healing phase. I might use it later on, once the skin starts getting really dry - coconut oil is an anti-bacterial moisturizer, so I really can't see it doing much harm at that point.

As for what I'll apply to begin with, it'll be Bepanthen, 2/3 times a day following a warm shower.

See, mindset behind re-wrapping the tattoo at night is that I will most probably roll onto my back as I sleep. My back will then be itchy. I will most probably scratch my back on the bed, which might damage the tattoo.

However, if I have it wrapped/covered directly after drying and applying Bepanthen, it should be fine, yes?

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Coconut oil works great once the tattoo starts to peell.Thats what I use,Im allergic to anything with lanolin in it.Also,I rewrap my tattoo at night for the first three nights.As per my tattooers instructions.Perfect heal,no scabs.

Edited by Michaelshane
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