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THE FRESH TATTOO AND BANDAGE
Upon completion of your new tattoo, it will be covered with a clear barrier film called Tatu-Derm. This is NOT a plastic food wrap. It is a breathable, waterproof, and bacterial resistant barrier much like the clear plastic used over I.V’s at the hospital. This barrier helps to reduce the invasion of environmental pathogens into the fresh tattoo at probably the most crucial point of the healing process.
The Tatu-Derm barrier is to be left on the tattoo for 12 to 24 hours. During this time, watch for excessive pooling of fluids under the barrier. They will look like a watery blister in the Tatu-Derm itself. If any of these ‘blisters’ appear, remove the bandage and begin your aftercare process. If you do not notice any such pooling or it is a very minimal amount, you may leave the Tatu-Derm on for the full 24 hours.
Some find the process of removing Tatu-Derm from the tattoo to be a little easier in the shower, under running water, or after a workout, which caused you to sweat. Tatu-Derm does not actually stick to the tattoo, but instead sticks to the dry skin around the tattoo. This adhesion is were the pain of removal usually occurs. Remove the bandage evenly, in a downward motion, with the grain of the skin, slowly, while supporting the skin in the process.
WASHING THE TATTOO
When washing your tattoo, I prefer that you use H2Ocean Blue-Green Foaming Soap. It is a very watery soap that really helps to facilitate the removal of foreign material from the tattoo without drying out or causing excessive trauma to the tattoo.
I recommend gently rubbing the soap over your tattoo using only CLEAN hands for about 15 seconds. Immediately rinse the tattoo UNDER tepid running water for 30 seconds. Splashing water onto your tattoo does not completely rinse the soap out, and most reactions to tattoos come from leaving soap in the tattoo.
Once you have thoroughly rinsed the tattoo, you may pat it dry with a clean towel and allow to air dry for 5 to 10 minutes.
AFTERCARE CREAM AND FOAM
There are 2 tattoo aftercare products that I use religiously. They are H2Ocean Aftercare Cream and H2Ocean Aftercare Foam. The individual and/or combined use of these two products have shown to speed the healing process in most of my clients. The fact of the matter is that the faster your tattoo heals, the less color you loose.
H2Ocean Aftercare Cream or Foam are used after each wash and reapplied 3-5 times daily until your tattoo is healed.
So which one should you use? The Cream is used primarily for people with normal to dry skin and the Foam is used for people with normal to oily skin. However, you may use the Cream for the first 2 days after the removal of the Tatu-Derm bandage, then start using the Foam on the 3rd day until healed.
THE HEALING PROCESS
After the aggressive trauma your skin endures from the tattoo procedure, your immune system is in overdrive. Your body sees the tattoo ink as an alien body that needs to be wiped out with extreme prejudice.
Your tattoo will go through a plasma cycle, a scabbing stage, and a peeling stage. You may notice each of these differently and this is why you may not notice one or more of these stages.
Since the process of a professional tattoo saturates the skin with ink, the body can only clean out a finite amount of ink during the healing process. Since all of the ink cannot be removed fast enough, your immune system encapsulates the ink into a cocoon of sorts. This is the ink you see after the tattoo heals. The rest of the ink is washed away through your immune system and pushed out from whence it came. The latter is where people think that theirs is ‘bleeding out’. This is not the case. The ink that seems to ‘bleed out’ is actually a mixture of your body’s fluids and the residual ink that stained the outermost layers of skin. This mixture is actually what you are trying to remove, along with any environmental contaminants during the washing process. (Keep in mind however – washing too aggressively can cause the healing process to start all over again.)
If you have any questions regarding your tattoo, please don’t hesitate to call me at 701.840.0123
In case of an emergency, please consult a physician.