Panisa Scott Inki Tattoo Art Studio Tattoo Aftercare

Tattoo Aftercare: A Guide to Keeping Your Ink Vibrant and Healthy

Getting a tattoo can be a significant decision, but equally important is the aftercare regimen that follows. Proper aftercare is crucial for ensuring that your tattoo heals properly and remains vibrant and healthy for years to come. By following these essential steps, you can enjoy your new ink with confidence, knowing that you’ve taken the necessary precautions to keep it looking its best. Remember, a little care and attention during the healing process can make all the difference in the appearance and longevity of your tattoo.

Your Artist:

    • Your tattoo artist is your best resource for aftercare instructions. They have firsthand knowledge of your tattoo and can provide personalized advice based on factors such as its size, location, and intricacy.
    • Pay close attention to the specific aftercare recommendations given by your artist. Every tattoo and individual’s skin is unique, so what works for one person may not necessarily work for another.

Keep it Clean:

    • Proper hygiene is paramount during the healing process. Always wash your hands before handling your tattoo. With clean hands, gently wash your tattoo with mild, fragrance-free soap and lukewarm water.
    • Avoid scrubbing or rubbing the tattoo, as this can cause irritation and potentially damage the healing skin.
    • Pat the tattoo dry with a clean paper towel or allow it to air dry, avoiding harsh rubbing motions.

Moisturize Regularly:

    • Keeping your tattoo moisturized is essential for promoting healing and preventing dryness, which can lead to itching and scabbing. Use a fragrance-free, alcohol-free tattoo aftercare lotion or ointment recommended by your artist.
    • Apply a thin layer of moisturizer to your tattoo several times a day, especially after washing it. Be sure not to overdo it; a little goes a long way.

Can You Over-Moisturize a Tattoo?

While keeping a new tattoo moisturized is crucial for proper healing, it’s important not to overdo it with the lotions and balms. Applying too much moisture can actually impede the healing process and lead to several potential issues.

Excess Moisture Risks:

    • Slowed healing – Too much moisture can macerate the skin, preventing it from drying out properly and delaying healing time.
    • Bacterial growth – Overly moist environments are more inviting for bacteria and germs to proliferate, increasing infection risks.
    • Inflammation – Saturated skin is more prone to inflammation, redness, and irritation as the tattoo tries to heal.
    • Clogged pores – Heavy, occlusive ointments can clog pores, not allowing the skin to breathe properly.
    • Breakouts – Pore blockages from the ointments may lead to pimples or other skin eruptions around the tattooed area.

However, under-moisturizing can be just as detrimental. Insufficient moisture causes the tattooed skin to dry out excessively, resulting in cracking, scabbing, and potential scarring as the tattoo heals improperly.

Finding the right balance is key. Most professionals recommend applying a thin, breathable layer of ointment or fragrance-free lotion 2-3 times per day, always after gently cleansing the area. This “Goldilocks” amount of moisture will keep the tattoo saturated enough to heal, while not risking issues from over-moisturizing. Listen to your skin and adjust as needed for optimal results.

Sun Protection, Inki Tattoo, Salak Phet, Koh Chang, Thailand

As the tattoo heals, the area should be coated with a broad-spectrum sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher anytime you plan to spend time outdoors.

Protect from Sun Exposure:

    • UV rays from the sun can fade and damage your tattoo, particularly during the healing process. Keep your tattoo covered or shielded from direct sunlight, and avoid prolonged sun exposure.
    • Once your tattoo is fully healed, make it a habit to apply sunscreen with a high SPF whenever it will be exposed to the sun to prevent fading and maintain its vibrancy.

    Avoid Swimming and Soaking:

      • While it may be tempting to take a dip in the pool or soak in a hot tub, it’s best to avoid submerging your fresh tattoo in water until it’s fully healed.
      • Prolonged exposure to water can soften the skin and increase the risk of infection. Stick to quick showers instead of baths, and avoid swimming until your tattoo is fully healed.

    Resist the Urge to Pick or Scratch:

      • Itching is a normal part of the healing process, but resist the temptation to scratch or pick at your tattoo, as this can disrupt the healing skin and cause color loss or scarring.
      • If itching becomes unbearable, gently pat or tap the tattoo to alleviate the sensation. Avoid using your nails or scratching it with any sharp objects.

    While your tattoo is healing, it’s normal for it to form scabs and flake off. It may also appear dull during the first few months, which is perfectly normal too.


    Tattoo infections can occur if proper aftercare measures are not followed. Symptoms of infection include excessive redness, swelling, warmth, pain, and pus-like discharge. If you suspect your tattoo may be infected, it’s crucial to seek medical attention promptly. Proper hygiene and attentive care are key to ensuring your tattoo heals without complications.


    Panisa Scott Inki Tattoo Art Studio Tattoo Aftercare Guide

    Utilizing ‘Second Skin’ or Saniderm post-tattoo to aid in healing and prevent infection, ensuring optimal recovery.


    Saniderm is a breathable, transparent adhesive bandage that is becoming increasingly popular for tattoo aftercare. It’s often referred to as a “second skin” dressing.

    Here are some key points about using Saniderm for new tattoos:

    What Is It and How Does It Work?

    Saniderm is a semi-permeable adhesive film dressing that forms an antibacterial, waterproof barrier over the tattoo. It allows oxygen to reach the skin while locking in plasma and preventing scabbing.

    Traditional aftercare moisturizers and ointments leave the tattoo surface sticky and exposed, allowing particles in the air or environment to easily adhere. Even simple activities can unintentionally expose the tattoo to pet dander, dust, and other debris that raise the infection risk.

    Saniderm provides a solution by sealing off the tattoo with its semi-permeable adhesive film dressing. This transparent second skin lets healing happen safely underneath by locking in the fluids while still allowing oxygen flow. The protective covering prevents problematic external elements from reaching the fresh tattoo.

    Unlike household plastic wraps, Saniderm is breathable and designed specifically for prolonged use on tattoos without obstructing the healing process. Worn for several days per the artist’s instructions, Saniderm promotes better results by minimizing scabbing, shielding from germs, and allowing the ink to properly set into the skin.


    The tattoo artist applies Saniderm directly over the freshly completed tattoo, securing it fully around the edges to seal the area. The first application should be left on for 24 hours, and depending on the size and the recommendation of your tattoo artist, the second application can be left on for 3-5 days or until it comes off naturally. If plasma starts pooling again during the second application, it’s recommended to remove after 24 hours.


    • Protects the tattoo from outside bacteria, dirt, and contaminants
    • Allows plasma to be reabsorbed back into the skin, promoting faster healing
    • Prevents scabbing and excessive oozing
    • Maintains the vibrant colors without dulling or fading
    • Allows you to skip the frequent washing and ointment application involved with traditional tattoo aftercare while wearing the bandage

    Removal Guide

    When it’s time to remove the Saniderm bandage, it’s important to do so properly to avoid disrupting the tattoo. First, wash your hands thoroughly and find a clean, well-lit area to work in. Carefully lift an edge of the Saniderm and slowly peel it back, keeping it taut and close to the skin as you go. Make sure when you pull away from the skin, you start from the bottom and pull down almost vertically so you are also stretching the Saniderm. If it sticks in some areas, pour a small amount of warm water or unscented oil (coconut oil and baby oil work well) underneath to help release it. Avoid pulling too quickly or at an angle, which can potentially rip or tear the delicate freshly-inked skin. Once fully removed, wash the tattoo gently with mild fragrance-free soap and cool water to clean off any plasma or fluid trapped underneath before applying a thin coat of breathable healing ointment.

    Always remove if the second skin has lifted and exposed the tattoo to any air or water.

    Plastic Wrap

    Aftercare Instructions if Your Artist Uses Plastic Wrap Instead of Saniderm

    While many artists now utilize specialized tattoo bandages like Saniderm, some still use traditional cling film or plastic wrap for the initial bandaging. If your artist takes this approach rather than a breathable Saniderm wrap, here are the proper steps:

    • Leave the cling film in place to protect the tattoo until you return home. Try not to get it wet or dislodged
    • Once home, carefully remove the plastic wrap covering by washing your hands thoroughly first, then slowly peeling it off the tattooed area
    • Gently rinse the tattoo with mild fragrance-free soap and cool water to remove any ointment, leaked plasma, or debris underneath the wrap
    • Pat dry with a clean paper towel, allowing the tattoo to fully air dry
    • Apply a thin layer of breathable tattoo healing ointment/lotion as recommended by your artist
    • If desired, cover the tattoo with a proper breathable non-stick bandage material like Saniderm for the remainder of the healing period

    The cling film is meant just for short-term covering. Leaving it on long-term can trap moisture and bacteria against the skin, increasing infection risks. Promptly removing it, cleaning, and re-bandaging with breathable materials is crucial.

    While not ideal, using temporary plastic wrap happens sometimes. Just be sure to transition to more effective breathable bandaging systems at home for optimal tattoo healing.