AFTERCARE INSTRUCTIONS

SECONDSKIN ALLERGY INFORMATION

If you suspect you might be having a reaction to the Secondskin medical adhesive, please send me a text photo so I can verify.

If your application of the Secondskin is your second exposure, you could still have the allergy even if you did not show symptoms the first time you wore the Secondskin bandage.

 

Things to look for when you are allergic/sensitive to medical adhesive:

  • Small red bumps or blistering at the edges (mostly) or under the bandage

  • Spreading of redness of skin that is in direct contact under the bandage

  • Redness persisting up to the second or third day without bumps (less severe sensitivity than allergy)

  • Most sensitivities will show up the first night of application

 

If you are allergic, remove the bandage, very important to wash the area thoroughly to remove any residual adhesive remaining on the skin, and read the instructions below for "Aftercare without Secondskin bandage".

Aftercare with SecondSkin


• Leave bandage on for 3 days; 72 hours after tattoo completion.
• You can shower normally with the bandage on, the bandage can get wet, however I would advise against lathering the bandage area with soap as this may prematurely remove some of the bandage.
• You may notice that body fluids like blood and plasma may collect under the bandage. This is normal.
• The body may push out ink depending on your skin and how heavy the ink saturation was, this will result in blotchy ink collecting over your tattoo; it may make the tattoo look smudged.  Do not worry, it will not affect the tattoo.
• After 3 days take the bandage off in the shower (if you can) with mild soap and warm water. You must physically remove the bandage yourself, it will not come off on its own.

You can massage the edges of the bandage with soap and warm water to slowly peel it off your skin.
• Wash the tattoo VERY THOROUGHLY with mild soap. Wash any residual adhesive that may be remaining on the skin.
• After you remove the bandage, apply a water-based lotion onto your new tattoo to prevent dryness. Do not over moisturize.  Try to maintain your natural skin’s humidity. Blotting lotion on is better than smearing it on.
• Per usual, just wash it normally, ie. when you shower.
• Moisturize the tattoo only when you can feel your healing tattoo (feels tight, or itchy), it means the skin is dry. If you are normally not that sensitive or aware, you should check on the tattoo at least once a day to access its moisture level.
• Do not use neosporin, aquaphor, vaseline or other oily ointments.  Use a water-based location instead like Lubriderm, Aveeno, Cetephil, or Cerave lotions.

• Wear sunscreen under prolonged sun exposure (ie, being in the direct sun longer than 30 minutes at a time). It is not recommended to be in prolonged sun exposure while your tattoo is healing and building new layers of skin (first month). If you are not in the sun longer than 30 minutes at a time, sunscreen is not necessary.

 

Aftercare without SecondSkin

• Leave the seranwrap on until the next morning.
• Take it off and take the warmest/hottest shower possible to wash the tattoo area thoroughly.

This brings blood to the tattooed area, which promotes healing.
• Use mild soap for sensitive skin to wash thoroughly.
• Apply a small amount of ointment like Palmer’s coco butter minimally, or if you have a moisturizing cream like Cerave, that works too. Blot on the ointment or lotion, is it better than smearing it on. Apply just enough for the skin to feel flexible.
• Do not leave a thick coat of ointment/lotion on the tattooed area.  It must be able to breathe.
• Keep the area clean and do not wash the tattoo too many times, only do so when needed (when soiled).

• Moisturize and wash only when needed.

• It is best to try to leave your tattoo alone.
• Make sure all clothes are clean that make contact with the tattooed area.
• If the skin feels tight and not flexible, you need to moisturize. Do not allow the area to break open from dryness.
• After 3-4 days, the tattoo skin will appear to thicken it will itch. DO NOT scratch it.
• Scabbing/flaking is perfectly normal.  Apply a water-based lotion to help with the itchiness or take a quick hot shower

 

AFTERCARE FAQ

Will I get a skin infection?

With proper aftercare and proper procedures following the completion of a tattoo, it is highly unlikely that you will get a skin infection.  The variables that are involved with getting a skin infection include: improper disinfection procedures after tattoo completion and improper bandaging, and improper aftercare most specifically the few days following a tattoo procedure.  When the skin is exposed as an open wound, it is the most susceptible to skin infection.  Because the tattoo will be wrapped in second skin bandage (or the directions followed without the second skin bandage), it is unlikely that a bacterial infection will occur.  The bacteria must be present when the skin is open and exposed. Once the skin has healed the first few layers of epidermis, you are in the clear; it is enough skin protection to keep bacteria from flourishing as a skin infection.  Keep in mind you must not reopen the skin by way of scratching the surface or opening the tattooed skin.  The skin is still healing by building more layers of epidermis, so please continue to protect the skin (by not scratching when it itches and being careful about not allowing micro tears to occur by way of letting the skin dry out and not applying lotion when dry.

What is SecondSkin?

I apply SecondSkin bandage to heal your tattoo unless you know you are allergic/sensitive to SecondSkin.  The SecondSkin creates a protective layer that keeps your body’s plasma active over your healing tattoo.  Your plasma contains platelets which help accelerate the healing of the outer skin layer, creating a thin protective skin barrier when you peel the SecondSkin off after three days.  With the SecondSkin bandage your tattoo heals nearly twice as fast.  However, it is not suitable for some types or skin and locations of the body.  After the SecondSkin is removed, the next step in healing your tattoo properly is keeping that freshly healed (and rather thin) skin barrier moisturized so that it is not vulnerable to cracking/splitting from skin dryness.  Cracking/splitting from skin dryness or abrasion may cause open wounds which can be susceptible to skin infection.  Keep your skin at normal humidity by applying water based lotion on it whenever necessary.  When the tattoo feels itchy, that is your body building new layers of skin and getting dry, apply lotion to help relieve the itch.


How long does it take to heal?

The first two days of healing are the most important. Your body is trying to heal and make new skin in all the areas where there is pigment.  The tattoo ink is "pushed" into the skin with a needle, repeatedly going in and out of the first two layers of your skin (epidermis and dermis).  These layers need a good healing environment to grow back those layers of skin (over the pigment).   

With the SecondSkin, your skin will be protected from skin infection after 3 days.  Without the SecondSkin, it may take up to 5 days for all the flakes to come off.  Either way, the tattoos will go through a flaky dry stage for 1.5 weeks.  Your tattoo will look dull, ashy, and shiny in some parts.  Continue to moisturize with a water-based lotion for as long as the dryness persists.
Tattoos generally take 2-3 weeks for the skin to feel normal, but the ink does not settle completely into the skin until about 2-3 months.

Is it normal to have fluid under the SecondSkin? I can’t see my tattoo clearly.

Totally normal.  Don’t worry.  In fact you will see ink, blood, and plasma coming through under the bandage.  When you peel it off, don’t be alarmed that you see some of it dried onto the bandage.  You did not just peel your tattoo off.  Just gently wash the tattoo and be sure to moisturize afterwards (details on aftercare instructions below).


Can I exercise after I get a tattoo?


It depends on your capacity.  Some tattoos are located in areas that can
make it uncomfortable to exercise while healing.  Be cautious of your tattoo.  It is important to keep blood flowing to facilitate healing but do not overwork yourself.  Sweating too much can make it difficult for the SecondSkin to stay on the skin.  Extreme conditions are not recommended; please wait until you take the SecondSkin off after three days, ie. Hot Yoga, next day marathon, surfing, etc.


When can I swim or soak after a tattoo?


You cannot swim or soak for at least 1 week.  You cannot soak with the
SecondSkin bandage either.  If you are to go swimming or soaking after 1
week of healing, do not allow the tattoo to be soaking in the water for more than 15 minutes at a time.  Be sure to moisturize after you finish soaking/swimming.

 

When should I apply sunscreen?

Remember to wear sunscreen for any prolonged direct sun exposure (more than 30 minutes).  If you are wearing clothing that covers your tattoo, sunscreen is not needed unless it feels that your skin is burning underneath the clothing.  Sunscreen is good to apply for areas like the "driving arm", the left forearm, and areas that are exposed to the sun for longer than 30 minutes.