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Saniderm Aftercare

Day 1: Stinging, burning? Use ice packs or ibuprofen to reduce the stinging (NO aspirin). Avoid alcohol. Your first piece of Saniderm applied by the artist must be worn for 24 hours, do not remove it early. You will have irritation, redness, bleeding, seeping, and ink collect under the bandage. You will notice plasma, ink, and blood trapped in the bandage, and it may leak out of the Saniderm. This is NORMAL and part of the healing process. Don’t freak out over this. Let it happen. For leaks, apply more Saniderm to catch it or tape a paper towel until your 24th hour. Rember a fresh tattoo is a huge open wound and needs to be treated with caution and care. You need to take it easy and rest that area of your body.


Day 2: Remove 1st bandage after 24 hours- peel off slowly (this may be uncomfortable). Wash thoroughly with plain anti-bacterial hand soap - no exfoliating beads, no oils, no scents. You may consider removing your Saniderm under lukewarm or cool soapy water in the shower to loosen the adhesive. Pat dry with a paper towel and let air dry for 2-5 minutes making sure nothing touches it while airing out. Blot with paper towel. Apply 2nd Saniderm: remove the white paper backing first, apply sticky side to tattoo, then remove plastic backing (it’s ok if there are air bubbles/wrinkles). 


Day 2-6: Leave on for 6 FULL DAYS- During the next 6 days you may still have some plasma, ink, or blood. (If you have an excessive amount of liquid collecting under your bandage and feel replacement is necessary, please check out the web link on the back of this page under Frequently Asked Questions.) You may notice the skin looks dry/peeling/crusty/“cracked”- this is normal. The bandage and area may smell a little bit, this is ok. DO NOT REMOVE BEFORE THE SIXTH DAY. Doing so will result in color loss and can require a touch up at an additional cost. It is harmful to the tattoo and to your health to leave a healing tattoo untreated. If your Saniderm peels up before the 6th day, carefully cut the excess off. If the tattoo is exposed place another small piece of Saniderm (or similar product) to cover it. (See drugstore products at QR code link.)


Day 7: Now it’s time to remove. There will be dried ink and skin stuck to the Saniderm.  Wash gently and apply a thin layer of Sanibalm or lotion/moisturizer to your tattoo.


Day 8 +: Use thin layers of Sanibalm/lotion/moisturizer for several days or weeks until skin is smooth again. I do not recommend Aquaphor. You will most likely experience peeling and itchiness. Your tattoo is fully healed when your skin is smooth and no longer shiny. This can take several weeks or several months. Everybody’s skin is different.

Long term care: Keeping your skin moisturized will keep your tattoo looking fresh and bright. I highly recommend Sanibalm or Sanibalm+ from the makers of Saniderm. Always wear sunscreen, tanning and sun fading will make a tattoo look dull and will diminish the pigments.

While your Saniderm is on DO NOT:

  • DO NOT soak your new tattoo- no baths/swimming (running water/showering is ok). Soaking can lead to major infections.

  • DO NOT apply soap, lotions, oils, on or around the patch.

  • DO NOT expose you tattoo to direct sunlight, this will be painful and can damage the skin until it is healed over.

  • DO NOT allow shampoo/conditioner to run down the patch.

  • DO NOT sweat excessively- this can push ink out and weaken the adhesive- sweat will collect under the Saniderm and smell bad and clog your sweat glands resulting in bumpy skin, raised scarred tissue, color loss, and possible infection.

  • DO NOT move or stretch your tattooed skin excessively until it is fully healed (up to 14 days).

  • DO NOT allow pets or animals to come into contact with your healing tattoo (if contact occurs with exposed (uncovered) skin, wash immediately with antibacterial soap, then apply plain lotion).

  • DO NOT allow plants (such as when gardening) to come into contact with your healing tattoo (if contact occurs with exposed skin, wash immediately with antibacterial soap, then apply plain lotion).

  • Most importantly, do not listen to your friends who say you can’t have a tattoo wrapped that long. This product is much different from what they’ve used before. It is intended for long wear. This is not saran wrap.

Signs of Infection:

Signs and symptoms of an infection include but are not limited to, redness, swelling, tenderness of the procedure site, red streaks going from the procedure site to towards the heart, elevated body temperature, or pus-filled drainage from the procedure site. Seek medical care if you have a fever, extreme pain 3 or more days after the tattoo procedure, spreading rash well outside of the tattooed area, worsening and spreading redness around the tattoo, blisters on the tattoo, red streaking around tattoo, or foul odor and pus drainage.


How it works:

After a tattoo your skin is left damaged so your body begins working immediately to heal itself by sending liquid enzymes and plasma to your skin’s surface. These dry out and become scabs. With a tattoo, it is vital to avoid scabs. The healing patches allow the enzymes and plasma to stay moist and therefore heal your skin without drying out. The patches are breathable so your skin is not suffocated. Saniderm also keeps your new tattoo clean and safe from outside bacteria, dirt, lint from clothing, etc. which will help prevent infection. Furthermore, the patches help to protect your clothing and bedding from ink and blood that seeps out during the first several days.


Long term care:

Keeping your skin moisturized will keep your tattoo looking shiny and bright.

Always wear sunscreen, tanning and sun fading will make a tattoo look dull and will diminish the pigments.

For detailed instructions directly from Saniderm, check out their site 

What to do if your Saniderm is Filled with Blood | Saniderm


Frequently asked questions:

Q: What do I do if my second Saniderm is full of fluid and I can’t wear it for the full 6 days?

A: The goal for a good heal is to have your tattoo wrapped for 7 days altogether. Usually this means 24 hours for the first piece, and 6 days for the second. If the liquid is leaking out-- put a Saniderm patch to seal it.  OR replace it entirely. In this case, be sure to wear each wrap for 24 hours between changing. It is ok to require 3-4 wraps to get a good healing tattoo. Always clean the tattoo between each new application (go back to “Day 2” instructions on page 1). How ever many pieces you need, make sure the total days worn is 7.


Q: What do I do if my skin looks irritated around the edges of the Saniderm?

A: Irritation can occur for several reasons such as:

  • Saniderm has been applied too tight

  • There is excessive movement of the skin around the Saniderm

  • The area wasn’t washed clean of the adhesive from the previous Saniderm piece

  • Too much sweat.

Irritation can look like:

  • Bumps, hives, clogged pores/pimples  •   Blisters  •    Redness  •    Itchiness

When this happens, gently clean the area with antibacterial soap. Then use some rubbing alcohol on a paper towel to wipe the area. Apply some light moisturizer and give the skin a few days to heal.


Q: Why is my tattoo oozing liquids after the first day?

A: This can be caused by several factors:

  • Some people bleed and/or excrete plasma more than others during the healing process.

  • Too much movement and stretching of the skin. Remember, take it easy!

**If there is excessive liquid, your Saniderm should be replaced again.


Q: What do I do if I take my Saniderm off early?

A: If for any reason you remove your Saniderm early, it is extremely important to take necessary steps to prevent infections and to ensure your tattoo heals properly. Please see further instructions below.


Need a little more help?

Anchor 1

HELP! My Saniderm was removed early-

Alternate Instructions for Early Removal:


If you have removed your Saniderm wrap early or it has peeled up on its own, exposing your tattoo and you do not have enough Saniderm for a replacement, you have two options to ensure your tattoo heals properly and vibrantly. Early means before a total of 7 days wrapped, 6 days for second set.


OPTION 1 (best and easiest option): Get more Saniderm or go to your local Walgreens/CVS and purchase Tegaderm (usually near the bandaids). Do not purchase anti-bacterial bandages, they look similar.  See photos below for different product packaging, and look for similar products. Apply and wear the Tegaderm for the remainder of the week. Make sure to apply it to your freshly cleansed tattoo, please use antibacterial soap. Follow all instructions provided on your aftercare sheet (listed above). 

OPTION 2: You must keep your tattoo clean and prevent it from drying out and scabbing. To do this, wash your tattoo thoroughly with antibacterial soap 3 times a day. Immediately following use Sanibalm or plain lotion to moisturize (plain lotion should be unscented, free of oils, perfumes, butters, etc.). Apply a thin layer and rub into skin well, do not leave excess lotion on skin. Try Aveeno, Cetaphil or Lubriderm. I do not recommend petroleum based products like Aquaphor. 

It is vital to wash a full 3 times daily until your tattoo is fully healed. Washing removes infection causing bacteria. Moisturizing is important to prevent think scabs from forming. Scabs will pull out ink and dull or eliminate color. You will have peeling for several days, this is normal. Your tattoo is fully healed once your skin has peeled completely and is smooth again which may take several weeks.

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