· By Ulises Gonzalez

Tattoo Aftercare Guide


Did you know that a tattoo is an open wound? Like any wound, it exposes your body to the risk of infection, and improper healing can severely affect the final result of the tattoo.

The first few hours are crucial as your body will try to seal the open wound by excreting plasma and blood, which may cause some of the injected ink to be discharged.

There are two alternatives for caring for your tattoo. The first and most traditional option is to cover it with plastic for about 4 or 5 hours, and from there on, clean it with water and mild soap twice a day for at least 5 days.

The second alternative is to use a healing patch, which is the most comfortable and safe way to heal a tattoo. However, some people may experience irritation or adhesive allergies and prefer not to use it. Let me explain both cases to you:

Using a healing patch:

At the end of your tattoo session, I will assess whether your tattoo requires one or two patches. This patch will prevent the blood that comes out of your tattoo from forming scabs. It is a thin, transparent adhesive dressing that is breathable, waterproof, resistant, hypoallergenic, flexible, and prevents dirt and germs from entering. It reduces pain, ensures brighter colors, and promotes skin regeneration.

If you use a single patch, you should leave it on for about 5 days. After the 5 days, when you remove it, your tattoo should have healed, and it will be sufficient to use a moisturizing cream or special tattoo ointment. Use the patch for a maximum of 5 days. If you notice excess fluid or weakened adherence, carefully remove it in the shower with warm water and continue with traditional cleaning using water and soap for the remaining days until completing the 5-day period.

Using two patches:

If you use two patches, it is important to remove the first dressing after 24 hours, unless the tattoo has released a significant amount of blood or fluid and the dressing appears swollen, in which case you should remove it earlier. The first patch will be applied at the tattoo studio after the completion of your tattoo.

Each person's healing process is different, and the duration may vary depending on how much fluid your tattoo is releasing. When the adherence of the patch begins to weaken, that is a signal to remove or replace it. If you notice excess fluid or blood beneath the patch, replace it carefully with a new one.

Regardless of the amount of accumulated fluid, always change the initial film within a maximum of 24 hours to perform the first tattoo cleaning, which will be described below. Make sure to rinse thoroughly with water, as any residue can react with the adhesives and cause clumping and irritation. After applying the first patch, the second patch can be used for 4 to 6 days. Never forget to perform this cleaning as it directly affects the final result of your tattoo. This cleaning is meant to remove excess blood, pigment, and lubricant that may remain on your skin.

After cleaning and allowing your tattoo to dry, you should apply the second dressing and leave it on for about 5-6 days. After the 5 days, when you remove it, your tattoo should have healed, and it will be sufficient to use a moisturizing cream or special tattoo ointment.

Removing the patch:

When changing patches, make sure to leave no more than 30 minutes between removal and reapplication. Saniderm relies on your body's natural healing methods, and leaving the wound exposed for too long can cause the tattoo to start drying. When tattoos dry, it can compromise the quality of the healing process. 

The best way to remove the patch is to find an edge of the bandage and pull it back in the direction of hair growth. We also recommend removing the patch under hot shower water. The heat will loosen the adhesive and make removal considerably easier.

Allergic Reactions

This patch does not contain latex, so allergic reactions are very rare. However, some people have extremely sensitive skin or adhesive allergies. If you experience a rash, abnormal skin irritation, or other symptoms of an allergic reaction, discontinue use and wash with a mild soap.


Traditional Method

Products for tattoo care:

  • Liquid mild soap
  • Specialized tattoo care ointment or moisturizer such as Aquaphor.

Cleaning your tattoo Wash your hands before touching directly or around the tattoo. Wash your tattoo with water and liquid mild soap. Use your fingertips to make gentle, circular motions on your tattoo. Rinse thoroughly with abundant water, preferably warm water. Let it air dry (do not use towels or a hair dryer). From the third day onwards, you can start applying the moisturizing ointment twice a day. Do not apply excessive amounts, as we only want to hydrate the skin while allowing the wound to breathe.


Light exercise is fine. However, keep in mind that sweating can weaken the adhesive of the patch and cause it to come off prematurely. In that case, we advise you to take it easy and minimize sweating during the first few days.


Ongoing care to prolong the life of your tattoo

  • Hydrate your skin with tattoo ointment or your regular moisturizer.


What not to do

  • Touch the tattoo with dirty hands. Wash your tattoo with scented, colored, or detergent bar soap.
  • Use shower items like loofahs or fibers.
  • Remove any tissue that may form over your tattoo, as it can cause scabbing. Leave soap residue on your tattoo.
  • Use cloth towels or rub your tattoo with paper towels.
  • Dry your tattoo with a fan or a hand dryer. Use creams or ointments with the patch during the healing process.
  • Expose your tattoo to the sun during the healing process.
  • Submerge your tattoo in pools, lakes, or jacuzzis without the healing patch.