Hopefully I'm not speaking too soon on this one, but my second round of tattooing is healing a million times better than the first. I'm pretty sure this is completely due to a new healing process that I'm trying called Wet Healing.
Let me back track and talk about my first session, I was told to shower the night of the tattoo, then to keep it dry (no water), but moisturize with lotion 3 times daily until the scabs come off. At that point I could wash it, etc. It seemed simple enough, however the dark/heavy shading scabbed horribly. Everything else was fine. I got super thick scabs that cracked and ultimately resulted in me having to have the shading redone. I'm not sure if my skin just got too dry in between lotioning or maybe that we applied too much lotion during each application or what. But it was bad and very uncomfortable.
This session, however, my artist told me to try "wet healing" which requires a little more work, but it has been super, super nice. I couldn't seem to find a lot of information about it online. And since I've had such a good experience with it, I thought I'd share.
Day 1: The day you get your tattoo your artist will probably bandage it up to keep blood, ink, and ooze off of your clothes. Leave this on until just before bedtime. At this point shower and wash the tattoo with a soft, mild antibacterial soap (hand soap is usually good). After you shower, rebandange. And by "rebandage," I mean: apply Bacitracin ointment (or A and D, but bacitracin doesn't smell as bad) to the tattoo and rebandage with new material - Saran Wrap works fine. This helps seal in some of the moisture and also protects your bed from getting nasty. It also might be a good idea to put a piece of paper towel in the saran wrap as well - at least for the first bandage or 2. This will help soak up any blood/ooze. So every time I say rebandage from here on out, it means: ointment, saran wrap, and tape.
-Morning: Wash the tattoo in the shower again with soft soap and then rebandage.
-Midday: Remove the bandage and leave off for 1-2 hours. Your tattoo needs some fresh air. Then rebandage.
-Night: Rebandage again before bed. (this may seem redundant to remove the bandage and put a new one right back on, but you need some fresh ointment)
Day 3: Leave bandage off most of the day
-Morning: Wash the tattoo with soft soap, do not reapply the bandage. Leave the tattoo completely alone! Let it dry out. I started seeing some paper thin scabs at this point. Some of it was already peeling off.
-Night: Rebandage before bed.
-Morning: Wash the tattoo with soft soap, do not reapply the bandage. Leave the tattoo alone.
-Night: Rebandage if you feel it needs some moisture. I rebandaged mine, but it may not be completely necessary. This will be the last night of bandaging.
I am now on Day 5. I washed it normally this morning, and I'm letting it dry out for the day. As far as I know, moisturizer is not necessary from here on out.
So there it is. It's a lot of work - especially if your tattoo is in a place you cannot reach by yourself. But this method of healing has been so much more comfortable than the last. When dry healing the tattoo my skin was so stiff and sore. Wet healing, with ointment and bandaging has been really really nice. I recommend it... but as anyone else will tell you, you should follow the instructions of your tattoo artist. Also, once you've found something that works best for your skin - stick with that. Everyone heals a little differently.
I've had pretty good luck with the directions Knappy gave me. He recommends a hot shower that night and regular hot showers from that point on (must get a lot of dirty hippies through his shop,) plus a tiny amount of A + D lotion once a day for four days followed by Lubriderm twice a day for two weeks. I'm finding that if I apply a thin film of A + D just after my morning shower and rub it into my skin so that there isn't much excess, it keeps my skin from drying out while still allowing it to breathe and heal.
You might still need some lotion just to control itching.
yeah, i put lotion on yesterday cause it was itching pretty bad. however, i didn't today, because kari left for work before i got out of the shower... and lotioning that part of your back is not easy at all.
2 week healing update. This round was 100% better throughout the entire process.
I never got big scaly flakes of skin coming off (unlike my first session). Over the past week or so I just noticed that some parts of the tattoo suddenly had fresh skin. It appeared to rejuvenate like skin anywhere else on your body would. There are still a couple parts that look as though they need to "peel" or whatever, I'm guessing that'll happen within the next few days.
As for my care after the wet healing - I just bathed normally, washed my back gently, and lotioned whenever wifey was around to help (about once/twice a day).
I'm using this method from here on out. It worked so well for me.
yeah um cocoa butter is good as well. and you're not suppose to rebandage a tattoo, ever.
Marisa you absolute twat! This is about WET healing which involes REBANDAGING as part of the healing process... One doesn't wrap with DRY healing... Seriously ho you are dense as a mud cake to have missed the WHOLE purpose of the artical... Now do you feel clever having diplayed your intelligence only to have it shot down as diseased and flawed. Concentrate on learning to read honey, save that tatt's for the grown up's.
Yeah right what a fucking twat! Someone shoot the bitch!
Marisa is a dickhead
Hey thanks for the article on Wet Healing. My artist put me on to it but I have never heard of it so of course I'm double checking to see what is on the net ;-P Sounds pretty close to what he told me except he said 1st night wash and leave off all night (no ointment), then wash and rebandage 3x a day for 3-4 days, again NO OINTMENT. Not sure if I feel comfortable w/ no ointment or lotion but...he said the gunk that comes out of the tattoo is the body's natural way of healing. Um...ok.
I just got my first tattoo last night, and the tattoo artist told me to leave the bandage on for 2 hours, then wash with cold water, apply a & d ointment, & put seran wrap on it, and repeat again before bed.
i followed all of these steps, but when i was taking off the bandage to clean & wrap it before bed, i noticed the color was coming off in a sort of stringy sticky lines. it really freaked me out, because i dont know if its something i did wrong, or if thats normal. im not sure what to do, & if anyone knows, please help!
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Ha you dick-you want to learn how to SPELL before you start shooting your mouth off about others. Knobhead!Always check before submitting eh...?Ha!Hope you feel like a tit!oh and as for 'marisa is a dickhead' writer-the police are on to you...
Hey my artist told me to use the wet healing process and it actually works really well. I'm on day 3 and most of the pealing is done. It smells like pus though and i think it's infected. I'm going to try some antibiotic cream and see what happens.
Folks who closely follow the process wow goldon a pardon for former California Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunninghamwow goldwho was convicted and is serving a sentence
i just got another tattoo and i also did the wet healing i didnt use the ointment ,but i am on day 5 and will go to lotion and my tattoo looks amzing compared to my older ones ,i highly recommend this method ...and god bless gabriel cece from fushion ink in norfolk va he is the best...thanks gab for one of the best tattoos i have ever had...j
hey mispelled on my part its fuzion ink.......had to retrack that.....great place
with wet healing you're actually supposed to wash, ointment, and rebandage every 4 hours MAX. why? lets look at it this way...when dry healing your skin heals from the outside in. when wet healing your skin heals from the inside out, and if you do not keep the OPEN WOUND clean and freshly moisturized your body will start developing staph infections...and you don't want any of those.
I'm sure no one reads this far down but I live i Iowa and I have used this method on a few of my tattoos and it works man screw everything else wet healing is the way to go no scabs no itch and use bactine.
also, check out bacitracin ointment - it's like A&D ointment but doesn't smell nearly as bad. recommended my 1st tattoo artist when i couldn't stand the smell of A&D.
Hey jess - also got mine done from Gabriel CeCe and am doing the wet heal. Seems to be alright so far, but I started to get somewhat of a rash from the saran wrap (keeping all the gook and sweat in while I sleep was irritating my skin). Luckily I started to peel so I'm on the lotion stage now.. just hoping this rash goes away within the next few days, otherwise I guess I'll have to give Gabe a call.
Wet-healing is the best way to go. I've had a lot more luck keeping the colour this way.
Wet healing is working better for me too. I just got a tat between my shoulder blades and it's my third one. First ever wet healing. Washing and using aqauphor ointment under Saran wrap for five days and it's healing faster and better and with less pain, itching and no scabs.
Yeah, gotta love having someone around to help you out when you can't reach... i just got a large solid black tattoo on my back... my artist says i should leave it to dry heal, but i cannot tolerate oozy blood and ink on my clothes and bedding. Besides, the bloody ooze is like the best thing you can have on your skin at that time... They call it "healing soup" not quite water, not quite blood... mostly white blood cells that do all the protection in your body :D So wet healing locks that stuff onto your skin and lets it go to work