Tattoo Healing Quickly and Safely? Try Saniderm.
A while back I flew to Seattle to finish a sleeve I started with tattoo artist Tina Bafaro. As a burgeoning collector I have a decent amount of ink, but as any true collector knows… not nearly enough. After a fair amount of time spent being tattooed I have learned that I tattoo well- something about my skin being perfect for taking ink (color me proud).
Want to know what I really suck at though? Tattoo Healing. I tattoo like a dream, but I heal like a nightmare. I do everything on my care sheet to the letter. I tend to my healing tattoo like a nervous mother, always hovering and worrying if I am doing everything right. Yet no matter how carefully I tend to myself, I always end up a flaking – and frequently – a scabbing mess. The tattoo gods gave me those tiny pores, but then they punished me with excessive lymph and plasma – ahhh the cruelty of fate!
Well this time around, I tried something new – I tried Saniderm. Saniderm is a medical grade adhesive bandage that seals your tattoo and prevents dirt, germs, and other nasties collecting on it and causing trouble. Standard tattoo care says remove your wrap after 4-8 hours and let it dry and heal naturally. To prevent scabbing, you are generally instructed to wash periodically, avoid extended water exposure, and keep a very light film of tattoo artist approved ointment on the tattoo for days. The healing process usually takes a week to two weeks.
Saniderm sends you in a completely different direction. Your first Saniderm bandage goes on for 8-24 hours and is removed when the lymph (that sticky clear fluid) build up breaks the seal. After removing the first bandage you wash it thoroughly (try dental gauze for gently scrubbing away the plasma – awesome tip from Tina!) and then you apply a second Saniderm bandage.
Now, if you are done seeping, you leave that one on. If you are a overacheiver like me and you continue to seep, that bandage comes off in a day or two. Another wash (gently this time and not too long in the shower – NO scrubbing!!) – and then the final bandage goes on.
You do not use any ointments.
You do not let the tattoo air dry.
You COMPLETELY cover it with Saniderm per their instructions on their website. And that is it. Literally.
Tattoo Healing has never been easier!
I had Tina apply my first bandage at the shop. It took us a while because it can be a little tricky to work with at first – think kitchen cabinet liner paper with two backings and you can never quite find the little pull tab. I encourage you to try out a little piece on your skin before you get tattooed just to get a feel for it.
I slept with that bandage and in the morning had some squishy areas where I had seeped. I removed the wrap, washed, and put a new bandage on. The second time I applied, it was easier as I had a better handle on how to use it. The next day I did my final bandage (I had seeped enough to break the seal in a few spots).
My tattoo was completed on a Thursday and I put on my final Saniderm bandage on Sunday. Guess when I took it off? Guess how long it took my tattoo to heal? Tuesday. I took the bandage off Tuesday night and It. Was. Healed.
The picture on the left is what my tattoo looked like immediately after removing the final Saniderm bandage. For comparison’s sake, I left a small section of my tattoo not covered by Saniderm and healed it using my regular methods. The picture on the right is what the non-Saniderm part of my tattoo looked like (both pictures were taken at the same time).
As I mentioned I tend to flake and scab when healing a tattoo. The flaking section of my tattoo was treated with great care. I followed care instructions to the letter and used an amazing healing ointment given to me by Tina, but I think we can all agree the difference is pretty startling. Even more exciting?
I shortened my healing time by more than a week.
My Saniderm-healed skin had that slightly itchy “new skin” feel out of the bandage, but otherwise my tattoo was completely healed in five days. Even better? NO color loss. At all.
So needless to say I am planning on healing with Saniderm for my next tattoo. Of course make sure Saniderm is right for you before you try it. I encourage you to read their website carefully and call their help line with any questions or concerns before you try their product. In the meantime, I will share a few hard-won tips about Saniderm from my own experience.
1. Shave, shave, and shave again!!!
Peeling Saniderm off hair – even miniscule arm hair like mine – is hateful. Shave the entire area you are planning on wrapping, plus an inch all the way around the site. Smooth skin is happy skin.
2. Wash very thoroughly after those first one or two wraps.
When you are still replacing wraps, make sure you wash alllll that sticky lymph off! Tina gave me a huge stack of surgical gauze that is used in dentistry. The surface of the gauze “grabs” the lymph and washes it off without hurting the new tattoo – magic. If you are not lucky enough to have a source for surgical gauze, use your finger tips and approved soap and gently scrub the lymph away – it is what causes scabbing and color to pull out. Avoid loofahs or scratchy wash cloths though – too abrasive.
3. Dry before you wrap.
Before you apply your Saniderm, gently pat dry your skin and give it a few minutes to air dry – wetness can break the seal.
4. Practice before you apply!
It can be a little tricky to work with, so practice with a small section first (shave!!!) – you will thank me later.
5. Read ALL FAQs and product descriptions before you use it!
Don’t take some bloggers word for it! Do your research and make certain Saniderm is right for you AND you understand how to use it correctly before you commit! They have FAQ’s on their site and you can also email them with questions.
Then when you are all done healing, enjoy your bright, vibrant tattoo!
Coming Later This Summer…
It was an absolute honor to get a chance to work with Teresa! Saniderm was also on hand to film me getting tattooed and wrap me when I was done (thanks guys!). I also chatted with the Saniderm team about their amazing product and some new products they are introducing as well – subscribe to The Tattoo Tourist today (purple box at the bottom left of this page) so you can get the scoop!
(I am proud to have Saniderm as one of my paid advertisers (check out their ad on my right hand side bar) HOWEVER this article represents my own opinions and experiences regarding Saniderm and is NOT a paid promotion!)