Berlin Tattoos

I use a bandage known as ultraderm/saniderm/second skin, unless you know you are allergic to it. I will let you know what to look for to spot an allergy if you have never used it before. It is a flexible film covering that protects the tattoo while it is open and healing. Blood/ink will be stuck under it but will wash off once you remove the bandage. You can shower with the bandage on, but it is best not to bathe with it on. I will give you alternative instructions in person for healing your tattoo if you choose not to use this type of bandage.

immediate aftercare

keep the second skin bandage on for four days if you can; afterwards, it is easy to take it off by peeling up a corner of the bandage in the shower and pulling it off in the direction it is pointing. Wash your hands, and using only your hands, wash off the residue left under the bandage gently but firmly with some water and gentle/unscented soap. Pat dry with a disposable paper towel. You can use an oil (coconut oil etc) to get off any adhesive left from the bandage, but wipe off the oil.

healing aftercare

start your cleaning and moisturizing regimen, which I recommend keeping up for at least 3 weeks, and at best, 4 weeks: clean your tattoo in the same way as described above 2-3 times a day, and let it dry well before and between moisturizing. Aquaphor, A&D lotion, water-based unscented lotions all work best. Avoid salves or beeswax-based products that have a sealing effect from air, which doesn’t allow it to dry out as well. My best practice suggestion is to use Aquaphor for the first week after you take the bandage off, and then switch to a lotion for the next 3 weeks.

your tattoo should finish any flaking around the edges of linework within a week and a half after getting the tattoo, and feel healed over within three weeks. It will settle in and look a bit more matte/become less raised and sharp in about 1-2 months.

things to consider for best results

slap it instead of scratching when it is itchy; best not to soak or swim in water until it is well healed to avoid infection (at least four weeks). UV rays affect skin cells so be cognizant of the fact that sun exposure does effect the quality of your tattoo during healing and as long as you have it, fading it over time - keep your healing tattoo out of direct sunlight by covering it with clothing for at least a month to protect it from sun damage. After this, you can start using sunscreen to protect it.
© Meagan Berlin or images as credited