YOUR TATTOO NOT ONLY REPRESENTS YOU, BUT ALSO THE QUALITY AND REPUTATION OF OUR TATTOOISTS AND STUDIO
Please remember whilst tattooing your skin is being traumatised and during the healing process you should treat it as an open wound, keeping it clean and rested. It is natural for your skin to sometimes swell, feel sore, bruise and look painful.
Please note this aftercare advice is our guideline as healing can alter from person to person, all skin types are individual and people heal differently. If you don't follow this advice your tattoo is likely to not heal very well and potentially get infected, in some rare cases the tattoo may even heavily scab with puss coming out, this, in our experience only occurs with poorly looked after tattoos. Your tattooist will recommend one of two types of aftercare methods for your new tattoo:
DO NOT – participate in heavy exercise, sunbathe, go swimming, use sunbeds or saunas, rub the new tattoo, pick or scratch the scab, re-cover (except when instructed by the tattooist or to protect from exposure from possible hazards).
AVOID – Perfume, fake tanning, dirt, oil, grease, paint, industrial cleaners, caustic substances, raw meat, non-tattoo creams or ointments.
We do not recommend Bepanthen as it is not designed for tattoos. If you use other kinds of moisturisers or creams which are not specifically designed for healing a tattoo you run the risk of compromising the quality of the tattoo. They may also contain ingredients that could prolong the healing and or bleach the colour of the tattoo.
APPLICATION OF AFTERCARE BALM - Lightly smear the balm over the whole of the tattoo with clean hands, from the first day until it is fully healed. Do not satirize the fresh tattoo with the balm. We recommend El Gato Negro Tattoo Care available to buy from the studio.
HEALED TATTOOS - When the tattoo is exposed to the sun for a long period of time use a high factor sun cream (f50). You may also find that using a cream that is made specifically for tattoos ever so often will help keep your tattoo looking fresh and vibrant.
If you have any concerns regarding your new tattoo, especially if you think it has swelled too much or is too painful or itchy, please contact us first before consulting a Doctor. In most cases, we have seen or experienced these symptoms and they are normal or due to poor aftercare
Method One, Clingfilm
The tattooist will protect your tattoo with a wrap of clingfilm to help keep it clean and moist. Keep the clingfilm wrap on for approximately 2-3 hours after tattooing. You then may be advised by the tattooist to rewrap your tattoo with clingfilm. This is to continue to help keep the fresh tattoo clean and protected from bacteria. Try not to wear tight-fitting clothes over your fresh tattoo during this healing process.
After 2-3hours have passed from the tattoo being done remove the clingfilm wrap. On removal of the clingfilm wrap, wash your hands first then gently wash the tattoo with lukewarm water using a mild soap we recommend El Gato Negro Tattoo Wash available to buy from our studio. Pat dry with a clean paper towel and apply a tattoo aftercare balm again we recommend El Gato Negro Tattoo Aftercare available to buy from our studio. Repeat a minimum of 4 times daily until healing is complete. Usually, healing will take between 3-4 weeks depending on the tattoo and its location on the body.
Re-applying clingfilm to a tattoo is only suggested to clients who can wash & re-wrap the tattoo approximately 3 to 4 times a day for a maximum of 3 days. If you are in a job where you are unable to change the dressing the recommended amount of times, do not redress the tattoo after the original dressing has been removed. Just continue to apply aftercare as advised above.
If at any point, any part of the tattoo is left to breathe for too long and dry out do not continue to re-wrap the tattoo, just continue with the aftercare as advised. Do not wear tight clothes, do wash and clean and apply aftercare balm as advised above. Once your fresh tattoo is exposed, it will have a higher chance of infection. This is very rare and should be a very minimum risk if you follow our aftercare advice.
If you feel like you are having a reaction to wearing the clingfilm like a rash or itchiness, do not continue to re-wrap the tattoo, just continue with the aftercare as advised above, and if concerned please contact us.
Method two, Second Skin
The Tattooist may apply a sticky second skin film, called either Dermalize, Saniderm, Yayo Guard or EZ 2nd Skinz. You are advised to leave this on for up to 5 days. Please do not take this off when you get home so you can see your new tattoo!!
During this period, you will not need to apply any aftercare. Under the second skin, the tattoo will go gooey, this is normal and will be absorbed back into your skin helping keep the tattoo moist. You may need to trim some edges down to help stop it peeling off and accidentally catching on clothing. Try not to wear tight-fitting clothes over your fresh tattoo during the healing process. The second skin is breathable and can be showered in, but do not bath or swim with it on.
You will probably not be able to see your tattoo very well under the second skin, this is normal. The goo is not the ink coming out of the skin, your friends may tell you the tattoo shouldn't look like that, but it should. They may tell you; you should take the second skin off when you get home. Please do not do this, not with this method, they are thinking of the clingfilm method. Please do as your Tattooist has advised and not your friends.
You may experience some of the goo seeping out of the bottom or a corner, this is normal, use some clean kitchen roll and dab the goo away, you can even squeeze some of the goo out, so it doesn’t leak as much. If the Tattooist has given you some extra second skin use this to patch the hole back up or use some micropore tape.
After the 5 days or if the second skin comes off sooner than advised, apply a tattoo aftercare ideally every 3-4 hours to help keep the tattoo moisturised. The aftercare we recommend is El Gato Negro Tattoo Aftercare available from the studio. Repeat a minimum of 4 times daily until healing is complete - usually, healing will take between 2-3 weeks depending on the tattoo and its location on the body.
When the time comes to remove the second skin, do so in the shower. Soak the area with soapy water and gently peel back the second skin. Do this gently as you may irritate the skin if you quickly pull it off. If it is in an area which is hard to reach, ask someone to do this for you.
There may be some sticky residue leftover from the second skin, this can sometimes be stubborn to remove, but do not try to scrub it off, you will only irritate the skin. It will eventually wash off in the next couple of showers with normal washing.
In some cases, the skin may have reddened within the tattoo or around it where the second skin has been stuck, again this is normal, and down to the skin moving underneath the second skin irritating it a little. This should settle after a few days and applying the tattoo aftercare to the red skin should also help it settle.
If for some reason your second skin comes off after a day or so do not rewrap, please keep your tattoo clean and moisturised. Do not wear tight clothes, do wash and clean and apply aftercare balm as advised. Once your fresh tattoo is exposed, it will have a higher chance of infection. This is very rare and should be a very minimum risk if you follow our aftercare advice.
If you feel like you are having a reaction to the second skin like a rash or itchiness, remove and continue with the aftercare as advised above. Do not hesitate to contact us if you have any problems or questions about the second skin.
Sometimes a tattoo can need revisiting. We offer free touch-ups for tattoos that have been done at our studio within 3 months. If you think your tattoo requires a touch-up, please pop in and talk to one of the team. If we agree that a touch- up is needed, then an appointment can be made with the artist. Touch-ups are usually done at the end of the day and will fit around the artist's other appointments, sorry but it's rare that we'll be able to do touch-ups on Saturdays.
IF YOU HAVE ANY CONCERNS REGARDING YOUR NEW TATTOO, ESPECIALLY IF YOU THINK IT HAS SWELLED TOO MUCH OR IS TOO PAINFUL OR ITCHY, PLEASE CONTACT US FIRST BEFORE CONSULTING A DOCTOR. IN MOST CASES WE HAVE SEEN OR EXPERIENCED THESE SYMPTOMS, AND THEY ARE NORMAL OR DUE TO POOR AFTERCARE.
"EL GATO NEGRO"
Available to purchase from the Studio.
£4 Small 15g Tin
£10 Big 50g Tin
£6 30ml Bottle of Tattoo Wash
£15 Big 50g Tin of Balm & 30ml Tattoo Wash
Updated March 2020