New tattoos are an open wound. As your tattoo heals, your body sends fluids and plasma to the site of the wound. These fluids dry up once they reach the surface of your skin forming a scab.
The purpose of this scab is to protect the wound from environmental contamination. However, the scab also forms a barrier that slows the generation of new tissue, making the healing process take much more time and increasing the risk of scarring.
Hypafix (clear film) aftercare instructions
The ideal environment for healing a wound is moisturized and clean. Normally, you heal a tattoo with ointment and lotion. However, these dry up quickly and need to be applied multiple times daily.
Hypafix acts as the scab over the open wound – it keeps the tattoo hydrated by sealing the interstitial fluid in and protects your wound by keeping external contaminants out. When the wound is constantly hydrated, your body can more efficiently break down and remove dead tissue, stimulating the growth of new cells, and in the end, reducing healing time and keeping the details of your tattoo crisp. Hypafix seals in the moist, clean environment and keeps bacteria out.
Taking care of your tattoo
- Leave the Hypafix on until it peels past the tattoo – you want at least ¼ inch border of bandage around the tattoo.
- The tattoo may (will) look blurry or like it is leaking ink/fluid – this is normal. A mixture of ink, plasma, and transcellular fluid will build up under the bandage – this is totally normal.
- In 3-5 days, remove the Hypafix bandage and wash immediately.
- Removing the bandage will hurt a little – it’s a very strong adhesive!
- It is okay to swim with a Hypafix bandage on, but avoid soaking it for more than an hour.
- Now follow the Regular Tattoo Aftercare Instructions on the other side of this sheet.
- If anything leaks out of the Hypafix or there is an opening allowing air in, remove the bandage. DO NOT REBANDAGE.
Hypafix Removal Help
Always peel top down or with the grain of your hair. If you are left with any residue from the bandage, using your fingertips, apply some antibacterial soap to the affected area. Work the area to a lather. Rinse and repeat until adhesive is removed. Alternatively, we have found that using warm water & coconut oil helps, too!
Regular Tattoo Aftercare Instructions
- Wash thoroughly with a mild antibacterial soap. Avoid scents, exfoliating beads, loofahs, washcloths; really anything abrasive.
- Rinse, wash, repeat until it’s clean. The first wash is sometimes painful, but it’s SO IMPORTANT.
- Pat dry with a clean towel or let your tattoo air dry.
- Once dry, apply a very SMALL amount of moisturizing ointment. We recommend Redemption, Aquaphor, or basic white hand lotion.
- Wash again 1-3 times a day. After each wash, apply a small amount of ointment.
- After 3-5 days the tattoo will be flakey and may have scabbing.
- At the 3-5 day mark, wash your tattoo once a day, and apply lotion 2-3 times a day – not ointment.
- If it scabs, let the scabs do their thing – don’t pick, scratch, or bump any scabs.
- After 2-3 weeks, the tattoo should be healed.
Things to Avoid for the first 2-3 Weeks
- Do not submerge in water. No swimming, no baths, no hot-tubs – showering is okay (please shower).
- Do not scratch that itchy tattoo. Seriously. Instead try patting it or washing it and reapplying lotion.
- Do not workout if the workout feels like it is pulling on or squeezing the tattoo.
- Do not tan or spray tan.
- Do not touch the tattoo (or let others touch the tattoo) with unwashed hands. Also, that’s just gross in general. Please wash your hands.
Things worth noting
- Although performed in a clean environment with single use and/or sterile equipment, tattoos begin as open wounds and it is possible to get them infected. Touching your tattoo with unwashed hands increases your risk for infection. Avoid germy people/places/things.
- In general bacteria enjoys a dark, warm, wet environment. Try not to provide that. Let your tattoo breathe, and don’t smother it in moisturizers.
- If you see redness all around the tattoo and it is painful, please stop using any moisturizers, and call us so we can see the tattoo in person.
- If you see just redness and tightness around a scabby area and no red around the rest of the tattoo, that is normal. Scabs shrink once formed/dry and can pull on surrounding skin.
- If black or colored ink is flaking off and the color under the flake is different, that is normal. Expect more.
- If you miss a few chances to wash it or moisturize it, don’t worry. Your body is completely capable of healing it without any help.