Occlusive Bandage Tattoo Aftercare

«« Tattoo Tipping    Stinging Tongue »»

Thursday October 1st, 2009 @ 8:42 PM

Filed under: Tattoos


I remember a thorough discussion of occlusive dressings on Ask BME once upon a time. I’m attempting it as an aftercare method currently, though it’s difficult to dig up any information on it, even searching in regard to burn aftercare and other medical internet sources. A general description is present enough, but I want details!

Currently I’m using plastic wrap, medical tape, Badger Evolving Skin Balm, and very very diluted Dr. Bronner’s liquid soap. To clean, I pour lots of warm water over my tattoos from a pitcher. Then I slowly pour one last pitcher-full, with less than 1/4 teaspoon of Bronner’s soap, gently touching. After briefly air-drying, I apply a thin but thorough layer of Badger Balm. I lay plastic wrap across my tattoo and trim excess. The entire edge of the wrap gets medical taped.

Besides EVOO, castor oil, and beeswax, the balm contains

Rose Hip (strengthens connective tissue, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, astringent, commonly used to heal scars & burns, mad VitC&A),

Seabuckthorn Berry (promote cell tissue regeneration, antioxidant, mad VitA&E, effective healing of burns),

Calendula (anti-viral, anti-genotoxic and anti-inflammatory, heavily trusted for healing skin),

Lavender (antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, but cytotoxic and increases photosensitivity when topically applied),

Roman Chamomile (antiseptic, antibiotic),

Gum Benzoin (fixative),

Rose Oil (hemostatic, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, astringent)

And, of course, Dr. Bronner’s contains astringents and many things with positive skin healing effects. Though it’s SUPER drying which is why I diluted it so much.

My submission here is two-fold, to initiate search-able discussion on occlusive bandaging in AskBME, and to get more input on what I’m doing here.

How often do those with experience recommend I clean and change bandages? Once daily? Twice daily? Thrice Daily?

Should I continue this method until FULLY healed, or is there a point at which I can move on from anaerobic healing, continue t

Wow. That’s super complicated.
I’m a minimalist when it comes to aftercare, but I’m also a believer in “do what works for you”.
Me, I leave it alone. Practically no aftercare. But if this is leaving you with a beautiful healed tattoo, keep it up. My only advice would be watch out for zits due to the occlusive bandage.

Posted by Shawn Porter | Permalink | Leave a comment | Trackback

Rate This Post

+9 / 11 votes Vote This Post DownVote This Post Up
Loading ... Loading ...

6 Responses to “Occlusive Bandage Tattoo Aftercare”

  1. Yeah i agree with Shawn on this one, when i am healing a tattoo i keep the occlusive bandage on for about 8 hours or so after tattooing then hot shower to rise off any bodily fluids, ink, or petroleum Jelly off then i let it dry out for a day and apply Lubriderm whenever it gets itchy.

    The Occlusive bandage may help heal quicker as moist wounds do (apparently) heal faster. However depending on how you heal i don’t think this would be worth the effort of me as i am a stong supporter of the LITHA method. I think since Tattoos heal fast enough the cost and work required for the amount of bandaging you’re suggesting is not worth the effort for me anyways.

    Lucas Reichennek on October 1st, 2009 at 10:49 pm
  2. I don’t know what anybody else does, but I did as suggested to me by tattoo’er and friends. Essentially LITHA.

    My tattoo is on my back, from mid-shoulderblade to spine and about the same width. I got my tattoo in the middle of the afternoon. I left the bandage on for a couple hours, at which point I removed it, though left on the loose shirt I’d been wearing. After that, I wore no bra (when at home and it was an option) or a single shoulder bra (when out in public) on the opposite side.

    For cleaning, I used Ivory soap (which is the only type of soap I can use due to a skin sensitivity), rubbed gently over the tattoo with my fingertips and then rinsed and patted dry.

    Other than that, I didn’t touch the area of my back that has the tattoo for about a month. When the skin was completely healed, didn’t itch anymore, etc, I went back to my usual routine (typical two-strap bra and washing with washcloth).

    Kiera on October 2nd, 2009 at 12:50 am
  3. I’ve been wrapping my tattoos with plastic wrap for years, but only at night with a healthy layer of shea butter moisturizer. I’m usually scab-free after 3 nights and have minimal dry,flaky skin.

    Katie on October 2nd, 2009 at 9:04 am
  4. I am a firm believer in my routine. I don’t like bandaging longer than MAYBE the first day or if it is in a very high friction area where clothing will rub A LOT. I use Aquaphor (I like it better than A+D for a number of reasons), with a very light coat day of the tattoo and the day after. The next day in the evening I switch over to St. Ive’s Intensive Care lotion. The only exception is when the area is still pretty tender, in which case I may use ointment for an extra day. For a third day, I often prefer something like Tattoo Goo. I wash all my tattoos about three times a day with a mild soap like Softsoap for example. Always patted dry with a paper towel. I feel that bandaging is not always a good option because I firmly believe in breathability. I have found that this method gets me the really dark thick colors I want.

    Raskin666 on October 2nd, 2009 at 12:21 pm
  5. all i’ve done with mine is leave the bandage on till the next morning, then take a hot bath or shower and steam it, essentially. and then once it’s dry and aired, all i do is moisturize the crap out of it as often as i feel necessary. especially once it gets scabby i try to keep it as moisturized as possible.

    makingtrouble on October 2nd, 2009 at 5:52 pm
  6. I’ve been scouring the whole dang internet for information like this, so thank you BME! I just got my first tattoo 3 days ago & I was kind of using a combination of these methods. I was worried I wasn’t doing enough, but I guess less is sometimes more! I’ve been using Aquaphor maybe 1-2 times a day & regular unscented St Ives about 3x day. It’s itchy, but so far so good!

    Kitty on August 27th, 2011 at 4:49 pm

Leave a Comment

Search ASK

BME shop

Give to BME's Legal Defense fund!

Check out who else has donated and how you can help make a difference!


Highest Rated Posts