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  • Writer's pictureamy8764

Aftercare with Second Skin Dressings

Over the past few years I've been achieving excellent results healing tattoos with a product called second skin, which is comminly used in hospital settings on injuries like burns. It is designed to allow the wound to heal without drying out, a method commonly known as "wet healing", and in my experience tattoos healed this way have sharper lines, richer colours and less chance of scabbing or dropping out than tattoos healed with glad wrap or with cream alone.

The dressings are a little like a thin, adhesive glad wrap - they have a backing paper like contact that is removed first, then after application there is another layer of plastic that is peeled off to reveal a very thin and flexible transparent dressing. This dressing won't slide off or shift under your clothes, is more hygienic as it holds blood and other fluids in, and eliminates the need to be constantly touching and washing your new tattoo, significantly reducing the risk of infection or other healing problems.

People do occasionally have an allergic reaction to the adhesive, in which case the dressing should be removed, but this will not negatively affect the outcome of the tattoo. With intensive colour work people also find that if applied immediately after completion of the tattoo the dressing fills up with so much ink and fluid that it needs to be removed and replaced wirh a new one - in this instance a new dressing can be obtained from a chemist and applied with clean hands to a freshly washed and dried tattoo. Some people prefer to use a glad wrap dressing for the first day or two and then apply second skin when the tattoo isn't leaking so much.

For those who want to see the basic process I documented the healing of a small tattoo on my own ankle using second skin for my Instagram stories so you know what to expect, and have resposted the images below.

If you're curious to know more or see people applying these dressings there are plenty of videos on YouTube you can watch. Happy healing!

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botanical illustrator






I make botanical and natural history themed tattoos, illustrations and fine art from Artemisia, my private appointment-only studio in Daw Park, Adelaide SA. 

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