How to Wash and Bandage Your Tattoo

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 39,747
    Tattoo artist Chad Koeplinger demonstrates how to wash and bandage a tattoo.

    Chad Koeplinger: Hello, my name is Chad Koeplinger. I am from Tattoo Paradise in Washington D.C. We are here today to talk to you about tattoo and piercing aftercare. I just finished tattooing this gentleman and we are going to clean it up using a little bit of green soap which is a typical soap you are going to find in most tattoo shops, it's kind of an antiseptic soap, just kind of give it a get wipe down and we are going to apply a little bit of Vaseline to it, mainly just to kind of, keep the bandage from sticking to the tattoo and also to keep that from bleeding a whole lot and just sealing at the pores a bit.

    From there, we are going to grab a couple of bandages. These are plastic coated bandages that have a pad inside and they are perforated or porous I should say, because that way any kind of blood and fluid can soak into the pad that's in there and that's because it's plastic coated it won't stick to the tattoo itself. Anyway, we apply those bandages like so, give it a little bit of tape so it doesn't fall off and you are ready to go. The reason we put a bandage on the tattoo is, so there is no dirt and dust and those kinds of things getting on the tattoo during the initial time when you leave the tattoo shop until around 24 hours. Those first 24 hours, your tattoo is going to be bleeding a bit and leaking a little bit of lymph fluid and plasma and what not. It's kind of its most vulnerable time for any kind of infection and things of that nature. So, the bandage is good for it. I also find that it helps the healing process if you leave it on the tattoo for a good 24 hours or so. That way all those fluids that do leak out don't dry up and form a scab. They stay kind of, moist, you are able to wash it and by then it's not going to be leaking fluids still. So, it's not going to form such a scab as it would if it dried.

    Anyway, and now, we will go on to what you do after you take the bandage off your tattoo.