Tattoo Aftercare

After your tattoo comes the most important part, taking care of it! The first rule is to always wash your hands before touching a healing tattoo. On average, the healing process will take approximately 3 to 4 weeks until your tattoo is fully healed.


24 Hours
Do it Yourself

First 24 Hours

Here at Playhouse, we use a product called Second Skin for aftercare. This is a breathable tattoo bandage which provides an effective barrier against water, dirt, germs and friction. Once the artist applies the bandage, keep the wrap on for at least 24 hours. During the first 24 hours, there may be some build-up of plasma under the bandage. This is completely normal!

Once 24 hours has passed, you will need to remove the wrap and replace it with a fresh Second Skin bandage which you keep on for an additional 4 to 6 days. You are more than welcome to come in and have one of our artists remove and apply the new bandage. You can also take home a second bandage with you after you get tattooed and apply it yourself. Check out our written guide and video below to see exactly how to safely remove your old bandage and apply your new one.

Changing your own Wrap

To apply it yourself, please make sure to follow these steps

Step 1: Peel up an edge or corner of the Second Skin, and slowly pull the film off. Do not pull it straight away from your skin; instead, pull the film back and across the skin while holding your skin taut.

Step 2: Clean the entire tattoo area using lukewarm water and non-scented soap to gently wash away any excess plasma, blood, or puss. Do not use a wash cloth or anything abrasive. Your hand is your best tool in this case! If your tattoo feels slimy and slippery, you have probably been oozing plasma (this is totally normal). Try to gently remove as much as possible, when plasma dries on the skin surface, it creates thick scabs.

Step 3: Take your new second skin bandage and size up where you are going to place the bandage. Use multiple pieces overlapping at least one inch if the tattoo is too large for a single piece. Remember to account for an extra inch on each side of the tattoo to cover un-tattooed dry skin.

Step 4: On the white paper side of the bandage, fold the tip of a corner so that you are able to peel the white sheet off of the clear side of the wrap.

Step 5: Smooth the Second Skin over the tattoo and push out any air bubbles. Once the Second Skin is in place, there may still be bubbles present. Try your best to push out these air bubbles but remember not to be too aggressive with your tattoo.

Step 6: Remove the supportive clear backing by peeling from the “wave”. Peel it evenly and slowly against yourself, rather than peeling it away from your body. Smooth the Second Skin over your tattoo and remove any excess air bubbles with a clean and dry toothpick. You should cut open any bubbles large enough to deal with, without pinching or making contact with your tattoo area.

*Important Note*

If you develop an adverse reaction on the tattoo, discontinue use immediately and contact your artist for alternative healing treatment.

How to Change Your Own Tattoo Wrap

Day-by-Day Schedule

Day 1
Days 2-4
Days 4-7
Days 7-14
Days 14-31

Day 1 – Removing your Second Bandage

After you remove your second bandage, you will want to clean the entire tattoo area using lukewarm water and non-scented soap. Just like when you removed your first bandage, the goal is to remove the blood or plasma and keep the area clean. You don’t want to use a wash cloth and remember, the best tool you have at your disposal is your hand. Once you have cleaned the area, you will want to pat dry the area firmly with a clean towel or paper towel to get it completely dry (avoid rubbing as you dry the area).

Finally, follow up with a very light application of unscented lotion. The key here is to avoid over-applying as you want your skin to be able to breathe. Apply whenever needed to keep the area moisturized.

What NOT to do:

Do not use Vaseline or Aloe Vera on your new tattoo. Vaseline blocks out oxygen penetration from your skin which causes blurriness. Aloe Vera detoxifies the body by flushing foreign batter, including ink, from the skin which results in some fading.

Do not use Neosporin. Although this product is excellent for cuts and scrapes, it is not good for tattoos. It is not unusual for people to have an allergic reaction to Neosporin. This results in little red bumps on the area and when the bumps go away so does the ink. The final product ends up being a polka-dotted tattoo, remember Polka-Dot Shorts? You don’t want your tattoo to look like that!

Avoid using body oils on your tattoo during the healing process. It is best to wait until your tattoo is fully healed and you have passed the after-care process to start incorporating body oils.

Days 2-4 – Drying out

Your tattoo should be starting to dry up now. Be sure to only handle your tattoo with clean hands. Apply a thin layer of unscented lotion and rub it into your skin so that it is fully absorbed. You want to leave almost no trace of lotion on the surface. Keep in mind that you don’t want to over lotion, less is more!

Days 4-7 – Peeling

Around this time you are going to notice some peeling going on. You will also start to itch, just like a sun burn when it starts to heal. The most important thing at this stage is DO NOT PICK IT, DO NOT SCRATCH IT. Say it again with us, DO NOT PICK IT, DO NOT SCRATCH IT.

If you are really struggling with the itching, you can soothe the itch by applying a thin layer of unscented lotion to moisture it. Continue to keep it clean.

Days 7-14 – Layers & Scabbing

Your tattoo healing process should have 2 layers of scabbing. The first will be thick and flakey scabs with full ink colour on them. The second will be super dry, scale like flakey translucent scabs.

Both of these layers are crucial to your healing process. Do NOT pick at them. These flakes and scabs will fall off on their own! You can very easily cause damage and potentially cause scarring on your tattoo if you forcibly remove or damage these layers. The best thing you can do is let your body do its job and heal.

Your tattoo is almost healed. Do not ruin the hard work you put into getting this far by scratching, picking and peeling your tattoo.

Continue to keep it clean.

Days 14-31 – Final Stages

In the final stages of healing, the scabs and dry skin will mostly be gone and it will start to look amazing. However, you don’t want to let up now. Keep it clean, the healing process is still happening inside. Don’t scratch, pick at or damage your tattoo and you will be in the clear.