Wrapping the tattoo during the aftercare period is mandatory, as it keeps the tattooed skin and design protected. For example, it keeps the tattoo safe from bleeding, rubbing and other substances that can cause bacterial infection.
Usually, artists wrap the tattoo once the tattooing process is done. Keep this bandage on for two to three hours after leaving the ink studio. After this recommended time, take it off and wash the tattooed skin with lukewarm water and a good soap. Let it dry, and then apply a thin layer of lotion like Aquaphor.
Moreover, when it comes to aftercare, you need to take extra care during the first night. Regarding this, many ask this question: should I wrap my new tattoo at night?
Let’s clarify this question in detail.
Should I Wrap My New Tattoo at Night?
Your tattoo is like an open wound exposed to various dangerous substances, such as bacteria and dirt. Once a new tattoo is trapped with these harmful substances, it can slow the healing process and lead to infection.
Therefore, most tattoo artists recommend wrapping the tattoo at night during the healing stage to protect it. So, you can wrap the tattoo during sleep time, especially when you have a large and colorful ink design.
As it will keep the new ink design safe from infection and also prevents bedding and clothing fractions that reduce the risk of irritation. Moreover, wrapping the tattoo prevents ink from sticking to bed sheets during sleeping.
However, wrapping the tattoo at night can cause potential issues, such as locking the air. While allowing air to reach the tattoo promotes oxygen circulation that helps in quick healing. Similarly, wrapping it for too long time can also trap moisture, creating a damp environment that promotes bacterial growth. Moreover, constantly covering ink design tightly can irritate the freshly tattooed skin
Wrapping up all these considerations, you should follow your tattoo artist’s instructions on whether you should wrap the tattoo at night or not is best. Alternatively, instead of using plastic wrap, a second skin like Saniderm is the best aftercare product for wrapping.
How Long Should I Wrap My Tattoo?
Wrapping is necessary for post-tattoo care, as it’s beneficial in many ways. However, knowing how long to keep it wrapped is important to avoid potential issues.
After leaving the tattoo shop:
- Keep the wrap on the tattoo for at least 2 to 4 hours.
- After this, remove it and clean your tattoo with good soap.
- When considering how long to keep the tattoo wrapped, include wrapping it during sleep.
Many tattoo artists recommend covering the fresh design during the first night to prevent infection and other potential issues, such as tattooed skin irritation.However, continuously wrapping it promotes the growth of bacteria and harmful microorganisms.
Additionally, it slows down the tattoo’s healing process as it blocks the air from reaching the tattooed skin. Therefore, it’s only recommended to wrap the tattoo for the first night. However, what if you use medically approved aftercare bandages, such as Saniderm or Tegaderm?
In such a case, you can keep your tattooed skin wrapped for 3 to 4 days. Usually, these bandages are made or designed so that keeping them on for a few days, unlike a plastic wrapper, does not cause potential issues.
Moreover, these bandages protect the tattoo from infection and prevent the formation of scabbing and scarring on tattooed skin. They also allow oxygen to reach the tattoo area, aiding in quick healing. Furthermore, aftercare bandages, such as Saniderm, are waterproof and protect fresh designs from water. However, avoid leaving them on more than the recommended days, as this can cause skin irritation.
Tips on Wrapping Your Tattoo at Night
Here are a few tips you should follow in regard to whether I should wrap my new tattoo at night.
Clean and Moisturize
Before wrapping your fresh ink design before bed, clean the tattooed skin with mild and fragrance-free soap using lukewarm water. Once the cleaning process is complete, dry the area using a clean towel and apply a thin layer of the recommended tattoo lotion. This cleaning and moisturizing process is necessary for quick healing and to prevent scabbing.
Use a Breathable Wrap
As discussed earlier, a new tattoo requires proper breathing for a quick recovery. Therefore, when choosing a wrap, ensure it is breathable—using bandages designed explicitly for tattoos, such as Second Skin. Using plastic wrap or airtight materials can prolong the healing process.
When wrapping your tattooed skin, make sure it’s not too tight. Overtightening the covering can put additional pressure, potentially causing discomfort and irritation.
Change If Possible
During the night, sweat and bodily fluids can make the wrapped skin damp or dirty after a few hours of sleep. Therefore, if you’re using plastic wrap, change it regularly to maintain cleanliness and create a healthy environment for your tattooed skin.
Tips to Follow At Night With Your Newly Tattoo
Take Enough Sleep
Proper sleep is necessary for our health. Enough sleep is also essential for our body’s repair and restoration processes to promote faster cell regeneration and tissue healing. This means 8 hours of sleep every night helps in quick tattoo healing.
Eat Well Balanced Diet
In addition to getting enough sleep, include a healthy diet in your routine and ensure that your body stays well-hydrated. This will help you fight any infections during the healing process.
Don’t Sleep on Fresh Ink Design
Avoid sleeping on your fresh tattoo, as it will pressure the tattooed skin. Pressure from sleeping can lead to irritation and disrupt the healing process of tattoos. Instead, try sleeping without direct pressure on the newly inked area.
Use Clean Bed Sheets
Of course, a clean environment is necessary for your fresh ink design. Therefore, you should use clean bed sheets while sleeping to avoid any contact with bacteria that can reside on the sheets.
However, avoid using your regular or new sheets, as tattoo ink stains can compromise the fabric and prove challenging to remove. Moreover, change your sheets regularly every 1 to 2 weeks during the healing period.
Wrapping fresh tattoos helps promote quick recovery. Additionally, it protects the tattooed skin from infection and other harmful substances. When wrapping a tattoo at night, you should only do so for the first night if you use plastic wrap.
However, if you cover it for a second night, you can cover the tattoo for 3 to 4 days. During this period, ensure your ink design stays clean by washing it regularly with a good antibacterial soap. Avoid constantly covering your fresh tattoo, as doing so can trap harmful bacteria that may slow the healing process.
Flora Jones is a licensed professional tattoo artist with over 5 years of experience working at various studios in Arizona. In addition to her artistry, she enjoys sharing her knowledge and expertise on various tattoo-related topics through her writing.