When Should You Remove Your Tattoo Bandaging?

Getting a new tattoo can be an exciting experience. However, there are important rules you need to abide by in the weeks following your tattoo session.

One of these rules is to avoid removing your tattoo bandages too early.

Following the completion of a new tattoo, your tattoo artist will typically apply a thin layer of ointment to the tattooed region before covering it with plastic wrap. They do this to prevent bacteria from getting into your skin. It can also protect your tattoo from friction if it’s located on a body part covered by clothing.

How Long Should I Leave the Bandages/Wrapping on For?

Your tattoo artist will tell you to leave your bandages on for a specified amount of time. This could be anywhere from 2 hours to 12 hours depending on the size of the tattoo, its placement, and healing style your tattoo artist has chosen. It’s best to trust the judgment of your tattoo artist as they’re experienced with the healing process for tattoos of various sizes and styles.

Dry Healing vs Wrap Healing

If your tattoo has been wrapped in bandages, it is a dry healing tattoo. The tattoo artist typically does not apply any ointment to your skin before putting bandages over your new tattoo. These bandages will have to be left on for a shorter amount of time than wrap healing tattoos. This is usually around a couple of hours.

Dry healing is usually preferred for small tattoos, whereas wrap healing is preferred for larger tattoos.

For wrap healing tattoos, your artist will typically apply a layer of ointment on your skin before wrapping it in plastic. This is to avoid exposing your fresh tattoo and the skin around it to air. This wrapping should be left on for between 3 to 12 hours depending on the exact instructions of your tattoo artist.

After removing your bandages/wrapping

Following the removal of your bandages or wrapping, you will be required to wash your tattoo using a mild fragrance-free soap under warm water, before applying a thin layer of moisturizing or aftercare product such as our tattoo aftercare cream to your skin.

At this point, you’re still in the early stages of the healing process. Check out our blog to learn more about the stages of healing and other tattoo aftercare tips.