#34592
ArniVidar
Moderator
@arnividar

Okay, first, some backstory:

A coworker and a friend has been collecting ink for the past 20 years or so, and has quite a few. He was mostly tattooed by an American simply called ‘Mike’, stationed near the Keflavik Airbase, who specialized in Old School and did very well in the Asian front as well. All his tattoos are extremely well done, the linework is perfect and the tats look good despite their age.
For all these years, my friend has had to endure some SEVERE flaking after ink. He describes it as more than just the thin white flakes I experienced with my tattoo healing, but more like thick, crunchy stuff. I think the word “corn flakes” might have been thrown about ๐Ÿ™‚ The tattoo aftercare instructions this guy gave were simple, and much like what I’ve seen in these forums. Keep the cling film on until you get home, take it off, wash lightly and so on.

So, just a few weeks ago the friend went to a new, young artist (Mike moved from Iceland when the US Airforce lef) and got one of his poorer tattoos fixed. This young artist (Mason Coriell) gives him the following aftercare instructions: Keep the cling film on for a few hours, then take it off and clean the tattoo. then REWRAP in cling film. Clean it 2-3 times a day, but keep film over it for 2-3 days.
His tattoo is now fully healed and not a single scab ever appeared. No corn flakes.

So, if wrapping the ink in film helps so much with the healing, why do artists hate it so?

#92188
Jubakuba
Participant
@jubakuba

It will provide a moist environment…
Which will definitely prevent flaky skin, but will also allow for bacteria to breed.
Any moist/hot (and skin kept in cling-wrap gets much hotter) environment allows bacteria to flourish.

#92190
ArniVidar
Moderator
@arnividar

And where should that bacteria come from, since the whole process is part of the cleaning routine? I’ve heard the petri-dish argument before. It’s a couple of days that make a huge difference in the healing process but I question the good vs. bad ratio. There are SO many artists that swear by the use of the film. Learned, experienced artists. Are they all wrong? Can there even BE ‘wrong’ here?

#92191
Gsouder
Participant
@gsouder

I’m not a biologist or anything but bacteria thrives in warm, moist environments. THe idea that we kill 100% of bacteria when we clean a tattoo is ridiculous and my thought is that when you leave cling wrap on there you promote the fast repopulation of the bacteria that’s left after washing. That’s why you will find more bacteria in a cling wrapped tattoo.

Personally, I don’t think it makes a difference whether you cling wrap at all or if you leave it on for 3 days. I’ve done both and had equal results. The main thing is that it stays as clean as possible and doesn’t dry out completely. People over think this part of the healing process with witchcraft style ideas- cling wrap, vitamin E cream etc- when all that’s necessary is a little love.

#92193
Jubakuba
Participant
@jubakuba

I have never personally cling-wrapped…
But agreed.
There are SOOOOO many varied healing regimens…
I’ve learned and practiced Seventh-Generation Unscented Dish Soap + Curel Unscented.
I like the texture of the soap…leaves no film…and doesn’t contain alcohol/dyes/scents.
I like the lotion…it absorbs quickly and leaves my skin soft but not greasy.

TLC to a tattoo with whichever method you prefer and you’ll most likely be completely fine.

#92194
ArniVidar
Moderator
@arnividar

Dish soap? Aren’t those usually full of chemicals designed to dissolve fat? Not that I mind dissolving some of my fat ๐Ÿ˜‰

#92204
newyearspumpkin
Participant
@newyearspumpkin

I prefer to cling wrap for 2 days. I can’t keep putting on lotion while at work and don’t want clothes rubbing on the skin etc. Yeah it gets hot under there but when I get home I wash it and let it dry out and then lotion it up.

#92227
goldengraemes
Participant
@goldengraemes

I used cling film for 2-3 days while at work changing it 2-3 times while at work then taking it off when I get home and give it another good wash. This worked really well no scabbing not alot of flaking either.
If you wash it regularly and wrap it it won’t get infected as you will have minimized the risk alot.

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