What do I do with the Saran wrap on my tattoo?

I just got my first tattoo on my ankle - it's pretty small and it was finished about exactly two hours ago. I've read online and heard lots of people say that whatever covering you have should be removed 1 to 2 hours after it's finished.

My artist covered mine with saran wrap and my instruction sheet says to keep that on until tomorrow morning, AND THEN wash it, apply another covering, yaddayaddayadda twice a day for three days.

I know you should listen to your artist because they know best, but I've read that keeping the saran wrap on for too long could ruin the tattoo because of body heat retention. They're suggesting I keep it on for another like, 18 hours! Is this safe? Should I let my tattoo air a little bit and change the saran wrap and leave THAT until tomorrow morning? AH!

Any advice would be great. Thanks!!

7 Answers

  • ?
    Lv 5
    9 years ago
    Best Answer

    Take it off. Your tattoo needs to breathe. It should be taken off 1-2 hours after.

    I use Rocco's Old School Tattoo Balm on all of my old and new tattoo's.

    It works great. Heals my new tattoo's nicely, keeps them moisturized and protected.

    And still lets air pass through unlike Vaseline. Also makes my old tattoo's look new

    Here's their website - http://www.roccosoldschool.com

  • J
    Lv 4
    9 years ago

    Well the big reason why they say to take the saran wrap off after a a few hours isn't because of heat (at least I've never heard that). It's because the ointment can clog your pores, giving you zits on the area, which can be an issue, maybe cause a little color to fall out.

    I always take the saran wrap off after a few hours, rinse it lightly with really gentle soap and water, put on a thin coat of whatever you prefer, and then LITHA (leave it the hell alone). Treat it like any other open shallow wound. Wash it gently if it gets dirty, keep it moist but not caked with goo, and don't touch it or pick the scabs!

    Then again, if you did your research and trust your artist, I'd say follow his instructions. Why take some yahoo's advice over his? Any other questions and I'd go to BMEzine.com, although just a warning, it's not work safe at all. It's a good resource for most body modification questions.

  • 9 years ago

    Well, the thing is that many tattoo artists have been advising this, and it is a truly bad idea. It got started with tattoo conventions, so that instead of a bandage (that people were constantly pulling off to show others) someone came up with plastic wrap - the idea being that you could view the tattoo without exposing it to air borne nasties. But many newer tattoo artists and customers took it past that point, and started this whole deal of keeping it on past the 2 hours.

    This is a breeding ground for bacteria.

    Your tattoo needs to breathe and this smothers it.

    So, I am totally against it, (even though I know that sometimes it all turns out fine).

    I wouldn't risk it. I prefer the simplest and most current aftercare methods: which is keep it clean, moisturized but not smothered, and leave it alone.

    I prefer Lubriderm unscented no dye, but Curel is good. Ointments should be discontinued after 3 days if they are used.

    Here's a great video on all of the dos and don'ts of current aftercare methods:


    Youtube thumbnail


  • 9 years ago

    I have 3 tattoos, and I kept the saran wrap on just when I was wearing clothes that would touch them. Other than that, I just put ointment on them, and let them air out. I washed my tattoos the next day with just an antibacterial soap in the shower, and did that daily. It has been almost 3 months since I had my first one, and they look GREAT! I have experienced no fading! The things to watch are; it will seep a little bit, just lightly dab at it with a moist paper towel. As its healing, it will start to peel, but LEAVE THAT ALONE! Just let the parts that are peeling fall off by themselves. Also, while it is healing, it will itch, just don't itch it. Other than that, I think you should be good!

    Good luck!

    Source(s): I have 3 tattoos; personal experience
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  • 9 years ago

    I had two tats done recently at the prestigious Abracadabra Tattoo studio and the advice given was thus:

    Keep the saran (clingfilm) wrap on for a couple of hours, wash the tats about 4 times a day thereafter, pat dry and apply bepanthen or similar lanolin based cream (avoid petroleum based products) and put the wrap back on at night. The purpose is to keep the tats from getting too dry. Air them as much as possible to let them dry naturally and avoid picking/scratching them.

    I have followed their advice as much as possible and their has been very little scabbing over and they look as clean and crisp as they did when they were first done. All praise goes to Maria @ Abracadabra, Cefn Fforest

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    Remove it after two hours. Do not rebandage. The wrap is to keep airborne pathogens from getting to it. After two hours, that is no longer a risk. That tattoo needs to get air. Sorry, but he told you wrong.

    Source(s): I'm a professional tattoo artist, 8 yrs.
  • take it off,i did for mine and its perfect! just give it a lil wash with water,pat it dry and put a lil bepanthen on it (its nappy cream,works a treat!) then do the same morning and night for a few days

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