What is Tegaderm?
It is a sterile, waterproof, breathable, germ-proof barrier to protect your new tattoo. The best thing about Tegaderm is that it will not interfere with the healing process in any way. It will also protect your tattoo from the sun and other environmental factors. The outer layer is clear and when applied correctly, there should be no ink trapped underneath the Tegaderm (research and development was done on real tattoos with different colors of ink).
How do I use it?
One Tegaderm is usually good for an entire day. If you’re worried about losing your new tattoo or need it to last a full 24 hours, you can always put two on at a time. Make sure to clean the area with fresh soapy water before application. Remove the Tegaderm from its packaging and lay flat on a table. Peel the plastic protective strip off of each corner and discard (this doesn’t mean eat it, we’re talking about medical grade plastic here). Using a clean cotton ball or ball point pen tip, swipe only where you want to apply the Tegaderm. Now take the Tegaderm and carefully press it over your tattoo, making sure to smooth out any air bubbles that may have formed. Put the plastic protective strip back onto each corner of the Tegaderm and you’re good to go.
How do I remove it?
When you are ready to remove your Tegaderm, there are a few different ways you can do so. For example, you can peel it off (as shown above), cut it away with a sharp knife, or use the Tegaderm Applicator. The Tegaderm Applicator is for use on larger areas like back and shoulders or around the eyes or ears. The Tegaderm Applicator will help to make removal of your tattoo easier and quicker. It has two sides, one smooth surface for tattoo removal and one serrated edge for cutting away any excess skin. It comes with two blades, one for each side. To dispose of the used blades just remove the blade from the device and you can throw it away.
Will it get in my way while I’m tattooing?
No! When applying your new tattoo, try not to bend any part of the Tegaderm over on itself. It is advised that you not apply any kind of ointment/salve over top of your Tegaderm to prevent sticking.
What else should I know?
Tegaderm is a disposable product and is limited to one-time use only. If you are looking for something that will last more than one day, there are different kinds of Tegaderms that you can try. These include the Tegaderm Ultra, a polyurethane film dressing, or the Tegaderm Matrix, which has a matrix polysaccharide film to encourage healing. These are both new technologies and can take some time for the various manufacturers to get them into production. But as of now, you should try to find a local tattoo artist that uses this product.
How long should I leave Tegaderm on a tattoo?
When applied to the original site of a tattoo, Tegaderm should remain intact for about three weeks after the last bandage change before it should be removed and reapplied every two days until healed. This is for the purpose of promoting healing and preventing the spread of infection.
Tegaderm can be removed with water and light scrubbing but it can also be removed by soaking in a liquid antiseptic (such as Hibitane, or Betadine) for at least 10 minutes.
Over time, a wound covered with Tegaderm will dry out more quickly than one not covered with Tegaderm. As a result, there will be less occlusion of the wound and potentially increased risk of infection.
If a wound covered with Tegaderm becomes infected, the infection will be more difficult to treat because the wound will not be contained by the Tegaderm barrier. Additionally, the application of Tegaderm may cause some skin discoloration as a result of adhesion to the wound or scarring.
Always check your tattoo after it has been covered with Tegaderm to be sure that there are no signs of infection (redness, swelling or drainage). Keep an eye on it for any changes (such as color, size or shape), and if you see a change, remove Tegaderm and reapply.
If you have any questions regarding the use of Tegaderm, please contact your tattoo artist or refer to your local healthcare provider.
How Long Before You Can Swim With a New Tattoo?
Protecting your tattoo from contamination and preventing the accumulation of ink, blood, and fluid on your clothing and linens is the primary goal of Tegaderm. While your tattoo is healing, you may take a shower as normal, but avoid swimming or submerging it in water. Check this awesome meaningful hood tattoos ideas!