What Is the Plastic Stuff They Put on Tattoos: Explained
If you’ve ever gotten a tattoo, you may have noticed that the artist covers it with a piece of plastic wrap or some sort of clear, adhesive material. This plastic stuff, also known as a tattoo bandage or film, serves several important purposes in the tattoo healing process. In this article, we will explore what this plastic stuff is and its significance, along with five interesting facts about it.
1. The Purpose of the Plastic Stuff:
The primary purpose of the plastic wrap or film on a fresh tattoo is to protect it from bacteria, dirt, and other external elements that could potentially cause an infection. By creating a barrier, it acts as a shield against harmful microorganisms. Furthermore, the plastic wrap helps to retain moisture, preventing the tattoo from drying out and aiding in the healing process.
2. Types of Tattoo Bandages:
There are various types of plastic wrap or bandages used in the tattoo industry. Some artists prefer using medical-grade plastic wrap, which is sterile and breathable. Others may opt for specialized tattoo bandages that have adhesive properties and are designed specifically for tattoo healing. These bandages are often transparent, allowing the tattoo to be visible while maintaining its protection.
3. Duration of Application:
Typically, tattoo artists leave the plastic wrap on for a few hours after completing the tattoo. The exact duration may vary depending on the size and style of the tattoo. After this initial period, they will remove the plastic wrap and clean the tattoo before advising on further aftercare instructions.
4. Tattoo Bandage as a Healing Aid:
Apart from providing protection, the plastic wrap or bandage can also aid in the healing process. By creating a moist environment, it helps to prevent scabbing and promotes faster healing. Additionally, the bandage acts as a barrier against friction, reducing the chances of irritation or damage to the tattooed area.
5. Removal and Aftercare:
Once the initial period of wearing the plastic wrap is over, it is essential to follow proper aftercare instructions. The tattoo should be gently washed with a mild, fragrance-free soap and warm water. Afterward, it should be patted dry with a clean towel and left open to the air, allowing it to breathe. It is crucial to avoid reapplying plastic wrap or any other occlusive material after the initial period, as it can trap moisture and prolong the healing process.
Common Questions about the Plastic Stuff on Tattoos:
1. Should I remove the plastic wrap immediately after getting a tattoo?
No, the tattoo artist will provide specific instructions on when to remove the plastic wrap, usually after a few hours.
2. Can I shower with the plastic wrap on?
It is generally advised to remove the plastic wrap before showering to avoid excessive moisture buildup.
3. How long should I keep the plastic wrap on my tattoo?
The duration may vary, but typically it is left on for a few hours before being removed.
4. Can I reapply the plastic wrap after removing it?
No, it is crucial to allow the tattoo to breathe and avoid reapplying any occlusive material after the initial period.
5. Can I use regular plastic wrap from my kitchen to cover my tattoo?
It is recommended to use medical-grade or specialized tattoo bandages that are sterile and breathable for optimal healing.
6. Should I keep the tattoo covered with plastic wrap all the time?
No, after the initial period, the tattoo should be left open to the air to promote healing.
7. Can I use plastic wrap as a long-term tattoo cover?
Using plastic wrap as a long-term cover or for extended periods can hinder the healing process and increase the risk of infection.
8. Is it normal for the tattoo to weep or bleed under the plastic wrap?
Some minimal weeping or bleeding is normal initially. However, if excessive bleeding occurs, it is advised to contact your tattoo artist.
9. Can I exercise or engage in physical activities with the plastic wrap on?
It is generally recommended to avoid excessive sweating or friction on the tattooed area while the plastic wrap is on.
10. Can I apply ointment or lotion under the plastic wrap?
No, it is best to follow the aftercare instructions provided your tattoo artist, which may involve applying ointment or lotion after removing the plastic wrap.
11. How often should I change the plastic wrap?
The plastic wrap should only be applied once, after the tattoo is completed. After removal, it should not be reapplied.
12. Can the plastic wrap cause an allergic reaction?
It is possible to develop an allergic reaction to certain materials in the plastic wrap. If you notice any unusual symptoms, consult your tattoo artist or a medical professional.
13. What should I do if the plastic wrap sticks to my tattoo?
If the plastic wrap sticks to the tattoo, do not forcefully remove it. Instead, moisten the area with water to loosen the adhesion gently.
In conclusion, the plastic stuff they put on tattoos serves as a protective barrier, keeping the tattoo clean and moisturized during the initial healing stage. It is essential to follow your tattoo artist’s instructions and proper aftercare guidelines to ensure a successful healing process for your new ink.