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Old 24-11-2012, 06:39 AM   #1
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Default Is MOIST HEALING bar none the best way to heal a tattoo?

I have recently discovered and had absolutely outstanding results from using a very elaborate method of healing large tattoos called MOIST WOUND HEALING.


I would consider myself highly experienced with tattoos, I have over 25 tattoos, am working on a full sleeve on my right arm, and have approximately 30+ hours to go to complete the sleeve.

My advice for your tattoo healing is to be taken from the perspective of someone who has demonstrated a sensitivity towards certain types of tattoo ink, and certainly I am aware that my skin is extremely sensitive to the tattoo process as well.

I would sincerely urge all to take my advice when healing all your tattoos in future. In partcular, the routine I am about to describe may sound more elaborate of an after care routine than anything else you have ever heard of, except for some certain sources on the internet that know what they are talking about.

Let us back up one second and describe the piece of art I would like to discuss. At first, I worked with an artist on the designs of a custom piece that was to be a quarter sleeve/band of Full color black and red roses, with 2 sparrows flying across them, drawn as a band around my arm. We are talking about a full wraparound design that goes around my full left upper arm, around the biceps and tricep area in a full coverage area about 5.5inches vertical and wrapped around like a sleeve. This is pretty big area all things considered.

After about 4 hours of outlining during one session, I went in for another 4 hour session to color the work in with the original artist.

Initially, after the work was first blasted with color, and was approximately 70% completed, I pursued a very well known healing process and did the following steps:

1) First day, kept bandage on for at least 5 hours. Remove bandage and wash in indirect lukewarm water and then pat dry with clean fresh towel.

2) Gently rub A&D ointment on fresh wound approx. 4-5 times a day

3) Wash tattoo once in morning, indirect water and then once at night

4) None of the obvious exposure to prolonged soaking, no sun etc

After following the fairly simple and straightforward care instructions given to me, and what I already knew, after approximately 4 days a THICK, HARD SCAB began to form on various parts of the tattoo.

Now lets fast forward about 3 weeks later, after using a little moisturizer here and there on the healing skin, the bits of scab were allowed tro come off naturally.

Overall, I found that the tattoo looked extremely poor, the scabbing resulted in scarring in some areas, and overall after 3 weeks the tattoo had a washed out looking 'water color' like appearance.

What went wrong? I'll tell you exactly what went wrong - and explain why.

Fast forward about 8 weeks from that disaster. I had a pretty OK design at that point that was fully healed, but looked horrible, and I obviously needed the whole thing redone and retouched.

I did not return to the same artist.

After I found a new artist, I sat in the chair for another SIX HOUR session of coloring and the whole design was completed up to par, and looked absolutely phenomenal after my new artist was done.

Now the after care I used, you will need the following:

1) A roll of Glad cling film
2) Vitamin E ointment eg: Webber's Brand
3) Showers
4) Dove sensitive skin no fragrance soap or similar eg: Dove duh

Now in order to understand the SCIENCE behind what I am about to explain, I would like to divert your attention to medical resouces surrounding the modern research into MOIST WOUND HEALING, and you will UNDERSTAND EXACTLY WHY THIS IS APPLICABLE TO TATTOO ART AND HEALING.

This is the steps I have followed, and by far, is the ULTIMATE, MOST SUPERIOR METHOD of healing tattoos that you absolutely MUST USE if you are trying to heal big huge work like sleeves or long session work covering alot of skin, particularly full color stuff.

ADVANCED MOIST WOUND HEALING PROCESS


1) Allow tattoo to stay in original bandage for at least 5 hours. Immediately at 5 hours, remove wrap and dressing, and shower in indirect lukewarm water, using SENSITIVE SKIN NO FRAGRANCE liquid soap like Dove or whatever. What is important is NOT the brand, but ensuring you are extra careful to clean the area throughly of dried blood, ooze, tattoo ink and plasma. Pat dry the tattoo area with a clean, fresh towel only, one that is specifically used ONLY for the tattoo area and not the rest of your body.

2) Rub a SMALL THIN FILM of Vitamin E ointment on the wound and allow to AIR BREATHE for only 20-30 minutes.

3) This is where the trick comes in, after AIR DRYING for only 20-30 minutes, CAREFULLY RE-WRAP THE TATTOO in FRESH SARAN WRAP and secure with medical tape.

4) Leave the wrap on for at the most 6 hours. After 6 hours, you will want to have a shower, wash the wound / tattoo area, air dry 20-30 minutes and REPEAT Step (3)

5 a) Continue Steps (2), (3) and (4) every 6 hours cycling 20-30 minutes of AIR time to wrapping and rewrapping procedure throughout the night and day for AT LEAST 6-7 DAYS. See 5 b when you hit around Day 5 and increase your AIR DRY time

5 b) By around Day 4 or 5, increase your AIR DRY time between shower to wrap from 20-30 minutes to 1 hour - I know this is a shit load of wrapping. unwrapping, wrapping etc etc

Please note: During day 4-5, you MAY NOTICE that your tattoo will start to flake. If this is a large area of skin, DO NOT STOP wrapping your skin, different areas of your skin may be at one stage of healing compared to others, and YOU HAVE TO BE ABSOLUTELY SURE that you don't go through all this business to end up with a scab anywhere, what wasted effort that would be. For larger work, be prepared to be wrapping for at least 6-7 DAYS, do NOT STOP wrapping it at 4-5 days (Even if your tatt is flaking in some areas, some other areas CAN STILL SCAB OVER!)


I am now on Day 12 of the healing process of my large piece of work on my arm that was practically destroyed before because of the traditional healing process. I stopped using the wrap during the Day of Day 7 after the procedure. By this point as well, the majority of flaking was also complete. I continued to use Vitamin E ointment through to Day 10 when I switched over to a fragrance free gentle moisturizer that also contains Vitamin E.

BUT NOW, only you can take my word for it that I experienced absolutely NO SCABBING, ONLY VERY VERY LIGHT FLAKING and my tattoo colors are so incredibly bright and vivid that I can safely say that the results I have gotten have been ABSOLUTELY OUTSTANDING.

I will NEVER heal tattoos the traditional way again, and seriously cling film is your best friend. Please refer to medical resources about moist wound healing and realize that a tattooed area will act like a wound, and that this procedure IS ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL for persons with sensitive skin who want to avoid scabbing because when a tattoo DOES SCAB, that is BAD BAD news for ink retention.

The science behind the cling film is that it prevents your healing skin from losing moisture, it keeps the ink in, and traps essential oils that are kept moisturized by the Vitamin E and allows for rapid synthesis of your damaged skin cells which regenerate at an incredibly accelarated rate that CANNOT be matched by dry healing your tattoo, without wrapping. You are giving the wound as much air as it needs and also washing it every 6 hours keeping it well hydrated, moist and in an environment that promotes faster healing than traditional non wrap methods. The washing in between wraps and using fresh wraps will keep the wound as clean as it needs to be without the risk of infection.

Moist healing will result in from direct experience:

1) Incredible color retention, seriously mind blowing when you see how well your skin holds color if you try this!
2) No scabbing, None at all
3) No scarring, None at all
4) Minimal ink loss
5) Faster healing
6) You can itch your itchy skin over your cling wrapped area without worrying about scratching or damaging anything


Moist wound healing, for the WIN? Yes sir, I do think so, indeed.


- just an inked dude talking from experience

Last edited by EndlessDreamer; 24-11-2012 at 07:59 AM.
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Old 24-11-2012, 09:07 AM   #2
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wow! that's some post. I'm quite interested by the different views on aftercare and healing.

I've only been through this with my first and only tattoo but it's a big full colour piece and the aftercare advice I got from my studio is similar to your method - they advise clingfilm wrap for 4-5 days, removing to gently wash, pat dry, breathe and apply Bepanthen for about 20 minutes every 4 hours or so. I only kept it up for 3 days I must admit, and after that I just regularly applied Bepanthen without the clingfilm and washing, but it healed perfectly with no scabbing at all.
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Old 24-11-2012, 09:23 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EmmaBemma View Post
wow! that's some post. I'm quite interested by the different views on aftercare and healing.

I've only been through this with my first and only tattoo but it's a big full colour piece and the aftercare advice I got from my studio is similar to your method - they advise clingfilm wrap for 4-5 days, removing to gently wash, pat dry, breathe and apply Bepanthen for about 20 minutes every 4 hours or so. I only kept it up for 3 days I must admit, and after that I just regularly applied Bepanthen without the clingfilm and washing, but it healed perfectly with no scabbing at all.
I understand that you did not scab after 3 days of wrapping, I would think that IMHO, the results will vary from person to person. Without a doubt, I suspect that LARGER pieces will definitely need longer wrap up time, and without a doubt, persons (like myself) with sensitive skin, and sensitivity to tattoo ink such as Greens and Reds, would need the full 6-7 days of wrapping to prevent scab formation - ultimately thats exactly what we are trying to avoid. Thick scabs are just bad news. Always. The red parts that scabbed over the first time looked like a fucking skin disease by the time it was all done healed up, it was just a patchy looking mess. I didn't mess with the scabs either, I let them come off completely on their own and it took almost a MONTH, and I was not pleased to end up looking like a patchy water color looking mess of my artwork coloring job. The first time results were extremely disappointing overall. I waited so patiently for the scabs to come off by themselves and as the weeks went by and the bits came off, the skin underneath was way way WAY lighter than it should have been.

The coloring job and shading was kinda half-assed too, I blame the artist for that, but that is a different beef.

I had to get the WHOLE DAMN THING recolored. Thats why the job took SIX DAMN HOURS to do. LOL

This time around, my skin held all the color in. The quality of the overall work post healing process is nothing short of absolutely outstanding, flawless apart from the original scarring from the first round.

Of course, you can imagine that I was paying attention to all the red parts in my tattoo very, very closely, because thats all the exact parts that scabbed up so horribly before. Not this time around!

I owe that to this aftercare method, and my skin is not 'normal' skin, much more sensitive than average. If I can prevent scabs from forming on my skin, then anyone can, just takes extra effort.

Last edited by EndlessDreamer; 24-11-2012 at 09:45 AM.
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Old 24-11-2012, 10:12 AM   #4
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How would this method work if you were getting a large tattoo spread over a few days? I'm getting a full sleeve done in march. It will be 5 to 6 hour sittings spread over 6 or 7 days would this still work?
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Old 24-11-2012, 12:09 PM   #5
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Sorry but, do you honestly think this is good advice?

Ugh, are you seriously arrogant enough to pitch shitty advice and expect people to treat you as a miracle worker because of it? How about deflating your head a bit?

Also stop with the random caps thing, it doesn't add emphasis it just makes you look like a giant, irritating tool.
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Last edited by Rosco5; 24-11-2012 at 12:14 PM.
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Old 24-11-2012, 12:42 PM   #6
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Steady on! It's not necessarily "shitty advice" - it's not the first time I've heard this approach, and like I said my studio (Rock and Roll in Dundee, reputable enough people) told me to do something very similar, my tattoo healed perfectly with no scabbing and I'll do the same next time.

Some people worry that clingfilm doesn't let the tattoo breathe but it's a semipermeable membrane and allows some degree of gas exchange. So long as the dressing is changed regularly and the tattoo cleaned and left to airdry before reapplication, there shouldn't be a problem.

Fair enough, you might have your own methods but there's no need to be insulting. You might have taken exception to EndlessDreamer's tone (and he is quite enthusiastic) but you're not coming across too well yourself, fella.
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Old 24-11-2012, 01:26 PM   #7
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I've also used the moist healing method several times and its worked really well.....its not really new information though as the first time i tried it was about 7 years ago
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Old 24-11-2012, 01:38 PM   #8
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I've also used the moist healing method several times and its worked really well.....its not really new information though as the first time i tried it was about 7 years ago
Agreed. I've been doing it since 2006, and it was debated on here a year or two before that even. Using Bep and clingfilm. I think Phil Kyle was the first person on here to talk about it waaaaay back when.
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Old 24-11-2012, 01:44 PM   #9
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I healed my left sleeve without re-wrapping in cling film but Im am currently using the moist method on the right arm. My opinion that keeping it wrapped in cling film is much better. Less hassle, you dont have to worry about it drying out or rubbing on clothes. Ive had four sessions and each one heals after about 4-5 days. As for colour retention, you can see from one of my previous posts a photo of my sleeve and how bright the colours are.

You just need to find what works for you. I know people who cant stand being wrapped in cling film for 5 days.
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Old 24-11-2012, 02:27 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by EmmaBemma View Post

Fair enough, you might have your own methods but there's no need to be insulting. You might have taken exception to EndlessDreamer's tone (and he is quite enthusiastic) but you're not coming across too well yourself, fella.
Given the fact that you're the kind of floaty hippie chick who thinks everyone's opinion is perfectly valid and we should respect each other and fart rainbows and all sorts I'm not exactly fussed what you think.
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