Dry Healing vs. Wrap Healing Your Tattoo: Is One Method Better?
Finally made that dream tattoo a reality? Before you go off sporting your new ink, it’s important to take the time to let it heal properly. If you aren’t sure what the best practices are, not to worry. We’re sharing tips for caring for a new tattoo below.
Thinking about getting a new tattoo? Or, perhaps you’ve already taken the plunge and got the ink you’ve been wanting for years. Whatever the case may be, after it’s all said and done you need to care for it the right way. What exactly is the right way? Keep reading to find out!
Dry Healing vs. Wrap Healing Your Tattoo
When it’s time to care for a new tattoo, there are typically two methods to choose from: dry healing or wrap healing. “Dry healing means letting the skin be exposed to the open air,” says board-certified dermatologist, and Skincare.com consultant, Dr. Karan K. Sra. “Wrapping on the other hand means the skin is usually under occlusion with petroleum jelly or ointments.” As for which method you should use, it’s best to consult your tattoo artist for the best tattoo after-care tips and contact your health care professional if you have any concerns. According to blogs and tattoo community boards, some people prefer dry healing for smaller tattoos and wrap healing for larger ones.
After getting a new tattoo, it’s important not to scratch or pick at it, so if you have a tendency to do so, wrap healing may be a better option for you as it will cover up the art. What’s more, dry skin types may also prefer the wrap healing method for its moisturizing benefits.
Our 6 Post-Tattoo Tips to Follow
Caring for a tattoo typically depends on what kind of work you get done. Here are our recommendations for tattoo aftercare:
- Apply a water-based lotion or cream to your tattoo: First and foremost, you never want to leave your fresh new ink susceptible to dryness. “Moisture will help the skin to heal faster and keep scabs from forming,” Dr. Sra says.
- Protect your tattoo with SPF: The sun’s harmful UV rays are notorious for fading the appearance of tattoos. Before heading outdoors, protect your tattoo (and all areas of exposed skin, for that matter) with broad spectrum SPF of 30 or more and reapply at least every 2 hours and take other sun protection measures.
- Steer clear of tanning beds: The lights in tanning beds can fade tattoo ink. Not to mention, they also can increase your risk of developing skin cancer and visible signs of skin aging.
- Don’t scratch or pick at your tattoo: Just like you’d handle a pimple, keep your hands off of your new tattoo and never pick at your tattoo.
- Avoid swimming: Bodies of water are a no-go for tattoo healing. Steer clear from hot tubs, pools, rivers, oceans, and lakes for a few weeks, or as directed by your tattoo artist.
- Avoid tight clothing: Try avoiding clothes that could stick to your tattoo.
Editor’s note: While the information listed above can certainly serve as a guide, it shouldn’t be used in place of the advice from a professional tattoo artist or your health care professional. Immediately after getting a tattoo, be sure to get the proper advice on how long to care for your tattoo, what to clean it with, and the types of creams you should use in the short- and long-term. And, most importantly, remember to always layer on a broad-spectrum SPF of 30 or more before heading outdoors.