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It’s a delicate process, getting a tattoo. It takes time and care to think about the design you want, the color that best suits your skin tone, and then waiting patiently for it  to heal.

After all that work comes the wrapping up of your new ink with cling film – how long should you keep a tattoo covered? The short answer is that it depends on the tattoo artist and what they recommend, but most artists will say to leave your new ink wrapped up for at least 24 hours. 

If you want a more detailed answer, we’ve got this article about how long to keep tattoos covered in cling film. 

Let’s get reading!

What does cling wrap do for tattoos?

Cling film prevents the tattoo from drying out. It also holds moisture, which is needed to keep it fresh. The cling film also adds a layer of protection against bacteria, dirt, and grime that could find its way onto your new tattoo. Cling film can also stop your clothes rubbing up against your fresh body art, which could lead to irritation or abrasion of the freshly inked skin.

Tattoo artists normally apply plastic wrap or saran wrap on the fresh body art to ensure that their tattoos stay moist after getting done. At times they will even cover it with cling film during the tattooing process to stop air reaching the skin so as to help promote faster healing without scarring or scabbing.

How Long To Keep Tattoo Covered In Cling Film

When you receive a tattoo it is usually covered by cling film in order to prevent infection and reduce bleeding. Most artists recommend wrapping tattoos for between one and three days but there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to how long to keep the wrap on tattoos before they are exposed. 

Generally, tattoo artists suggest that after the tattoo has been wrapped in cling film it is essential that you do not remove the bandage or expose your tattoo to direct sunlight for at least 24 hours.

One of the biggest factors involved when deciding how long a tattoo will need to remain wrapped in cling film concerns the area on which the design was created. Generally speaking, tattoos that cover larger areas will require more time to heal than those covering smaller areas.

Another important factor to consider is the age and general condition of the individual. Overall, young people heal faster than adults. People who are generally in good health recover from tattoos more quickly than those with a weakened immune system.

If you have a tattoo done at a parlour or professional studio, it can be helpful to inquire as to their wrapping policies. A parlor or artist should inform their clients for how long they should keep the bandages on after tattooing. In getting a tattoo done, it is important to make sure that you follow instructions from your parlor or artist, because they know the right time to take off the tattoo wrap – and don’t forget to thank them properly

There may be particular factors that lead them to wrap tattoos for longer periods of time than usual.

  • Make sure that your tattoo is wrapped securely in cling film. This helps prevent seepage as well as keeping the area moist as it heals;
  • Keep one hand clean and use this hand when unwrapping your bandages so that you do not re-contaminate the tattoo;
  • Follow aftercare instructions provided by your parlour or artist. If you are unsure about anything, ask questions;
  • Do not ever soak your tattoo unless specifically advised to do so by a professional;
  • Do not expose your tattoo to direct sunlight for the first few days after it has been wrapped in cling film, even if some time has elapsed since the bandage was removed.

Should I Wrap My Tattoo When I Sleep?

Although it is not necessary to wrap a tattoo when you go to sleep, it can be a good idea if your bedding could get in the way. However, if you do decide to wrap your tattoos while sleeping, take care not to wrap them too tightly as this may cause irritation.

When wrapping tattoos for sleeping, always make sure that you cover them with a breathable material like cotton. If you wear tight undergarments at night then change into some relaxed clothing before bedtime.

How To Remove The Cling Film From The Tattoo

When it’s time to remove the cling film, gently peel back the clinging wrap from one corner. If your cling film does not peel away easily or if you find it sticking to the scab, use a warm moist towel and press against the bandage as you lift up an edge. If the towel is warm enough, it should loosen up the cling film.

It’s important to note that you cannot use any lotions or creams when your tattoo is still wrapped in cling film because they will interfere with how well your tattoo heals. As your tattoo begins to scab over after about three days, you can start applying cream or ointment daily, but not until 24 hours after removing your bandages.

There are products on the market designed specifically for customers post-tattooing which contain vitamins and minerals known to assist in healing tattoos faster. Some of these include antioxidants, vitamin E, and Aloe Vera.

How Long Do Tattoos Take To Heal?

Recovery time varies depending on various factors, such as where on the body they are located, whether they cover large areas of skin or smaller ones etc… 

Generally speaking, tattoos located at places where there is less movement or friction from clothes heal faster. This includes tattoos on the torso, upper arms, and back. Conversely, tattoos located in areas where there is a lot of movement such as hands and feet will take much longer to heal.

One thing that all tattoo artists agree upon is that it requires a minimum of six weeks for a new tattoo to completely heal without scabbing over. For this reason, many artists will not tattoo those with existing tattoos for at least six weeks after the first session. This is because some of those with pre-existing tattoos may develop scabs that can result in some colour loss during the healing process which could cause problems such as colour build up.

In Conclusion

Hopefully this answers the ever-burning question of: “How long should I keep my tattoo wrapped?”

Now you understand the importance of cling film in aftercare for new tattoos. Cling film allows tattoo customers to cover their fresh tattoos with a protective layer which is gentle on the skin and designed to promote healthy healing. It also helps retain the moisture to help your tattoo heal quickly and without scabbing over.

So remember – your tattoo is a work of art. Wrap it up in cling film and keep it safe!

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