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How Long To Keep Second Skin On Tattoo?

Getting a tattoo is an incredible way to express yourself and show off your personality. But once you have the artwork that you want, how long to keep Second Skin on tattoo?

Today, I’ll tell you the answer, as well as the factors to consider when deciding how long to keep second skin on your new tattoo.

Woman having rose tattoo applied with a tattoo gun

How Long To Keep Second Skin On Tattoo? Key Takeaways

  • Initial 24 Hours: Keep the second skin on for the first 24 hours as it helps in protecting the fresh tattoo from bacteria.
  • Up to 4 to 7 Days: Some artists recommend leaving it on for 4 to 7 days to promote healing and color retention.
  • Follow Artist’s Instructions: Adhere to your tattoo artist’s specific instructions regarding the duration.
  • Healing Stages: The second skin can stay on through the initial stages of healing, protecting the tattoo.
  • Avoid Early Removal: Don’t remove it early as it can interfere with the healing process.
  • Check For Irritation: If skin becomes irritated or infected, contact your tattoo artist or a healthcare professional.
  • Individual Healing: Everyone heals differently; adjust the duration based on your healing progress.

Best New Tattoo Aftercare Tips

Aftercare for a healing tattoo is essential to ensure it heals properly, resulting in an optimal outcome.

Immediately after getting a new tattoo, the artist should cover it with a thin layer of medical-grade antibiotic ointment and wrap it with cling film or specialized non-stick dressing such as Tegaderm or Second Skin.

This ensures the moisture is locked in while allowing air to pass through. For the first 24 hours, showering and swimming should be avoided, as this could impair healing or cause infection.

It’s important to keep the area clean by washing twice daily; once when you wake up in the morning and again before going to bed at night, using warm soapy water or body wash that doesn’t contain alcohol or fragrances.

After washing, gently pat dry with a clean paper towel or cloth and apply a thin layer of unscented lotion such as Vaseline Intensive Care Lotion.

If there’s any excess fluid oozing from your tattoo (called “weeping”) during the healing process, do not touch it; instead, use a clean paper towel soaked in warm water to squeeze out any excess fluid without putting pressure on your wound.

A tattoo artist applying a floral tattoo to the rib cage of a client wearing a monochrome shirt

What Kinds Of Aftercare Products Should You Use After A New Tattoo?

After receiving your new tattoo, you should keep your tattoo covered with a breathable bandage for two hours.

After two hours have passed, gently wash the area with warm water and an antibacterial soap, or mild soap for five minutes before patting dry with a clean towel.

Apply moisturizer, like coconut oil, or a fragrance-free lotion, afterward to help keep your clean tattoo is hydrated. Ensure you use sunscreen, when you have any sun exposure, to protect the quality of your tattoo.

Avoid using heavy creams or fragranced lotions, as this can cause irritation and delay healing time, as well as avoiding things like hot tubs, direct sunlight (use sun protection) and environments that would lead to heavy sweating.

The best thing, is to always use an aftercare product specifically designed for tattoos, such as Aquaphor Healing Ointment or H2Ocean spray, so that your skin can easily absorb the ointment without any discomfort, without leading to color loss.

These tattoo aftercare products, recommended by your tattoo artists, are formulated not only to aid in healing but also protect against infection and promote vibrant color retention, which helps keep your tattoo looking great over time, even for larger tattoos.

What Is Second Skin?

Second Skin is a revolutionary new product that helps make tattoos look more vibrant and last longer.

It’s a temporary non-toxic adhesive membrane designed to be applied over the tattoo area and keep colors from fading, help reduce scabbing, and protect against harsh environments.

Using Second Skin dressings can also help give tattoos an even smoother, softer feel—allowing for better coverage on areas where skin may have been shaved for a design or if you don’t want your old tattoo to bleed through as much.

This special Second Skin bandage film can stay intact from up to ten days, depending on the care taken by the wearer.

As an added bonus, it actually encourages healing or healing of the tattoo area due to its hydrating properties, which are enhanced when worn overnight.

You just have to wash your tattoo with warm water, then apply Second Skin around the tattoo, which will create a protective barrier between them and any environment they enter.

This includes keeping the inked area moist with minimal contact to prevent damage caused by friction or scratching while cleaning, swimming or doing strenuous activities.

A tattoo artist using a tattoo gun on a client's chest

What Are The Benefits Of Using Second Skin On Your Fresh Tattoo?

Using Second Skin on your fresh tattoo is a beneficial way to ensure that your tattoo heals properly and looks as best as it can.

This product is made with medical grade silicone, which helps keep the plasma around the tattoo. Plasma aids healing by helping to prevent peeling while keeping the openness of newly inked skin.

Every tattoo may have different healing times, but using this product can help accelerate the healing process and heal your tattoo faster than without it.

Second Skin also helps to keep the tattoo moisturized; without proper moisturization, tattoos may dry out or become scabby, which could ruin its look.

Plus, Second Skin protects your freshly done-up ink from dirt, bacteria, and other environmental factors like sweat and water that can lead to infection or damage it over time.

Wearing Second Skin on a new tattoo will help you protect it from damage throughout its healing period and keeps colors lively over time, so you get satisfaction every time you check out your body art.

How Long To Keep Second Skin On Tattoo?

When it comes to your new tattooed area, and the aftercare instructions, knowing how long to keep the Second Skin on is important.

Generally speaking, it’s best to keep the Second Skin in place for a minimum of three hours, for best results.

This will allow your tattoo to heal properly at the beginning stages of healing, until you have a healed tattoo. Remember that part of the healing process is keeping a bandage or covering like Second Skin in place while healing tattoos, so it should be kept as long as possible.

If you must remove the Second Skin before those three hours, try not to disturb any bleeding or ink that may have stuck right below where you cut the Second Skin new bandage.

Immediately after removing it, apply a small amount of healing ointment or lotion and bandage with sterile gauze and tape.

After applying the first layer of bandage and tape, make sure your newly exposed skin surface is clean from dirt particles.

Just pat dry with a tissue, then apply another protective layer of tape over top this time around.

woman with tattoo artwork on her arms and chest

How Often Should You Change Your Second Skin On Your Tattoo?

It is important to keep your tattoo clean and covered with a second skin until the tattoo is completely healed. Depending on how quickly your body heals, it can take anywhere from two to six weeks for a new tattoo to heal.

During this time, you should change the second skin every three to four days. To do this, simply start by washing your hands before touching the area around the tattoo (this helps prevent infection).

Next, wash the tattoo itself using warm water, or lukewarm water, and a mild unscented soap or antimicrobial cleanser, with clean hands. Gently dry it off and then apply a fresh layer of skin over top.


It’s important to know how long to keep Second Skin on the tattoo, if you want your new ink to look its absolute best.

Second Skin should be kept in place for a minimum of three hours and can stay intact up to ten days, to protect your new tattoo.

Make sure that when you’re removing the product, you don’t disturb any bleeding or ink that may have stuck right below where you cut the Second Skin. Immediately thereafter, apply an ointment or lotion and bandage with sterile gauze and tape.

Change your second skin every three to four days during the healing stages (which usually takes anywhere from two-six weeks). During this time, make sure your newly exposed skin surface is clean from dirt particles and moisturize regularly (preferably twice per day) for optimal outcome.