My Tattoo Looks Smudged Under Saniderm
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My Tattoo Looks Smudged Under Saniderm. Help. What Do I DO?

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My tattoo looks smudged under saniderm – Help. What Do I Do?

Tattoo aftercare is an essential part of the tattooing process. It helps to ensure that the tattoo heals properly and looks great for years to come. One popular method of aftercare is the use of Saniderm dressings or breathable bandage.

These medical grade bandage dressings have become increasingly popular in recent years because of their many benefits. However, some people worry their tattoo looks smudged under saniderm.

If you have noticed that your tattoo looks smudged under Saniderm, don’t panic. The tattoo isn’t actually smudged. Instead, what you are seeing is the accumulation of fluid and ink under the dressing that just makes it look smudged. The tattoo will look fine once you remove the dressing and clean it.

To ensure that your ink heals properly, it’s important to follow proper aftercare procedures. This includes keeping the area clean and dry, avoiding direct sunlight, and using the right products for your skin type.

Saniderm dressings can be a great option for aftercare, but it’s important to use them carefully to ensure that you get the best results. Read on to find out more to find out how so that you dont make mistakes in healing your new design.

If you need more information on tattoo aftercare please check out this post – After Tattoo Care – Everything you need to know

If you are worried you may have a blowout this post will help you identify it – What Is a Tattoo Blowout? Can It Be Fixed?

Why does my tattoo look smudged under Saniderm?

Saniderm is a popular option for tattoo aftercare, but some people may notice that their tattoo looks smudged or blurry while using this product. However, this is not necessarily a cause for concern. In fact, the tattoo isn’t smudged at all. Rather, the appearance of smudging is due to fluid and ink accumulating under the tattoo dressing.

Is it normal for a tattoo to smudge under Saniderm?

Yes, it is normal for a tattoo to appear smudged under the film.

The dressing film creates a seal over the ink which can cause fluid and ink to accumulate underneath it. This can make the tattoo look smudged or blurry, but it is simply a result of the accumulated ink and fluid blurring across the skin.

Remember – The Tattoo itself is not smudged. It just looks that way until you clean it

With a dressing film, you can even get something called a Tattoo Ink Sack which is a big blister of ink under the dressing.

Whilst this looks dramatic and worrying it is generally not a big concern and the tattoo will still heal just fine.

You can find out more about Tattoo Ink Sacks in this post. The Tattoo Ink Sack. Is It Normal? Can You Pop It?

It is important to follow proper aftercare instructions when using Saniderm or any other tattoo aftercare product.

This includes keeping the tattoo clean and dry, avoiding direct sunlight and submerging the tattoo in water, and not scratching or picking at the tattoo. With proper care, everything should heal properly and look vibrant and clear.

Tattoo Ink Sack on Tattoo
Fluid can seep out of the tattoo to make it look blurred. If there is a lot of fluid it’s called a Tattoo Ink Sack

Understanding the Saniderm Tattoo Dressing

When you get new ink, it’s important to take proper care of it to ensure proper healing and preservation of the design. One popular option for aftercare is the Saniderm tattoo dressing, which is a medical-grade, waterproof bandage that is breathable and used like a “second skin” to heal your tattoo.

It is a great alternative to the old methods of healing.

There are many other brands of this kind of healing dressing but Saniderm is the most well known.

After Tattoo Care Dressing Film
There are lots of different brands of After Tattoo Care Dressing Film but they all function the same way.

However, when using dressing film for aftercare, it’s important to follow the instructions your Tattooist gives you carefully.

Generally, the routine for using Saniderm goes as follows.

How to Use Saniderm For Healing A Tattoo

Saniderm is a medical-grade, breathable, waterproof tattoo bandage that can be used for tattoo aftercare. It is engineered to be permeable to gases, like oxygen, and protect your tattoo from scabbing, infection, and other irritants that can damage tattoos, so your work stays bright and vibrant.

Your Tattoo artist will apply the tattoo wrap at the end of the tattoo session to the fresh tattoo.

A larger tattoo may need more than one sheet of dressing to cover it.

Here are some steps to follow when using Saniderm for tattoo aftercare:

Step 1: Remove the Initial Saniderm Dressing

The first Saniderm dressing applied by the artist must be worn for 24 hours, do not remove it early. After 24 hours you need to change it. The best way to do this is in the shower.

Before you do anything to Remove the dressing, wash your hands well with soap and water

In the shower, remove the initial dressing by gently peeling it off in the direction of hair growth. If there is any resistance or discomfort, wet the dressing with warm water to help loosen the adhesive.

Stretching the dressing by pulling the sides of it to slacken it also helps

Step 2: Clean the Tattoo Area

After removing the initial Saniderm dressing, clean the area with warm water and mild soap.

Use only your clean hands and unscented soap. No scrubs or sponges or harsh chemicals.

Gently pat the area dry with a clean paper towel or clean towel.

Avoid using abrasive materials or rubbing the tattoo area.

Step 3: Apply a New Saniderm Dressing

After cleaning the area, apply a new Saniderm dressing.

Ensure that the tattooed skin is completely dry before applying the new dressing.

Smooth out any wrinkles or air bubbles in the dressing to ensure proper adhesion.

Leave the second dressing on for 5 or 6 days.

During this time, the tattoo may again appear smudged or blurry due to fluid and ink accumulating under the dressing. However, this is normal and does not indicate that the tattoo is smudged.

You can shower, swim or exercise with the Saniderm on, but avoid soaking the tattoo in water.

Step 4: Remove the dressing completely

After 5 or 6 days you can remove the dressing.

You might find that your skin is dry. Flaking skin or dryness at this point is normal.

As long as the ink is fully healed, you can apply a thin layer of fragrance-free lotion or ointment to the tattoo.

Continue to apply lotion or ointment as needed to keep the skin moisturized and prevent itching.

A small amount of Bepanthen is helpful to moisturise the new tattoo

You can read more about Bepanthen for Tattoos. Is It Still Good?

Important considerations for using dressing film correctly

Avoid Sweating

It’s important to avoid any things that can cause a build up of sweat under the dressing. Sweating can increase the chance of clogged pores, allergic reactions and uneven healing.

This includes

  • Intense gym or exercise sessions
  • Hot tubs
  • Saunas
  • Super hot long showers

Avoid soaking

It’s perfectly fine to have a quick shower with the tattoo bandage on. However, you want to avoid soaking the dressing and letting it become waterlogged.


  • Saunas
  • Hot tubs
  • Swimming pools
  • Soaking in the bath
  • Soaking in work environments.

Avoid Infection risks

Whilst the bandage is a semi waterproof bandage and protective it can’t protect the tattoo from waterborne bacteria. For this reason its important to avoid sources of tattoo infection such as

  • Swimming pools
  • Hot Tubs
  • Saunas
  • Wild Swimming in the sea, lakes or rivers.

It’s best to avoid these infection sources for a little while even after removing the dressing. Allowing the tattoo to heal for a good three weeks is ideal.

Some pole can have an saniderm allergic reaction. If you are worried about this find out more in this post
Saniderm allergic reaction and tattooing – the truth

Can I Take the Saniderm off Early?

It is important to leave the Saniderm dressing on for the full 5 or 6 days to ensure proper healing.

If the dressing is removed early, the tattoo may not heal properly and may be more susceptible to infection.

Unless you develop an allergy to the dressing it really is best to keep it on as long as you have been told by your Tattooist to prevent infection

How To Remove Saniderm

When it’s time to remove the Saniderm dressing, it’s important to do it properly to avoid damaging the tattoo or causing unnecessary pain. Here’s how to remove Saniderm:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly with bar soap and water.
  • Pull on the 2 opposite corners of the dressing in a direction across the skin. This slackens the strength of the dressing and makes it easier to remove
  • Use a small amount of warm water to help loosen the adhesive if necessary.
  • Slowly peel the dressing back over itself in the direction of hair growth, taking care not to tug or pull on the skin.

How to remove Saniderm Adhesive From The Skin

After final removal, the dressing can leave a sticky residue on the skin which is irritating and looks grim.

If the this is difficult to remove, try applying a small amount of baby oil or coconut oil to help break down the adhesive. Then rub gently which should remove it.

Advantages of Using Saniderm To Heal Your Tattoo

Saniderm is a popular tattoo dressing that is used to protect tattoos during the healing process.

It’s a great improvement on the old healing methods of using Saran Wrap or cling film.

It is a semi permeable bandage which provides a barrier that protects the tattoo from dirt, friction, and bacteria, while also allowing the skin to breathe. This helps the tattoo heal faster and more efficiently. This faster tattoo healing is the main advantage of using it as well as preventing infection and speeding recovery time

Here are the main advantages of using Tattoo wraps

1- Protects The Tattoo From Infection

One of the biggest advantages of using Saniderm is that it reduces the risk of infection. When a tattoo is fresh, it is vulnerable to infection, and if it becomes infected, it can cause serious health problems.

Saniderm acts as a barrier that prevents bacteria from entering the wound, reducing the risk of infection.

2 – Keeps the Tattoo moisturised to prevent scabbing

Another advantage of using Saniderm is that it helps to keep the tattoo moisturized. When a design is fresh, it is important to keep it moisturized to prevent scabbing and to promote healing.

Scabby skin happens when the bodies healing plasma meets oxygen and dries to form scabs.

Saniderm locks in the body’s natural healing fluids and moisture and keeps it from drying, keeping the tattoo hydrated and helping it to heal quickly and efficiently.

It’s worth noting that a good tattoo from a professional tattoo artist shouldn’t really scab. 

3 – Convenient

Using Saniderm is also convenient. Unlike traditional dressings, Saniderm is a transparent film that can be worn for several days. This means that you don’t have to change the dressing as often, which can be time-consuming and uncomfortable.

Overall, Saniderm is a great option for those looking for a convenient and effective way to protect their ink during the healing process. It helps to reduce the risk of infection, keep the tattoo moisturized, and is easy to use.

What to do in the first 24 hours of getting a tattoo tattoo Dressing Film
Matching Tattoos covered with tattoo dressing film

Allergies to Tattoo Dressing Bandages

It is important to note that Saniderm or dressings are not suitable for everyone. If you have sensitive skin or an allergy to adhesives, you should avoid using this method. This is rare however.

Additionally, if you experience any discomfort or irritation while using Saniderm you could be having an allergic reaction. This usually shows. up as an intense itch and the dressing becoming red around the edges.

If this happens talk to your Tattooist and see what they recommend..

If you are worried as you have sensitive skin please talk to your own Tattooist about it first.

Do I Have A Tattoo Blowout?

If your Tattoo looks smudged then you may be worrying that you have a blow-out.

However, if you have recently gotten a tattoo and it appears smudged under Saniderm, it is likely not a tattoo blowout. Instead, it could be due to fluid and ink accumulating under the tattoo dressing. This is a normal part of the healing process, and the appearance should improve as the tattoo heals.

Wait until all the dressings are off and the tattoo is healed before panicking.

If you do have a tattoo blowout this article walks you through your options. Tattoo blowout removal – How to fix your botched ink

This post may be helpful Tattoo Blowout or Bruising. How To Tell The Difference.

What Is A Tattoo Blowout?

A tattoo blowout happens when ink is positioned too deep into the skin, into the fat layer causing it to spread and blur outside of the intended design.

This can make the tattoo appear smudged or blurry, under the skin.

Whether or not you get a blowout is all down to the skill of your artist in positioning the ink in the correct layer of skin.

It doesn’t have anything to do with your aftercare regime.

Can You Fix or Mend A Tattoo Blowout?

Unfortunately, there is no way to completely fix a blown out tattoo.

However, there are some things that can be done to improve the appearance. One option is to have the tattoo artist go over the design again, which can help to darken the lines and make the ink appear more defined.

A colour can also be tattooed around the edge of the blowout to hide the stray ink.

Another option is to have a laser treatment done, which can help to break up the ink and reduce the appearance of the blowout.

It is important to note that prevention is key when it comes to avoiding tattoo blowouts. This can be achieved by choosing a skilled and experienced tattoo artist, as well as avoiding areas of the body that are prone to blowouts, such as the handsand feet or under the arms.

If you have gone to an experienced artist you shouldn’t get a blowout.

Frequently asked Questions About A Tattoo Looking Smudged under Saniderm

Can Saniderm pull out ink?

If you’re worried about Saniderm pulling out your tattoo ink, there’s no need to be concerned. Saniderm is designed to protect your tattoo and it won’t pull out any ink. So, you can rest assured that using Saniderm as directed will help your tattoo heal without any risk of ink loss.

Can I take Saniderm off after 3 days?

If possible it is best to keep the saniderm on for 5 or 6 days or whatever your Tattooist has told you. This is because it will give the maximum amount of protection whilst the tattoo is still vulnerable to infection. Only remove it if you are having an allergic reaction.

Conclusion : My tattoo looks smudged under saniderm – Help. What Do I Do?

So basically, don’t panic!. If your tattoo looks smudged under Saniderm, it is likely not a tattoo blowout.

Instead, it could be due to fluid and ink accumulating under the dressing which makes it look blurred. This is a normal part of the healing process, and the appearance should improve as soon as you remove the dressing and clean down the tattoo.

Most likely the tattoo is just fine under there, will heal beautifully and you will end up with the perfect tattoo.

If you are still concerned, talk to your tattoo artist about your options.

The information on the site is for entertainment only. Anything you do is at your own risk. Consult with your own Tattooist, Piercer or Doctor for advice.
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