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Neosporin & tattoo aftercare: heal your ink the right way.
Sep 10, 2007
by Larry McKinney
a Very Helpful Review
by the Epinions community
Pros:Does a good job of helping to prevent infection, decreases healing time.
Cons:Can go on too thick and cause an ink draining scab.
The Bottom Line: I'd use it for other wounds but I'd try to find Tattoo Goo for my tat work.
Normally I try to cover all the bases with every Epinion I write. The fact of the matter is, however, that there are over 100 other Epinions about Neosporin. For me to spend more than a paragraph or two about the product in general is foolish when you could click here and get the straight dope from better writers than me. What I can do is give you something nobody else has: a specific use for the product.
Recommend this product?
What is Neosporin?
Generally speaking, Neosporin is a gel with roughly the consistency of Vaseline that is intended to aid in wound care. The manufacturer claims that applying this gel to a cut, scrape, or other wound of that type will reduce the odds of infection while speeding the healing process.
Let me say that for general wound care like scraped knees or cut hands I believe in Neosporin. I apply it under a bandage and seem to get really good results each time. I even suspect it helps to keep scarring to a minimum.
Why would I use it on my tattoo?
If you are already among the masses with a tattoo you know that the healing period that lasts for about two weeks after you get your ink is critical. If you take care of your wound you'll be left with bright, impressive tattoo work but if you neglect it you could lose all of your color and detail!
Because Neosporin is meant to aid in wound healing it is recommend by many tattoo shops for use on the tattoo during those first couple of weeks.
How do I use it?
Apply a THIN LAYER to the tattoo. I can't emphasize THIN LAYER enough. Your tattoo will soak in all the moisture it needs within 15 minutes of the application of Neosporin. If your tattoo still looks wet or shiny after that period you used too much...get a dry paper towel and gently dab some off.
Why is the thin layer important? Neosporin clogs pores to cause your body to scab and protect itself. A heavy scab on a tattoo means you are losing more ink...your body is pushing the ink out to create the scab. A perfect tattoo scab is like a peeling sun burn, very thin and nearly colorless. This type of result will leave you with a quality tattoo.
Does it help?
Sure. It decreases the time needed to heal and keeps the skin in the damaged (tattooed) area flexible to ease discomfort. Neosporin does help keep infection away and we all know that an infected tattoo hurts like the devil, looks like garbage, and will likely be ruined for life. A heavily infected tattoo could lead to blood poisoning or other serious medical issues.
Can it hurt?
Yes again. Too much too often will cause you to scab too heavily. Apply Neosporin in that thin layer I mentioned no more than three times a day (morning, noon, night). Any more is just plain overkill and leads to poor results.
Is it easy to apply?
It's very easy to get Neosporin onto your body. Squeeze some out of the tube onto your finger and rub it on. Getting a thin enough layer is the hard part as Neosporin applied to a normal wound doesn't have a need to be thin so it goes on thick.
How much ink for the tube?
I had a full bicep piece when I used Neosporin and went through about half a tube in two weeks. That said, I overdid it a bit because nobody gave me info that was this detailed. Take it easy and you can do a BIG tat with this sized tube.
Is Neosporin the best option?
I think it's second best. Personally, I did my most recent tat with a tin of Tattoo Goo and got a much thinner scab and better result with my tat. That said, if I couldn't buy Tattoo Goo in my area (you have to buy it from a tat/piercing shop, it's not sold directly to the general public) I'd try Neosporin and be very careful with it.
Research it yourself:
You can learn more about Neosporin at:
It's a good second choice for healing your tattoo. For other injuries I consider it a must to keep my skin free of injury and ready to perform at my best.
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It won't run your car...other than that, it's great.
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