Skip to content

Can Saniderm Ruin a Healing Tattoo?

a tattooed person with acne on her belly

This post may contain affiliate links. This means we may earn a small commission if you purchase something from a link. This does not cost you any extra and helps us keep the lights on. Thank you!

Luckily, Saniderm can’t ruin a tattoo. This is a common worry because your tattoo can look pretty awful during the healing process while still under the Saniderm. But don’t worry – there is nothing in Saniderm that could possibly ruin your tattoo. After you remove the Saniderm and wash your tattoo, you’ll see that it was kept completely safe under all the plastic and lymph.

Why Does My Tattoo Look Smudged Under the Saniderm?

Your tattoo may look smudged under the Saniderm because of all the moisture trapped between the plastic layer and your tattoo. A lot of sweat and lymph can be released from your skin and get stuck in the area right under the Saniderm. Your tattoo artist should have rinsed off any extra ink before applying the Saniderm, but if they missed any, this would also get stuck under the plastic and give the appearance of a smudged tattoo. Don’t worry – once you remove the Saniderm and wash it off, your tattoo will not be smudged.

Why Does Saniderm Wrinkle Tattoos?

Just like staying in the bath too long, your skin will wrinkle if it is wet too long. Because Saniderm traps moisture against the skin, it can cause your tattoo to wrinkle. The wrinkling is not dangerous for your tattoo and once you remove the Saniderm and let the moisture escape, your tattoo will return to normal. If your uncomfortable with the wrinkle, you can remove the Saniderm early and allow your skin to dry out. Then if you like, you can apply a fresh layer of Saniderm for the rest of the healing process.

Saniderm VS Tegaderm VS SecondSkin VS Tatu-derm

While it appears Saniderm is the most popular, there is very little difference between these products. They function the same way: by gluing a piece of plastic over your tattoo to protect it during the initial healing phase. You can choose any of these products based on availability, price, artist recommendation, or possible reactions to the adhesive.

Is It Normal For Saniderm to Feel Tight?

Instead of appearing smudged and wrinkled, you may have the opposite feeling of your Saniderm feeling tight or dry. This is also completely normal. Tattoos naturally get a little dry and itchy as they heal. Your Saniderm will feel tight if you don’t produce a lot of sweat and lymph. If the tightness becomes unbearable, you can remove the Saniderm early and apply a lotion to help the dryness. You can reapply a fresh layer of Saniderm if desired.


While your tattoo might look messed up, smudged, or wrinkled under your Saniderm, there is nothing in Saniderm that could permanently ruin a tattoo. Your tattoo appears this way because of the invisible layer of sweat and lymph that builds up over time between the plastic and your skin. Once you remove the Saniderm and wash off any built up fluid, your tattoo will return back to normal. It’s completely safe to remove the Saniderm early and reapply a fresh sheet after cleaning it if you feel the need.