What is Plasma and What Does it Do?
Plasma is a gooey, yellowish substance that begins oozing out of your tattoo when you finish a session. Plasma is vital in the tattoo healing process. But, how much do you really know about plasma? Don’t worry—we’ve got you covered!
Plasma, the liquid component of blood, makes up approximately 55% of your blood volume in the body. This liquid gold contains dissolved proteins, glucose, electrolytes, hormones, oxygen, carbon dioxide, and most importantly, clotting factors. Its main purpose is to haul these substances to the areas of the body which are most in need.
When your body is injured—the plasma is then sent to the surface of the skin to be utilized for its clotting properties. Here it oozes through the injury, creating a barrier. This barrier begins to dry and harden, developing a scab. Doing so stops blood flow and seals off the body from the risk of infection while the nutrients and proteins in this important fluid begin to do their job—heal the injury.
It’s totally normal for your tattoo to leak plasma as it heals and scabs. This leaking will happen within the first 24 to 48 of getting the tattoo. Additionally, if not maintained well, your tattoo can start to bubble (known as tattoo bubbling), increasing the risk of damaging the tattoo and getting an infection.
Of course, scabbing during a tattoo is often something we want to avoid—so how do we utilize the healing properties of plasma without creating the dreaded scab? By preventing the fluid to dry, of course.
Using the Benefits of Plasma without the Downsides
Saniderm seals in the plasma and keeps it in its liquid form, while still allowing your tattoo to breathe—another stage vital to the healing process. By keeping plasma in its liquid stage, it allows the fluid to do its basic function and heal the body through the use of its varied hormones and proteins. In its liquid form, plasma does not create the scabbing effect.
Is there a catch to this method?
Well, yes and no. Plasma’s healing properties are incredible and will heal your tattoo faster than if simply wiped away and not utilized. However, the problem lies in the plasma’s shelf life. Studies show that in its liquid form, the cells are only viable for approximately 24 hours. According to the American Red Cross, “Donated plasma is frozen within 24 hours of being donated in order to preserve the valuable clotting factors.”
For this reason, Saniderm’s instructions recommend removing the first bandage within 8-24 hours, depending on the level of weeping. As long as the bandage isn’t leaking plasma, you can leave Saniderm on for the full 24 hours. If you suspect there is a hole or a break in the seal of the bandage, it should be removed and replaced with a fresh bandage. Be sure to monitor the weeping closely and always replace the first bandage at the 24 hour mark.