Home » What is Ink Sack Tattoo? – A Complete Guide!

What is Ink Sack Tattoo? – A Complete Guide!

Tattoos are a distinctive art form, allowing you to express your innermost desires. However, it is also a craft that is covered in mystery, with folks needing to become more familiar with some of the intrinsic parts of the process. And one such part is an ink sack.

An ink sack tattoo is not something anywhere who is a beginner in the affairs of tattoos would be familiar with. And it is understandable, and a tattoo ink sack is not something that one can easily explain. But it is crucial that one knows about them.

What is an Ink Sack?

What is an Ink Sack?
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There is a layer of aqueous fluid that forms over the tattoo but under the film used by the tattoo artist, called an ink sack. The film used by the tattoo artist is called Saniderm. It ensures that your tattoos are clean & protected from infections by forming right over them and preventing them from getting underneath.

That is the gist of an ink sack – a layer of aqueous fluid is formed after the tattoo is inked on the individual’s body.

Why Use Saniderm When it Results in Ink Sack?

Why Use Saniderm When it Results in Ink Sack
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Before going into the in-depth analysis of Ink Sack and the impact it has on the tattoo and the tattooed individual, it is crucial to understand the need to use Saniderm.

Ink sacks occur after a tattooist places Saniderm over a fresh tattoo while they’re still wet. There are many reasons for using Saniderm over the tattooed area; the followings are just of them.

  • This practice enables faster wound-closing and lower risks of flesh-penetrating injuries.
  • Preventing excess bleeding and ink from spilling everywhere, which can ruin the clothes the tattooed individual is wearing.
  • It prevents contamination of the ‘wound.’
  • Saniderm protects the ‘wound’ from bacteria, germs, dirt, etc.
  • Finally, it also prevents tattoo scabbing.

Saniderm is effective because it not only covers the tattoo but also helps seal excess ink inside of the tattoo. It prevents and continues the healing process for a smoother recovery. The benefits of using Saniderm are there for one to see.

People generally interpret an ink sack as a sign of something wrong and often worry that it may develop into a severe issue, but they don’t have to. The formation of the ink sack is entirely normal.

Now, let’s get into the guide, the tattoo ink sack.

The Cause Behind the Formation of Ink Sack

The Cause Behind the Formation of Ink Sack
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The use of Saniderm is only one part of the equation that results in the formation of an Ink Sack on the skin. It is very crucial for you to have a complete picture in your hand.

The tattooing process destroys the skin and, after that, injects the area with the ink. When our bodies are injured, some cells release fluid into the surface tissues called plasma. It is what’s found under wounds or skin lesions, and it helps the body heal itself.

After applying the film, plasma and ink in the tattoo will start forming a fluid-filled sack. It is a normal and safe reaction from our bodies.

Wraps have often been used in the past to cover injuries. Still, recent innovations have made them less cumbersome and more practical. Saniderm’s innovative wraps keep skin moist, absorb sweat, and allow airflow for ionized mineral delivery.

In the event that blood or plasma touches a wound, it creates a suction, which can cause damage to surrounding tissues. The Saniderm plaster is designed to be a barrier to prevent this. It contains the liquid from seeping out by creating a seal in the injured area.

Does the Ink Sack Negatively Impact on the Tattoo?

Does the Ink Sack Negatively Impact on the Tattoo
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The idea that an ink sack could cause a tattoo to peel off from the skin and ruin it isn’t the craziest thing you can imagine. However, we can now say that it would not happen.

Instead, Ink sacks are necessary to keep your new tattoo looking vibrant and healthy. They also help with healing by keeping the tattoo moist more and without damaging it.

The ink sacks are great since they create space between the film and the tattoo, allowing for comfort and versatility. Using the correct type of cover for your tattoo is critically essential.

The Saniderm tattoo film adhesive can be prevented from sticking to tattoos by using a DermSea Ink Sack. In some cases, the actual tattoos have been damaged from the ink sacks, but using Saniderm film, helps ultimately save the day.

However, improper use of Saniderm can result in ruined tattoos. It creates a risk of bacterial contamination and overall infection. Do make sure you use the right size of ink sack before it gets applied to your skin! The incorrect application will cause the sack to leak.

You should also keep an eye on your tattoo, at least in the first few weeks after the process. Doing so will make you aware of any possible ill effects, such as infection and such, and provide you with a fair warning.

Is Removing an Ink Sack Wise?

Is Removing an Ink Sack Wise?
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When your tattoo begins to be a little too full for comfort, you’ll need to have it removed. That process starts by ensuring the ink sack is at least a quarter’s thickness.

A full ink sack can cause fluid to leak out. Because of this, bacteria may get in as well and create infections.

When a tattoo is done correctly, the skin under the colors turns pink and feels soft. Always wait for 8 to 24 hours before removing the Saniderm film.

Saniderm is intended to be worn and left on for over six days. If your tattoo heals under this amount, you will need to recover it with a new application of Saniderm. Suppose the tattoo is filled with sack again too quickly, then clean and replace it within 24 hours. Keep an eye on the tattoo for the signs of infection as well.

Signs of an infection in the first 24 hours can be easily detected, including visible redness, skin irritation, and itching. Early treatment will be required to reduce outbreaks.

Other signs of infection can vary depending on the individual. These symptoms could be anything from fever, redness, irritation, pus discharge, sensitivity to touch, blisters (also known as formed lesions), and bad smell. Severe pain and blisters are also possible complications.

Serious infection after a tattoo only happens about 5% of the time. It should not be a significant concern if proper aftercare is taken. it is better to get medical attention from your trusted dermatologist if you notice anything unusual during your healing process.

Removing the Ink Sack

Removing the Ink Sack
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Make sure you thoroughly clean the tattoo and dry it before putting on any ointment of your choice. Then, pull the film down in a downward direction to remove it.

It prevents you from having to lift off scabs or healthy skin. The normal tattoo healing process can only happen if you let them fall off naturally, not being picked or pulled.

After removing the film, you must clean the tattoo with hot water and a rag. It would be best to avoid soap as it’s not good for your skin. Don’t submerge your tattoo in water, as it can allow bacteria to infect it.

Now that the tattoo is clean pat it dry. Be careful when you get a tattoo, and avoid scrubbing the area too hard or pulling on the new tattoo when patted dry.

Before applying any ointment, it is crucial to ensure that the area where the tattoo is located has been cleaned and dried. Additionally, you should use only products recommended by your tattoo artist.

In the first two days, the ointment should not be applied directly to the tattoo under the film, but certain lotions can be applied. People with oily skin or staying in humid areas don’t need to worry about applying ointments.

A clean and dry tattoo surface is essential for preventing ink build-up and infection. If you’re cleaning the inks used on your tattoo within 2-3 days of getting it, make sure to dry the area with a paper towel or similar. Then place a new film over it.

Popping an Ink Sack Tattoo

Popping an Ink Sack Tattoo
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Popping an ink sack when the tattoo is healing is not recommended by any stretch. However, that is not to say you cannot take it off, clean the tattooed area, and, most importantly, replace the film that is covering the tattoo.

Make sure to remove each film after the first 24 hours. Clean it and then dry it thoroughly. Replace all protective films over your tattoo and cover it with a new one if necessary to give it some time to heal before re-applying.

With traditional tattoo care, you will not need to replace films but continue with your care regimen for more extended periods.

Remember that once ink sacks leak, or any type of ink cartridge cracks, it is a chance for bacteria to multiply and enter and then infection to begin. Make sure to clean and dry immediately if your ink sack has cracked or leaked in any way & a new film should be placed over it.

What Happens When one Removes the Ink Sack too Early?

What Happens When one Removes the Ink Sack too Early
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The rule of thumb is to follow your tattoo artists’ advice, even if that means sticking with some irritation on having an ink sack on your skin.

Tattoo healing typically heals in six to nine weeks. Leaving the ink sack open is not recommended as it could cause an infection, and your skin may take longer to heal.

Because your tattoo will require a longer time to heal, you should avoid removing the film over it. Doing so will also help reduce the potential for infection.

According to tattoo artists, the film should be thrown away after 48 hours. If your tattoo artist tells you otherwise, be sure to trust their judgment. Tattoo ink heals faster with the use of a film, so the most important thing is to stick by their instructions.

Preventing the Ink Sack From Forming

Preventing the Ink Sack From Forming
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Ink sacks are part of the healing process. They form a liquid sac that helps with inflammation and healing. So, by itself, there is no way one can prevent the formation of the ink sack beneath the Saniderm film.

However, always keep in mind that not all tattoos form an ink sack, either. If you don’t want or need one, traditional aftercare methods work just as well. This method of care is used in healing your tattoo and has been done for many years.

You should remember that Ink sacks are not unhealthy; they only look slightly different. It is important to follow the tattoo artist’s aftercare instructions carefully. These will help with your healing time and provide optimal success in achieving the goal of a longer-lasting tattoo.

Keep in mind that when you choose your tattoo artist, the place should be clean and their practices healthy. Your tattoo will heal fully and faster with good care.


There is no question about the vital role tattoos play in our society, allowing one to express oneself to the broader world effectively. However, several questions are there that still need to be answered concerning the tattoo and the art behind it, including the formation of the ink sack.

Your tattoo may seem to form a bulging sack under your bandage, but it is actually a wholly normal & natural phenomenon. It just needs to happen in order for the healing process to begin!

We hope that our detailed insight has calmed you down and provided you with peace of mind. Make sure to speak with your tattoo artist or seek medical attention if you notice anything off about the tattoo artist’s ink sack.

About Author

Jonathan Corby "Jonny" is a guy who is passionate about Tattooing and successfully running a Tattoo Studio in NY. Through my journey as a Tattoo Artist I have made unforgettable memories. This irrational poetry and sense of freedom of art on skin has given a blissfull experience to my life. Each Tattoo has a story behind it; Lets share one!