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How to Protect a New Tattoo While Swimming?

Swimming WIth Fresh Ink

Having fun on the beach during the summer or at your local pool parties might seem like the perfect opportunity to show off some fresh ink. But, hey! Don’t wear that swimwear just yet and try to avoid swimming with fresh ink, if possible.

Allowing your tattoo to completely heal is one of the best decisions you can make for your new tattoo. The healing process of your tattoo or tattoos can take at least two to four weeks to fully heal. Afterward, you are free to swim in any kind of water, be it swimming pools, a lake, a beach, rivers, or a dip in the sea.

Here, we have written extensively on everything you need to know about the effects of swimming with fresh ink, how to protect your new tattoo while swimming, what to do if you have gone swimming after a tattoo, and can you swim in chlorine after getting a tattoo, swimming in the ocean after tattoo and much more. Keep reading.

Can Swimming With Fresh Ink Affect A Tattoo Healing Process

Skin with tattoos can take two to three weeks to fully heal, like any other fresh wound. When issues arise, these larger, more intricate tattoos may take up to six weeks to complete. If the tattoo hasn’t healed, you should avoid swimming after the tattoo else you can only swim for a short while if it is totally unavoidable to go.

As previously mentioned, tattoo artists have varying opinions on swimming after a tattoo.

To choose when to return to the pool, I believe it would be wise to combine what the articles advise with advice from a competent tattoo artist. Nevertheless, we let ourselves some time to recover and avoid swimming.

After a Week

The micro-injury caused by the needle is still young, but your tattoo may require some bandaging, patches, or protective lotion and you should avoid swimming with a tattoo after one week. To keep the wound clean and sterile, wash tattoos once every two weeks with antibacterial soap and other materials. Swimming is the only activity that can remove fresh tattoo traces from the body.

Upon 2 Weeks

In the coming week, wound patches will heal considerably more quickly, but there will still be some scabbing. Ink shouldn’t be affected in either scenario by edema. A person with a tattoo may find it simpler to shower after getting one than to do so before. Some tattoo artists claim that swimming with fresh ink can be safe and that tattoos can be protected while doing so. While some claim that swimming after a tattoo is fully risky, others claim that the issue is still unclear.

After a Month

In roughly 5 to 6 weeks, the tattoo should be healed. It’s safe if your tattoo artist advises swimming with a new tattoo. Please check that everything went as planned by visiting the tattoo parlor or gallery where you got your tattoo. After the time period is over, you cannot swim with the tattoo exposed. The water won’t make the wound heal if it’s taken as directed. Continue according to all the aftercare instructions that your tattoo artist will provide. Additionally, it’s probable that fresh work may need to be performed and take longer to heal if the tattoo is larger.

What Are the Disadvantages of Swimming With Fresh Ink?

Allowing your tattoo to heal before swimming is very essential for your health as well as your new body art.

Here are some of the ill things you might experience if your pool after a tattoo without letting your tattoo wound get completely healed.

Risk of Infection

Apart from gentle washing, getting your tattoo wet is not ideal for your newly inked skin. This usually makes it prone to bacterial infection. The aftermath of getting a tattoo done is similar to having open wounds.

And when you submerge an open wound or a new tattoo in a swimming pool or any kind of water, your tattoo could get exposed to harmful bacteria in the water.

As such, individuals can suffer from a range of infections that could either be mild or severe. In rare cases, individuals with fragile skin can potentially suffer from infections such as sepsis, or worse can result in death.

The risk of infection may be lower in pools containing chlorine than in open water such as lakes or an ocean.

Damage to Your Tattoo

Saturating your new tattoo in water can cause discoloration and fading. Most especially, salt water is often hard on fresh tattoos as it can enhance the leaking of ink from a tattoo and make the color less vibrant.

Are you aware that swimming with a fresh ink tattoo can also dry out your skin?

This can prolong the healing and result in more itching, scabbing, and flaking of the open sore around the tattoed region. Swimming after a tattoo has just been inked on you can also cause patchiness, blurred lines, and fading of the tattoo.

And guess what happens to your new tattoo, it will become less appealing than you want it to be.

Skin Irritation

As expected, a new tattoo will irritate your skin due to the itchiness, swelling, and redness that accompanies the fresh wound. Although skin irritation doesn’t last for long, there are still potential risks that individuals with fragile skin can be exposed to such as gnarly infection.

The sensitivity experienced by an individual when exposing newly tattooed skin to chlorine and others can result in stinging, pain, as well as irritant contact dermatitis. All these effects can occur when chlorine and other chemicals penetrate the skin and spur inflammation.

The result on your skin is a red itchy rash that comes hand in hand with blistering, open sores, swelling, and crusting.

All of these can affect how your tattoo will look ultimately.

How to Avoid Swimming After a Tattoo

Despite the beaches and pool parties that summer offers, few people go fishing for amusement or enjoyment. A contestant must spend a lot of time on the water during the races in this demanding sport.

It’s possible that you won’t ever be permitted to participate in events like races or contests since tattoo shops are sometimes overbooked and many clients have to make reservations weeks or months in advance.

Usually, we recommend postponing your tattoo appointments or going swimming instead. Before bathing in the water, the tattoo might need to heal.

How Long Should You Wait to Swim With Fresh Ink

Most times, tattoos have to heal completely before swimming. How much the tattooing process takes varies between individual people.

When you get a tattoo, you will get one of your bandages. It may take up to an hour to remove the bandage and remove blood or ink from the wound.

Apply the aftercare cream to a damp towel and clean the surface. You’ll need your hands to clean and wash. During tattoo healing, flaky or scaly skin may form. Then the scab will fall away naturally, creating a new layer beneath the skin to heal itself. Your lifestyle and how engaged you are in aftercare will generally affect your healing time.

Here are the top picks for the tattoo aftercare cream based on the experts’ reviews

Last update on 2024-06-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

In other words, your tattoo heals when you engage in the ideal practices and care for the open wound around your fresh ink skin.

Your new tattoo can be considered completely healed when you no longer have red, itchy, scanning, or flaky skin. And if you are not certain about the healing process of your tattoo wound being completed, then you should swing by the tattoo studio where you got your new tattoo done in the first place and let your tattoo artist take a look at it.

How to Waterproof a Tattoo for Swimming

Exposing your new body art to water is inevitable when you have to participate in activities such as therapy and rehab for weeks. Here are some tips that can help you protect your fresh ink from getting wet.

Use a Waterproof Dressing

A waterproof dressing is a great way to protect your new tattoos if you have to submerge them in water. Having a waterproof material can come in quite handy for you as it can completely cover your tattoo. However, it is available in different sizes, sheets, and rolls.

Ensure that you use a waterproof bandage to fully cover the region where the tattoo is located before stepping into the swimming pool.

Note that if you are always keeping a healing tattoo wrapped, it can interfere with the healing process. Thus, the less time you do it, the better for you.

Use A Plastic Wrap

If you cannot get a hold of a water-resistant bandage, you can still make do with plastic wrap. Just secure the plastic tightly around the tattooed region. It is essentially ideal for quick showers and can be used until your tattoo is fully healed.

Clean the Tattoo Immediately After Swimming

Dab your skin dry with a towel before removing the bandage from your skin to prevent water from running over it.

Next, remove the bandage with utmost care and gently wash the tattoo using mild soap and warm water or an antibacterial wash. You can also use this simple method when taking your baths.

Here are the top picks based on the experts’ recommendations for the antibacterial soap

Last update on 2024-06-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

How to Know if Your Tattoo Has Been Healed Properly

It might be quite tricky and impossible to know the tattoo has fully healed. This is due to the way your tattoo might look or feel at least at the surface as it might be looking healed.

Several tattoo artists contemplate that a healing tattoo process occurs within two to four weeks but varies on the location and size of the new tattoo on the body of an individual.

In rare cases, a new tattoo healing process can take as long as six months to heal completely. Your lifestyle and how engaged you are in tattoo aftercare will generally affect your healing time.

In other words, your tattoo heals when you engage in the ideal practices and care for the open wound around your fresh ink skin.

What To Do If Already Done Pool After Tattoo

What happens if I went swimming with my new tattoo? There might be a question that keep alarming you. Don’t be alarmed even if you have already gone swimming with a new tattoo and without any precautions or means to protect your new tattoo. However, it is important to seek medical help for treatment when you notice any trouble signs.

Note that the soreness, redness, and itchiness associated with a newly done tattoo will only last for a few weeks, and is quite natural.

And if it persists more than that, your tattoo might have been potentially exposed to an infection.

Post Swimming — Tattoo Care

Now that you’ve gotten into the water, and enjoyed yourself, it’s also important that you have an appropriate way of caring for your beloved tattoos.

Some steps have been provided as they’ll ensure you still have a good experience even after swimming with new tattoo. They include:

Ensure you wash the tattoo at least twice with water and soap. In the process of washing try to be careful with it.

After washing your tattoo, it’s advised that you air dry your ink or you can use a neat cloth or towel.

It is very important you apply an ointment or moisturizer after cleaning it, as this would keep your tattoo moist.

For your ease, here are the top pick for the best ointment or moisturizer:

Last update on 2024-06-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Frequently Asked Questions: Swimming After Tattoo

Are Tattoos water-friendly?

No! It’s crucial that your tattoo doesn’t spend too much time in the water as this might cause skin irritation and tattoo scabbing.

Can I get in the pool with a new tattoo?

It is often recommended to steer clear of swimming pools, hot tubs, or any other preferences of water as it is not good for your newly done tattoo until it’s fully healed.

What happens if you swim after getting a tattoo?

Your tattoo will get damaged. Fresh tattoos are particularly vulnerable to the effects of chlorine and other chemicals since both can erode the ink, dulling the color. Additionally, it may result in fading, patchiness, and blurred lines.

Can I swim with Saniderm on my tattoo?

Wearing Saniderm allows you to take a regular bath, relax in a hot tub, and go swimming. The corners could seem to be just a little bit peeled up.

Why can’t I swim with a new tattoo?

Having a new tattoo on your body is like having an open sore. So basically you need not use a swimming pool unless your body art is ready.

There are also high chances of developing a bacterial infection if you swim with a new tattoo.


As mentioned earlier, before you consider getting your tattoo wet. Make sure you have a water-resistant material that is wrapped in the tattooed region.

That’s not all, also ensure that the wrap fully covers the inking layer of your skin to prevent another health issue apart from infection to occur or happen. Your healing skin continuously needs an air-dry environment, clean air, and a clean environment.

Also, note that there is no need to panic concerning your health if you observe any sign of peeling, scabbing, or any form of scratch on the inking region. It only shows that you are getting better.

Note that the time to heal for each individual varies on the type of skin. However, it requires a lot of aftercare processes such as using cream to remove scabs.

Robert Green

Robert Green, the brain and brawn behind TattooLous is a tattoo enthusiast and a raging bullbat. After getting 20 tattoos made and even working as a professional tattoo artist for almost 5 years at a stretch, Robert chose to contribute towards the tattooing community in a different yet rewarding manner. Robert believes that the tattoo-making industry is rife with possibilities and, therefore, strives towards educating budding tattoo artists about the choice of kits, machines, aftercare products, and more. Moreover, each of Robert’s drafts is even relevant to the professional tattoo experts who are seeking additional insights into exclusive products and accessories.

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