Getting a tattoo is an exciting and personal decision, and after the inking process is complete, it's natural to want to show off your new artwork. However, it's crucial to prioritize the healing process to ensure the best long-term outcome. One common question that arises is, "How long after a tattoo can you swim?" In this comprehensive guide, we will address this question and provide you with valuable insights and guidelines to make informed decisions while safeguarding your tattoo investment. At Chronic Ink Tattoo, we prioritize both the artistry and aftercare of your tattoos, and we're here to help you navigate the healing process.
Why Can’t I Get My New Tattoo Wet?You can get it wet, but hygiene is everything. Keep it clean by washing it carefully in the initial days of healing, and you’re still able to shower. Nobody’s personal hygiene needs to suffer. Stick to the showers though and avoid baths, hot tubs, pools, and the ocean because appearance can suffer. Immersing your new tattoo in water for an extended period might dilute the ink and reduce vibrancy. Infection is likely. Your new tattoo is an open wound. Until the tattoo is healed, it is highly vulnerable to infection in the first few days. Chemicals hurt the skin. The chlorine used in pools and hot tubs can irritate your raw skin, causing blistering, itchy bumps, and peeling, which will affect how the tattoo appears after healing.
A Bit More About Infection
At the risk of belabouring the point and sounding like your mother, we think it’s worth mentioning the risk of infection again. Your new tattoo, as amazing as it looks, is still a wound. It is highly susceptible to bacterial infection. Any large body of water, be it the ocean or your bathtub, contains plenty of bacteria waiting for something to invade. Fully intact skin has no problem keeping out bacteria, but an open wound is fair game. In extreme cases, sepsis and death have been known to occur from bacterial infection of a new tattoo, so stay out of the water until it’s healed.
How Can I Avoid Soaking My New Tattoo?
The good news is that you don’t have to avoid washing for three weeks. Showering is safe. A handy hint can be to use plastic wrap with waterproof bandages in the early days to keep the area completely dry. After a few days, some running water from the shower shouldn’t be a problem. Avoid body lotions or oils, too. It brings moisture to the area and interferes with the skin’s healing processes. Once the tattoo is completely healed, applying lotion to the skin is considered good tattoo aftercare, as it keeps the skin healthy and supple under your tattoo. Avoid sweating, if possible. It isn’t always under your control, and you still have to work out, but avoid anything that makes you drip with sweat, like heavy running or hot yoga (at least, for the first few days). If you must gym after this, make sure you wash and dry the area thoroughly immediately after your workout to avoid germs under the bandages.
How Do I Know If My Tattoo Is Fully Healed?
Technically a tattoo isn’t considered fully healed until the new layer of skin has grown over it, which takes about three months. It pays to be mindful of the area and monitor it for signs of infection, including pain, swelling, discharge or fever. If you think your tattoo has become infected, seek medical advice immediately. If you’re able to stay out of water for the full three months, that’s healthier. Most people aren’t willing to interrupt their fun for that long, though, and four weeks should be enough time. Once all the scabs have fallen off and there’s no more peeling or itching, you can consider your tattoo healed enough to head out for a dip.
Getting a tattoo is an exciting experience, and it's crucial to give it the time it needs to heal properly. While the desire to swim after getting inked may be strong, it's essential to prioritize the healing process and follow expert recommendations. Swimming too soon can lead to complications, infections, or fading of your new tattoo. By waiting for the recommended healing period, taking necessary precautions, and following the aftercare instructions from Chronic Ink Tattoo, you can ensure the longevity and beauty of your artwork while enjoying the water without worry. Remember, patience is key to a successful tattoo healing journey.
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