How Long After A Tattoo Can You Swim? How to Protect A New Tattoo While Swimming?

If you have just got inked and cannot wait to flaunt that gorgeous tattoo in your swimming outfit, here is something you must know. Jumping into the pool straight after the tattoo parlor can lead you and your tattoo with some issues to regret later.

In this article, we shall discuss the various risks associated with healing tattoos due to swimming and the various ways you can protect them.

As we know and as you have experienced a tattoo skin bleeds during the process which means the needles go deep into your skin to engrave the tattoo ink.

Until the open pores and skin cells heal completely, swimming would be a bad idea for anyone who just got inked.

No professional tattoo expert will advise you to go ahead with water activities such as surfing, swimming, scuba diving, river rafting, etc. after a fresh tattoo. Unprotected tattoos pose more risks to the skin as well as the tattoo.

Before you read about the protection of tattoos from swimming, check out these quick solutions if you have accidentally got your tattoo wet with water a body:

  • Wash the tattoo with antibacterial soap or gel quickly.
  • Allow your tattoo to dry naturally or use a baby soft towel to pat it dry.
  • Make an appointment with your tattoo artist and let him/her take a look.
  • If needed, your tattoo artist may recommend some skin medicine or do re-touches too.

How long after a tattoo can you swim?

Until the tattoo has completely taken its shape and healed the skin, your tattoo area needs to remain dry and clean all the time.

You can certainly shower 48 hours post your tattoo but, swimming activity has to wait. Plan your tattoo visit to the parlor for a quick check before you plan to get into swimming.

You must allow the tattoo to heal completely which usually takes about 2 to 4 weeks according to the tattoo experts.

In case of special tattoos or as per the skin type, your tattoo designer will suggest you a shorter or longer healing period for the tattoo.

We suggest giving a grace period of at least 4 weeks before you jump into the pool with excitement. Your skin needs to be protected from germs, water-borne bacteria, and harsh chlorine waters.

We bet you won’t be able to resist shaving your skin to flaunt your new tattoo in your new swim outfit. Now, that’s something that will furthermore damage the skin cells and blur the tattoo ink.

The best thing would be to stay home and stay protected during your tattoo’s healing period.

Why is it not advisable to swim with an unprotected tattoo?

Swimming waters are full of chlorine which means harsh chemicals too bad for tattoo wounds. The chlorine can irritate the skin resulting in infections.

Other than that, various people swim in the same pool water and for that period you can consider the water contaminated, which is again bad for your fresh tattoo wound.

Your doctor will also advise you to stay away from swimming for various other medical reasons.

According to few health experts, when your skin tissues break the immune system gets affected and so sea salt water or poorly maintained hot tubs and swimming pools main pass bacterial through the contaminated waters.

Thus the penetrated bacteria may lead to damaged skin, blurring of ink, and mild to severe skin infections too.

Seawater is the riskiest to swim. It would be a terrible idea for you to visit the beach and try the water sport activities with your fresh tattoo on.

Don’t worry, once your tattoo is healed, you will be able to enjoy all of these more confidently. Although we suggested you stay away from swimming during the healing period, some are still too tempted to resist.

If it is unavoidable for you to prevent swimming, there are several ways you can protect your tattoos when swimming.

How to protect a new tattoo while swimming?

You will need to get a waterproof dressing to avoid water contact while swimming. Although there is no proven fact that waterproof dressing will work 100% but some people have benefited from the same.

Wrap your tattoo area with a waterproof bandage. Cover it as tightly as possible so that it makes it difficult for water to enter your skin.

Once you are done swimming, you can remove the bandage; and wash the area gently with warm water and gentle antibacterial soap. With the help of a soft towel, gently pat to dry the tattoo area.

The materials that come in handy for waterproof bandages are plastic wrap or seal wraps. You may also cover the area with thick layers of Vaseline.

If you are still confused about how and where to begin protection of tattoo from swimming here are quick tips to cover the tattoo area for swimming. Keep these handy with you even if you go for another tattoo in the future:

  • Apply thick layers of Vaseline/Neosporin on the tattoo area.
  • Take the support of a gauze pad and spread Tegaderm on the pad before you place the gauze pad sheet on the tattooed skin.
  • Seal the entire area with the help of a plastic or waterproof bandage.
  • After removing, wash the tattoo area with warm water and mild soap.
  • Pat the tattoo area dry gently and apply a branded sensitive moisturizer.

Final Words:

Good luck with your new tattoo and enjoy the healing process. You can utilize the same time in shopping for new clothes and swimming accessories until the tattoo settles. Patience is a virtue and so here too you need to follow the same. Remember, those temporary scabs are good compared to other skin rashes due to negligence.

Take a look at our other articles on the tattoo. Feel free to drop your comments and share your first swimming experience with the tattoo. We hope you enjoyed reading this article as much as we enjoyed writing it for you.