Swimming After Tattoo

Now you have got that great new tattoo, and you just feel like swimming. But then you hesitate and wonder if it would be okay. Great tattoo requires great care to help keep it awesome for longer periods. Otherwise, it can quickly turn into a disaster. There are instructions for properly caring for your tattoo as well as things that you should avoid.

Can You Go For Swimming After Tattoo?

“NO!” you cannot go swimming right after getting your tattoo; however, you will eventually be able to enjoy the water again.

The instructions for caring for a new tattoo indicate that you should avoid submerging your new tattoo. This means that you can get it wet while showering, but swimming is different. When you swim, the tattoo is completely submerged for an extended period of time, which may cause damage to your tattoo. Avoid anything other than a gentle shower or cleaning for two to three weeks.

How Long Do You Have to Wait?

If your desire to go swimming after tattoo is really strong, wait for about 2-3 weeks; however some artists may request that you wait longer.

When you get a new tattoo you are essentially poking holes in your skin. All of these open holes provide excellent breeding grounds for bacteria and infections.

You will know that you can go swimming again once all of the flaking and peeling has ended. This means that you will no longer have an open wound that creates scabs. Officially, it takes up to 3 months for your body to grow a new protective layer of skin over the tattoo.

Pay attention to the open wound of the new tattoo and swim when you have been given the go ahead by your tattoo artist.

How to Take Care of Your New Tattoo

You want to ensure that your tattoo continues to look good for years to come. It is your responsibility to properly take care of it to avoid infections that may cause it to become ruined, and one of the things you should avoid is swimming after tattoo.

Most tattoo artists will give you a list of 5 things you can do to ensure their work remains beautiful.

1. Keep the Bandage on for 1 HOUR

It is very important that you leave the bandage on for at least one hour. Your new tattoo is an open wound and extremely susceptible to air born bacteria and infections. Leaving the bandage on will give it time to develop a scab to protect it from these bacteria.

2. Properly Clean Your Tattoo

Once you remove the bandage you will need to thoroughly clean your tattoo. Lukewarm water and Glycerin soap will do the trick. If you do not have a specialized soap, try ivory soap (it is the most gentle, cleanest, and nonabrasive of all soaps).

  • As you clean your tattoo, make sure you completely wash away any leftover ointment, blood, and plasma. Do not use an abrasive washcloth, instead gently use your hand; it may take a bit longer but your tattoo will remain intact.
  • If your tattoo does feel slimy, simply repeat the washing with the hand and soap because you are oozing plasma that needs to be removed.
  • Once you have completely cleaned the tattoo, use a soft towel to gently pat the tattoo dry. You do not want to rub the tattoo as you risk destroying it. After you have cleaned your tattoo, apply the ointments given to you by your tattoo artist as directed.

3. Do Not Pick at the Skin Flaking Off Your Tattoo

You will notice that scabs begin to form as your tattoo heals. As they heal, they will flake off. You do not want to pick at your scabs and pull them off as this will damage your tattoo. Instead, place a moist towel on the scab to moisten it for about 5 minutes. Repeat this process several times throughout the day until the scab falls off on its own.

It is also important that you do not scratch your tattoo when it begins to itch. It will get itchy. You can either put a wet compress on it or apply a non-fragrant lotion. Many times your tattoo artist will be able to give you a lotion for this as well.

4. Protect Your Tattoo from Sun Damage

In addition to swimming after tattoo, you should also avoid exposing it to the sun at all for the first few days to prevent any possible damage thatthe sun's ultraviolet rays may do to your tattoo. Even when it is healed, you do not want to stop protecting it from the sun. The ultraviolet (UV) rays that come from the sun can fade and damage it quite quickly.

Before you spend time in the sun, always apply an SPF 30 sunscreen. If you plan on being in the sun for a prolonged period of time, the best thing you can do is wear clothing that will cover it up. You can also continually reapply the sunscreen if you do not want to wear clothing to cover up the tattoo. Keep in mind, the more the sunlight hits the tattoo the more it will fade.

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