I Just Got a New Tattoo, So When Can I Swim Again?


How long must I wait until I can go swimming again?” is a question asked by most tattoo newbies. The short answer is no, not before your tattoo has completely healed, which means not until all the scabs and dried skin have come off. Timeframes vary widely from two weeks to four. If you take care of your tattoo, it will last longer and retain its original color and sharpness for a longer period of time; after all, stunning tattoos look best when they’re on full show.

Avoid the temptation to show off your new ink by taking it straight from the tattoo parlor to the swimming pool for some sultry Insta-posts. Tattoo artists who are worth their salt will make sure you know this before they let you leave the shop.

Why Am I Not Allowed to Have My New Tattoo Wet?

It can become wet, but cleanliness is of the utmost importance. In the early stages of recovery, you can still take a shower if you take extra care to wash it. No one should have to skip out on personal hygiene. Yet, it’s best to limit your water exposure to showers rather than, say, baths, hot tubs, pools, or the ocean in order to maintain your appearance. The ink in your new tattoo may lose some of its intensity if you submerge it in water for an extended period of time. Infection is very likely. Your new tattoo represents an open wound. The few days after getting a tattoo are the most susceptible to infection.

Chemicals are harmful to the skin. Pool and hot tub chlorine can irritate freshly tattooed skin, producing burning, itching bumps, and peeling, all of which will alter the final appearance of the tattoo.

More Information Regarding Infection

At the risk of repeating ourselves, we believe it is essential to bring out the possibility of infection. The ink may be healing, but that fresh tattoo still hurts. It’s easily infected by bacteria and spreads quickly. Invasive bacteria can be found in any major body of water, from the ocean to your bathtub. Bacteria have no issue penetrating healthy skin, but they can easily enter an open wound. Keep out of the water until the new tattoo has healed, as bacterial infection of it can cause sepsis and even death in rare situations.

How Do I Keep My Fresh Tattoo from Being Soaked?

You will not, thankfully, need to go three weeks without washing. It is risk-free to take a shower. One helpful idea is to cover the affected area with plastic wrap and secure it with waterproof bandages to prevent any moisture from seeping in. Using the shower’s running water won’t be an issue after a few days. Do not use any kind of body lotion or oil. The addition of moisture slows the skin’s recovery process. Lotioning the skin after the tattoo has healed is recommended because it helps maintain healthy, elastic skin under the tattoo.

When feasible, you should refrain from perspiring. But, when you can, avoid workouts that cause you to sweat excessively, such as vigorous running or hot yoga. If you really must go to the gym after this, be sure to thoroughly wash and dry the affected region right after your workout so that you don’t risk getting bacteria under the bandages.

When Will the Ink in My Tattoo Be Completely Dry?

It takes around three months for a new layer of skin to form over a tattoo, at which point the tattoo is considered totally healed. Pay attention to the area and look for any signs of infection, such as discomfort, swelling, discharge, or fever. Get checked out ASAP if you suspect your tattoo is infected. Avoiding water for three months is preferable from a health perspective. Even so, we think four weeks is long enough to satisfy most people who aren’t prepared to put a damper on their fun. After the tattoo has fully healed, you can go swimming again once the scabs have come off and there is no more peeling or itching.


It is best to wait two to four weeks before swimming after getting a new tattoo. This will give the tattoo enough time to heal properly and prevent any potential infection. If you do swim before the tattoo has healed, be sure to keep it covered as much as possible to protect it from chlorine or salt water.

Follow all our pointers above, and you will never have to run into any complications with your body art.

If you are looking for the best tattoo place in Buffalo, NY that specializes in hand and finger tattoos, look no further than our expertise here at Lucky Deville Tattoo Co. Home to the finest artists in the area, we specialize in state-of-the-art tattooing, whether it be full color, black and grayscale, or photo-realistic portrait work. Call us today to book your very first hairline tattoo session with us.