Swimming with New Tattoos – 5 Golden Rules for Tattoo Care


Do you love being in the water? Does swimming in pools, beaches, or lakes make you happy? It can be hard to give up this habit. But what do you do if you have a new tattoo? Tattoos require much care, especially if you want them to turn out well.

If you want to know how, when, and what conditions you should look out for when you’re swimming, here are some of the golden rules you should follow for your safety.

1. Avoid Extended Contact with Water for 3 Weeks

Whether you’ll swim in saltwater or freshwater, you should avoid extended contact with water so that your tattoos can heal without possible problems.

Long baths, jacuzzi sessions, and swimming can displace the tattoo ink and alter the colors of your tattoo. Moreover, your tattoo would still have a wound, and swimming in a pool might increase your risk of contracting infections. Pool water is often treated with disinfecting products and will not interact well with a recovering wound.

2. Clean Your Wound Regularly

While it is best to avoid swimming for at least three weeks, you should clean your tattoo wound regularly to ensure it heals well. After three weeks, you can start to take a dip in the pool but only for brief periods.

It is best to take a shower before you go swimming. Use soap to wash the area and rinse thoroughly to remove the soap afterward.

3. Follow All Aftercare Instructions

Not all tattoos are the same. Your artist will have specific advice for you. As such, you should follow all your artist’s aftercare instructions.

The purpose of the aftercare instructions for a tattoo is to make sure that your tattoo ends up turning out well. The aftercare instructions will tell you how to care for your tattoo, so it heals without further problems. Do not try to improvise as it might affect your tattoo.

4. Allow Your Skin to Breathe and Heal in the Open Air

Though your tattoo artist initially used cling film to protect your tattoo, you should only keep it that way for a few hours. After that, you should avoid covering your tattoo to allow the skin to breathe.

With fresh air, your skin can heal in good conditions. This also means that you should avoid wearing tight or chafing clothes. If you can, you should also change your beddings to those made from cotton.

It is also best to avoid going to the sauna or the hot tub. Moreover, you should avoid wearing jewelry with stones, metal, or rough edges in areas around your tattoo, as they can cause itching, swelling, or bumps.

5. Do Not Allow Water to Run Over Your Tattoo

If you plan to swim in a pool, you should avoid allowing the water to run over your tattoo. The water running over your tattoo can displace the ink and cause blotches even if your tattoo artist has used the right colors.

Wearing a waterproof bandage or applying a protective cream on your tattoo when swimming or taking a bath is recommended.

Final Thoughts

While it can be tempting to take a dip in the pool or to have a long bath after a long day at work, these practices can cause problems for a new tattoo. As much as possible, you should avoid swimming until it fully heals. If you plan to go swimming, always take precautions and seek expert advice for the best results.

Book an appointment at Lucky Deville Tattoo Co., home to the best tattoo artists in Buffalo, NY. We specialize in state-of-the-art tattoos—from black and grey to colored to realistic works of art. Feel free to walk in our tattoo shop today or give us a call to secure a spot!