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You should wait for your tattoo to fully heal — which can take at least 2 to 4 weeks — before swimming in any kind of water. Giving your tattoo time to heal before swimming is just as important for your health as it is for your new body art.
Like with any open wound — which is essentially what a new tattoo is — submerging your tattoo could potentially expose it to harmful bacteria in the water. Infections can range from mild to severe. Though rare, sepsis and death are a possibility.
This was the case for one man who contracted Vibrio vulnificus also known as the flesh-eating bacteria after swimming in the Gulf of Mexico with a new tattoo. Soaking your new tattoo could also cause fading and discoloration. Chlorine and salt water are especially hard on fresh tattoos, because both can leach ink from a tattoo, making the color less vibrant.
Swimming can also dry out your skin and prolong healing, leading to more itching, flaking, and scabbing. This can also cause fading, patchiness, and blurred lines.
Sure, some skin irritation is to be expected with a new tattoo anyway. But skin irritation can actually contribute to both those risks, not to mention being really uncomfortable. Newly tattooed skin is already raw and sensitive. Exposing it to chlorine and other chemicals can cause stinging and pain, and may cause irritant contact dermatitis. This happens when chemicals like chlorine penetrate the skin and trigger inflammation. The result is a red itchy rash that may be accompanied by blistering, open sores, crusting, and swelling — all of which can affect how your tattoo looks down the line.
Knowing if your tattoo is fully healed can be tricky.
Your tattoo may look and feel healed within a few days — at least on the surface. Most tattoo artists consider the tattoo healed within 2—4 weeks, but that can vary with the location and size of the piece. A tattoo can take as long as 6 months to heal completely. Things like your lifestyle and how diligent you are with aftercare can also impact healing time.
A waterproof dressing, like Sanidermcan protect your new tattoo if you have to submerge it. Make sure your tattoo is completely covered. Keeping a healing tattoo covered can interfere with the healing process so the less time you do it, the better. Pat your skin dry before removing the bandage to keep the water from running over it. Then, remove the bandage carefully and gently wash the tattoo Hot tub and tattoos mild soap and warm water. Some redness, tendernessand peeling are normal in the first couple of days after getting a tattoo.
But if these things continue or worsen, it could indicate a problem. See your tattoo artist if you notice s of tattoo degradation, like bubblingwhich happens when a new tattoo stays wet for too long. Fading and scarring are also possible. See a healthcare professional right away if you develop any s and symptoms of an infection, including:. Swimming with fresh ink is a no-no for a good reason.
Doing it could interfere with your healing process and ruin your tattoo — not to mention increase your chances of getting an infection. Adrienne Santos-Longhurst is a Canada-based freelance writer and author who has written extensively on all things health and lifestyle for more than a decade. It's fine to take a shower with a new tattoo, but you'll want to take a few precautions. Tattoo aftercare starts as soon as your tattoo is done. Learn how to care for your tattoo, what to expect in the first month, the s of infection…. Between deciding where you want it, finding your artist, and practicing good aftercare, a lot goes into getting a tattoo.
Here's what to expect. Tattoo bubbling is not uncommon and typically happens Hot tub and tattoos the tattoo is too wet. We'll discuss how to prevent and treat this tattoo issue. Aquaphor is a product that tattoo artists often recommend to be used on new tattoos during aftercare. We'll discuss why. After getting a new tattoo, the outer layer of skin will typically appear healed within 2 to 3 weeks. However, the healing process can take upward of…. Nose piercings are more common than ever, but it's still important to consider a few things before ing the club.
We'll go over what you need to…. Although sternum piercings are often placed vertically…. Daith piercings are growing in popularity, partly because some people believe that they can treat anxiety-related migraines and other symptoms. Whether you want a delicate flower or flashy symbol, tattoo placement is everything. Medically reviewed by Deborah Weatherspoon, Ph. How to tell if your tattoo has fully healed. If you have to swim. If you already went swimming. The bottom line.
Read this next. What to Do About Tattoo Bubbling. Medically reviewed by Debra Sullivan, Ph. Do Nose Piercings Hurt? Medically reviewed by Shilpa Amin, M. Medically reviewed by Timothy J. Legg, Ph.Hot tub and tattoos
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How Long After Getting A Tattoo Can You Go Swimming?