You’ve got a new tattoo. And summer is here.

What does it mean?

It simply means that it’s the time to flaunt your tattoo at the beachside. Wouldn’t it look nice when you lay by a beach or pool with all nice tattoos on your body? This would be exciting to get into the water with your newly made ink.

But we strongly advise you to hold on your temptation of getting into the water right after your tattooing. We don’t intend to shatter your fantasies. We are just alerting you.

Wait for at least 2-3 weeks before going swim or end up with the experience of this Reddit User

 “I absolutely RUINED a tattoo on my upper arm– a small one, maybe half an inch across and 2-3 inches long–by soaking in the tub and not even getting it wet. Don’t chance it. Take off work. I’m a server and if I ever get my feet done I’m taking off work.”

Water is not good for your new tattoo. You should avoid water contact for many reasons. It not only fades the ink but also leads to infection.

This is because swimming pool water contains chemicals like chlorine that affects your tattooed skin that is still a wound.

Here is a piece of sage advice from this Reddit User

 “I am covered in tattoos and there has been only one time I ignored instructions when it comes to water. I went to Costa Rica before my chest had healed. I did not submerge the new piece any longer than 10 seconds, but once it fully healed, I had a bunch of spots where the color dropped out. So, if you don’t want to have to go back for a lengthy touch-up, I’d wait until you’re fully healed.”

Here are some good reasons to avoid water contact for some weeks when you have a new tattoo.

1. Pool Water Contains Chlorine:

It is hard to resist the temptation of getting into pool water with your new attractive tattoos. But this temptation can cost you. This is because pool water contains chlorine. Chlorine is a common chemical being used in pool water and it can make your tattooed skin flaky and dry. It also causes itching.

Another disadvantage—it even leaches ink from a tattoo.

So you have got the very first reason why to avoid swimming with a new tattoo.

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2. Even the Water Free from Chlorine is Not Good for Your Tattoos:

After reading the previous point, you must be looking for the pool free from chlorine. Here comes a trade-off…

Pools free from chlorine or other chemicals lead to another risk. The lack of these chemicals will prompt the growth of germs and bacteria. This way, it risks your new tattoo.

Even if the water itself is free from germs and bacteria, its surrounding areas like sunbeds, changing areas and towels are probably not.

Read Also: Infected Tattoo: Signs and Treatments

3. Sea and Water Bodies Have Their Own Risks:

Sea or water bodies like lakes contain amoeba and other bacteria that infect the tattoo. Sea salt found in the sea or ocean is not good for your fresh tattoo too. They also slow down your healing rate.

Even though some water bodies look crystal clear, they carry rat urine/waste, fish excrement and a load of other debris.

In 2017, swimming with new tattoos cost a man his life. This incident was narrated by the lead physician this way—

“Within a few hours, things had progressed pretty quickly. There’s darkening skin changes, more bruising, more discoloration, what we call bullae — or mounds of fluid that were starting to collect in his legs — which, of course, is very alarming to anyone, as it was to us. Very quickly, his septic shock progressed from … early stages to severe stages very rapidly, within 12 hours or so, which is typical for this type of infection”

4. Avoid Hot Tubs:

Hot tubs are also not safe for your new tattoos. The reason is pretty simple—they contain high levels of chlorine that can affect the super sensitive area around your healing tattoo. Another reason is that it is heaved by a large amount of people, making the whole enclosure full of nasty germs.

5. What Makes Your Tattoo Vulnerable to Direct Water Contact

Swimming is not the only thing making your tattoos wet and submerged. The tattoos also come into the direct contact of water when you are…

Washing your tattoo

When you’re taking a shower

6. When to Go Swimming after Getting a New Tattoo?

Let your tattoo healed completely. Wait for at least 2-3 weeks before getting into the water. This is the period when the healing is on the peak. You will experience flaking and peeling. The tattoo looks completely healed. Until then, your tattoo is prone to bacteria, water, chemicals, and pollution.

7. What to Do If You Have to Swim in Emergency?Or You Get Your Tattoo Wet or Soaked in the Pool Water?

The emergency comes without invitation. You never know when you have to get into the pool unwillingly to save someone’s life or when somebody playfully pushes you into. Don’t worry…

Make sure to cover your tattoo with waterproof material like plastic cling to avoid water contact as possible. But remove the wrapping when you are out of the water.

Make sure to wash your tattoo immediately with antibacterial soap when you get out of the water. Immediate washing will remove the infection from your tattoos.

Let your tattoos dry naturally. A clean towel can be used to remove excess water. Once it is done, leave your tattoo to dry on its own.

8. Aftercare is Even Important Once You Resume Your Swim:

Even after resuming your swimming, you should be stick to the basic aftercare instructions. Make sure to wash your tattoo with antibacterial soap and protect it from the direct sun exposure. See your doctor if you experience redness, discharging of pus and swelling. Tattoo aftercare is important to protect your tattoo as well as prevent complications like infection.

Bottom Line:

Swimming can ruin a tattoo and delay healing. The first 2-3 weeks after getting a tattoo are crucial. Therefore, treat with the utmost care. If you do accidentally or purposefully find yourself swimming, make sure to wash your tattoo as soon as possible. What do you think? Let us know by commenting below. All the best!

You can find more informative articles on Tattoos here.