how long after a tattoo can you take a shower

How Long After A Tattoo Can You Take A Bath? Avoid Infection

You should wait about 3-4 weeks before you take a bath or go swimming after getting a new tattoo. Let your tattoo heal completely and don’t soak it with soap. Avoid direct contact with bubble bath, pool, or salt water. You can take a shower after waiting for 24 hours, but avoid the tattooed area. Exposing a new tattoo to water will fade the color and increase the risk of bacterial infection. 

Read this article on how long you can take a bath after a tattoo to decide when it is safe to expose your body ink in the water. Let’s begin!

Key Takeaways

  • After getting a new tattoo, wait at least 2-3 weeks before taking a bath to let it heal properly.
  • Bathing with a fresh tattoo can lead to scarring, infection, and loss of ink in your design.
  • Moisturize your tattooed skin to help it heal faster and stay vibrant.

How Long After a Tattoo Can You Take a Bath?

How Long After a Tattoo Can You Take a Bath

For the first two to three weeks, don’t go swimming or sit in baths, hot tubs, or pools with your new tattoo. Contact your tattoo artist for any required info and follow what they tell you to do. Keep your body art away from water for few weeks.

If you are using a waterproof bandage, you can easily take a shower without getting your tattooing design wet. But if not, then wait patiently and let your wound completely dry.

You should wait for 24 hours before taking a shower, but be gentle when washing around the area with the tattoo. Use a mild soap and do not let the water flow over the tattoo. It’s best to use hypoallergenic and fragrance-free cleansers in this time.

A new tattoo requires precautions to prevent the tattooing area from getting wet. When you have a fresh tattoo, it’s like having a cut on your skin and takes time to recover. If you put it in water, there’s a chance it could get worse and become infected. Also, being in water for too long can make your skin dry and crack, which isn’t good for the tattoo.

Why Should You Not Take a Bath With A New Tattoo?

Exposing your one week old tattoo to water will increase the chance of fading the color of tattoo and the risk of potential bacterial infection. So, you should give enough time to heal your tattoo completely and don’t soak it with scented soap. Avoid any kind of contact with bubble bath, pool, or salt water. 

When your tattoo is all healed, it shouldn’t hurt, feel weird, or be rough. It should feel like your regular skin. Right after getting a tattoo, it’s normal for it to be a bit sore and red. But as it gets better, the pain goes away, and it might start to itch, get rough, and even form scabs that peel off. To make it feel better, you should keep it covered and moisturized.

At the end of the healing process, your tattoo might start to peel or shed. Once it stops flaking, scabbing, and peeling, it’s probably healed enough for you to go swimming.

Proper healing of ink is crucial to keep it long-lasting. New body art is possibly at higher risk of infection. Soaking your new art design in a bath before its proper healing will affect the quality and pigmentation of the ink.

It means that you should be aware of how long a tattoo you should wait to take a bath after getting it. Taking a bath soon after tattooing can cause the following problems:

Tattoo Scarring

Exposing fresh tattoo ink to water can affect the healing process. Soaking can cause wound scarring. It can damage the appearance of the body art and slows down the tattoo healing process.

Risk of infection

The water you are using with new tattoo may contain bacteria. These contamination can cause tattoo infection to a greater extent. Therefore many experts do not recommend taking a bath after getting a design. The infection may lead to swelling, scabbing, and damage to the tattooing area.

Loss of ink

The formation of small scabs on the tattooing area is fine. The scabs also take away the ink. However, wetting your ink can increase scab formation. As a result, the ink will lose, and the body art will look old and less colorful.

To prevent your new tattooing design from these problems, keep it away from water. Or you should get a waterproof tattoo before going for a swim. Otherwise, it will not heal properly and the tattoo will fade away quickly.

Precautions you Should Take After a Tattoo While Taking a Bath

As stated earlier, many tattooing artists don’t recommend taking a bath with a new tattoo. You can follow the following strategies while taking a shower.

Adjust Water Temperature

Don’t soak your tattooing area in either cold or hot water. Use lukewarm water for showering. If you use hot water, it can cause itching and pain in the wound and sometimes swelling too.

Adjust Water Temperature
Source: pop sugar

Another drawback of hot water is that it can cause the opening of skin pores. The open pores cause leakage of ink and make the pigment less vibrant. Therefore, it is always recommended to bathe in moderate temperature water.

Slowly Submerge the tattoo in water

Slowly submerge the new tattoo area in water. As it has not healed, soak it for only a few minutes. Direct exposure of the pigment to water may result in the loss of artwork. The skin will not be affected if wet slowly.

Use Perfume-free Soap

Clean your body art with scented-free soap. Gently rub it on the inked area. If you rub it harshly, it can cause bleeding from the wound. If it happens, cut down on the use of soap. When the skin becomes completely clean, wash it with water.

Use Perfume-free Soap
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Don’t Bath for a Long Time

Taking a shower for a long time will wash out ink. Therefore, prevent prolonged exposure of ink to water. Take a shower for less time to keep body art vibrant and healthy.

Dry the Tattooed Body Area

Clean your tattooed area with a dry towel. Always use a clean, germ-free towel. A paper towel works well for this purpose. If you use a dirty towel, it might cause infection in the wound.

Moisturize your Skin

Excessive dryness imparts a negative effect on body art. So, after drying your tattooing area, apply a quality lotion to it. The moisturizing will prevent the dermis from drying out. Also, its effective ingredients will boost healing.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Will Soaking A New Tattoo Fade It?

If you soak your tattoo, it may fade and lose its color. The saltwater can pull out ink from the newly inked area. Thus soaking damages the body art.

How Long After A Tattoo Can You Swim?

It might take around three weeks or more, depending on where it is on your body and other things. But you should wait until your tattoo is fully healed. During this time, don’t go swimming in pools, hot tubs, oceans, lakes, or rivers to keep your tattoo safe.

How Long After A Tattoo Can You Go in The Sun?

To be safe, you should shield your new tattoo from the sun for at least three to four weeks. If you just got a new tattoo, it’s important to keep it covered when you’re out in the sun. Especially if it’s very new. Sunlight can make new tattoos fade fast, and if your tattoo hasn’t healed completely, it might get blisters. 


With this article, you now know how long after a tattoo you can take a bath. If you recently got body art, you should avoid taking a shower as it can damage your tattoo. Keeping the tattooing area dry during the early days is crucial.

It is suggested not to wet your tattooing area minimum for two weeks. When you see that your wound heals, you can soak it. If showering is necessary, wet your inked design carefully.

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