Can You Shower After a Tattoo: What to Do With a New Tattoo

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getting a tattoo

Getting a tattoo can be exciting, especially if it's your first time getting your body inked. You might be wondering: can you shower after a tattoo? Well, we break down what you need to know about everything that comes after getting a fresh tattoo.

Can I Shower After Getting a Fresh Tattoo?

tattoo artist

Yes, you can take a shower after getting a new tattoo. However, to prevent a tattoo infection and make sure that you are not damaging your very sensitive skin there is an aftercare routine that your tattoo artist probably discussed with you.

The Healing Process

If you've just gotten your first tattoo, your tattoo artist's advice should be followed to a tee.

The first 24 hours to 48 hours of getting a new tattoo will set the tone for the entire healing process of new ink. During the first week, you are walking around with something similar to an open wound and you should be treating your new tattoo with extreme care as the tattoo heals.

In general, tattoo artists will apply a bandage or cling wrap around your tattoo gently and give you instructions on how long it should be on as well as whether or not you need to replace it. If you have a thin layer of bandages and intend to take a shower, do not take it off.

Timeline of Newly Tattooed Skin

With a Bandage or Cling Wrap

Your tattoo artist may have already told you that tattoo bandages are usually waterproof but it is advisable to keep them on for your first shower.

Your new tattoo should not touch any water if possible. Hot water can actually turn your open wound into a breeding ground. So, keep your tattoo dry and stay away from soaking in hot tubs.

To ensure that you keep your tattoo clean and guarantee that it is healing properly, opt for a sponge bath instead. You can gently wash your body and avoid getting your tattoo wet.

Tattoo Aftercare

To ensure that you are facilitating proper healing, follow the following tattoo aftercare instructions:

  • Keep the shower session short: You don't want to risk getting your open wound wet so keep your shower (if you take one) short and sweet. That means no milk baths and shower concerts.
  • Use lukewarm water: Hot water is a big no-no for newly tattooed skin. Stick to lukewarm water and stay away from cold or hot water.
  • Do not submerge your tattoo underwater: The skin your tattoo is on is extremely sensitive and susceptible to getting infected. Avoid submerging your new ink underwater at all costs.
  • Shower with mild soap: To keep your new tattoo clean, use fragrance-free soap to keep your sensitive skin safe and your tattoo vibrant.
  • Use a paper towel: After taking a shower, use a paper towel to gently pat your fresh tattoo. No rubbing, just patting!
  • Moisturize with fragrance-free lotion: Apply a thin layer of fragrance-free lotion onto your skin to help with the healing process.

Other Tattoo Care Tips

new tattoo

Let Your New Tattoo Breathe

Even though your tattoo artist probably already told you, we're telling you again: let your fresh tattoo breathe after you take off the bandage. Your tattooed area should heal after two to three weeks with proper care.

Stick to Products Your Tattoo Artist Recommends

Your tattoo artist may have certain products on-hand that you can purchase after your tattoo session. Usually, these products do not contain harsh chemicals and help your tattoo heal properly.

Stay Away from Swimming Pools and Bathtubs

Again, the healing process can be disturbed if you submerge your new ink underwater. Stay away from the inflatable bathtub and public swimming pools to avoid infection as well!

It Takes Time Before a New Tattoo is Completely Healed

Give your new tattoo time to heal. A new tattoo can take up to two weeks to heal and you'll be dealing with itchy skin and short baths for a while.

Jim Spencer

Jim Spencer

Jim has been in the construction business for over 12 years with plenty of experience working on client projects, from start to finish. From kitchens to bathrooms and backyard spaces, he writes on a wide variety of topics surrounding home improvement.

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