After getting a tattoo, following proper aftercare for a quick healing process is a must. Proper post-care also helps to maintain the design’s brightness and vibrancy. When bathing during the healing period, you should wait 3 to 4 weeks until the tattoo has fully healed.
You should avoid bathing in water or swimming pools for at least 3-4 weeks after getting a new tattoo. This will help preserve the tattoo’s design vibrancy and prevent infections. Furthermore, avoiding hot water baths is advisable, as it can open the skin’s pores and potentially cause the tattoo ink to fade.
However, taking a shower after 3-4 hours of getting the tattoo is fine, but avoid submerging the tattooed area in water and making direct contact. Continue reading this article for detailed information on how long after a tattoo can you take a bath.
- Avoid bathing or exposing your tattoo to a swimming pool until it has completely healed.
- Do not take a bath or shower with hot water.
- You can shower after 3-4 hours of getting the tattoo.
How Long After a Tattoo Can You Take a Bath? A Detail Answer
Getting a tattoo is not just a simple process; it marks the beginning of a new challenge in the form of aftercare. Ignoring or not following proper aftercare instructions can lead to several issues, such as fading, infection, scabbing, prolonged healing, pain, and discomfort.
Aftercare is not just about covering the tattoo with a second skin; keeping it clean and avoiding baths is also a part of post-care. When it comes to how long after a tattoo you can have a bath, you should wait until it has healed completely. But how long does a tattoo take to heal? However, it would be best to ask this question to a tattoo artist who can guide you better according to the nature of your body artwork.
A tattoo usually takes 3 to 4 weeks to heal properly. This means you should avoid taking baths during this period. However, it does not mean you cannot take a shower. To keep yourself clean, you can take a shower with cool or slightly warm water after 3 to 4 hours after leaving the tattoo shop.
However, ensure you cover the ink design with a waterproof bandage, such as Saniderm. After showering, remove the bandage and wash the tattoo area with a good antibacterial soap. Once washing is done, dry the tattoo using a clean towel and gently apply good-quality lotion.
Why Should You Avoid Taking Bath With A New Tattoo?
Exposing your new tattoo to open water, including a swimming pool or bathtub, will cause many issues, including color fading, infection, and prolonged healing. Therefore, you should wait a few weeks until your tattoo area has healed properly.
Here, healing means that your application should no longer exhibit signs of the initial healing process. This means tattooed skin should no longer feel tender, swollen, or exhibit redness. Scabs and peeling should have disappeared entirely. Moreover, the tattoo design should look vibrant and bright and feel smooth to the touch.
Keeping the healing process aside, taking a bath in open water causes the following potential issues:
Water exposure can cause colour fading.
Keeping your new ink design in water for an extended period can lead to tattoo fading. Hot water, in particular, can open the skin’s pores and cause the tattoo ink to leach out, resulting in a loss of vibrancy and clarity in the design. If taking a bath is necessary, it’s advisable to waterproof your tattoo before exposing it to water.
A new tattoo is like an open wound, so entering water with it puts you at higher risk. Usually, open water, like a swimming pool, contains many germs, including bacteria. This germs contamination during a bath can lead to infection in the tattoo area. This infection can cause redness, swelling, pain, and pus around the tattoo. Therefore, experts do not recommend taking a bath in open water.
Longer Healing Time
During healing time, a scab star forms over the application area, which means your tattoo is healing. However, bathing in open water can soften this scabbing, and ultimately, it will slough off prematurely. As a result, it will slow down the healing process.
A bath with water can also lead to skin irritation around the application area. This is because open water has many elements, such as soap and bubble baths. These agents can cause a harsh tattoo on the surrounding skin, leading to irritation.
Besides this, many experts also say hot water fades the ink and can cause discomfort and potential irritation. Moreover, when you take a bath, your application area constantly moves and makes contact with other objects. This process can also lead to irritation.
Things You Should If Taking Bath Necessary
Although many expert tattoo artists strongly recommend taking in an open pool, no one wants to wait that long especially on long summer days. In such a situation, you can take important precautions to minimize the issues.
Use Waterproof Bandage
While bathing, ensure your ink design is covered with a waterproof bandage, such as Saniderm. This will minimize water contact with the application area and protect it from the water’s potentially harmful agents.
Use lukewarm Water for Bath
Whether you’re bathing in a swimming pool or a hot tub, ensure the water is neither too cold nor too hot. As mentioned above, hot water is not good for a newly tattooed area as it can cause ink fading and irritation. Extremely cold water can limit the flow of blood, which can slow down the healing process.
Avoid Soaking Too Longer
When it’s necessary to take a bath with a new tattoo, you should still avoid soaking it for too long in water. Soaking it for an extended period can pose a high risk of infection, color fading, skin irritation, and excessive skin hydration.
Clean the Application Area
- Wash and clean the tattooed area using fragrance-free antibacterial soap.
- Use a clean towel to dry the tattoo; however, avoid using a used towel as it can spread germs.
- Once the design is completely dry, apply a recommended tattoo lotion to prevent the skin from drying.
How long after a tattoo can you take a shower?
You can shower after 3 to 4 hours once you get the tattoo. Before taking a shower, remove the wrapped bandage and take your shower. However, avoid soaking the application area in water too long, as it can lead to fading of color. After your shower, clean the tattoo with soap and then apply lotion.
Will taking a bath with a hot fade a tattoo?
Many experts say that hot water can cause a tattoo to start fading. Although warm water is relaxing and soothing for our bodies, it can damage the appearance of the design. For example, it can open the pores on the skin, which can cause the ink to lose its vibrancy.
Many experts say you should strictly avoid bathing in a hot tub, swimming pool, or any other open water until it heals. Usually, a tattoo takes at least 3 to 4 hours to heal. While taking a bath before healing can lead to color fading and even infection.
But if necessary, you should properly waterproof your tattoo before exposing it to water. After taking a bath, clean the application area and then apply lotion.
Flora Jones is a licensed professional tattoo artist with over 5 years of experience working at various studios in Arizona. In addition to her artistry, she enjoys sharing her knowledge and expertise on various tattoo-related topics through her writing.