How to Waterproof a Tattoo for Swimming?

How to Waterproof a Tattoo for Swimming? So, here’s the deal: you just got a new tattoo, and with summer approaching, you might as well be wondering if you can actually go swimming. We all know that new tattoos and water don’t mix; your tattoo artist must have warned you about the dangers of submerging a new tattoo underwater. And now you’re doing your own research on waterproofing a tattoo for swimming because let’s face it, we can’t wait for summer to arrive so we can spend our long, hot days at the beach taking deliciously refreshing swims in the sea.

Because we completely understand your difficulties, we’ve chosen to publish a simple guide to protecting your tattoo from water, as well as discuss some guidelines for new tattoos and swimming in general. So, without further ado, let’s get started!

Why Can’t You Swim With a Tattoo?

You should avoid swimming immediately after having a tattoo because it is effectively an open wound that could become infected. Bacteria are prevalent in both chlorinated pools and open water, and if that bacteria comes into touch with an unhealed wound, illness can ensue.

This can harm the tattoo and cause major health issues. Part of my yellow and blue tattoo, for example, bled and turned green. Furthermore, when chlorine and saltwater come into touch with an open wound, they can induce discomfort and redness, which can lead to itching.

How Long Will it Take You to Accustom to Your New Tattoo?

How long until you no longer have to worry about how to waterproof a tattoo for swimming? The healing duration of a tattoo is usually determined by its complexity. In most cases, a tattoo must completely heal before you may swim safely. Each person may require two to four weeks, however, many tattoo artists recommend two to four weeks.

You will be given a bandage to hide your tattoo after you get it. The bandage should come off after a few hours, and any excess blood and ink should be easily washable. After washing it with your hands, gently wash it with lukewarm water and antibacterial soap and allow it to air dry in a clean environment. As the tattoo cures, skin flakes, and scabs will appear. When flaky scabs come off spontaneously, a new layer of skin will form behind.

During this period, avoid baths for the same reasons you did during the healing process, but continue to clean gently, air dry, and use the aftercare lotion.

How to Waterproof a Tattoo for Swimming?

If you really must swim with a new tattoo, consider covering it with a waterproof dressing. There is no way to completely waterproof a tattoo, however, some swimmers have tried waterproof bandages that completely wrap and cover the tattoo, heavy layers of Vaseline, or even plastic press n’ seal wrap.

To swim with a new tattoo, cover it and waterproof it as much as possible before getting in the water, then remove the coverings and carefully wash it with warm water and antibacterial soap before allowing it to air dry and heal. Use the aftercare cream for the duration of the tattoo healing procedure.

How do I shower after getting a fresh tattoo?

This is an excellent question. You can shower for 3 to 4 hours after getting inked if your tattoo is wrapped in a waterproof bandage. However, this is subject to a number of variables. The best thing to do is to follow the instructions of your tattoo artist. They’ll be able to tell you how long you should keep the bandage on and when it’s safe to wash the affected region.

There are a few things to consider when taking a shower. The fresh tattoo should never be exposed to running water or submerged for an extended period of time. Scrubbing it with a sponge or loofah is also prohibited until it has completely healed. Use fragrance-free rules, mild soap, and cool or lukewarm water to clean the area. You should also avoid using any cosmetics that include alcohol or other chemicals, as these might dry out your skin.

After you’ve finished showering, gently pat the area with your new tattoo with a clean towel. Then, apply the aftercare cream provided by your tattoo artist and leave the area uncovered.

So, When Can I go To The Water?

When it comes to diving underwater with a fresh tattoo, we must distinguish between a quick shower and a full-fledged swim. We must all demonstrate, that it is preferable to avoid showering for a few days after getting a new tattoo. We’ll go over this further in the coming sections, but in general, your tattoo should be totally protected while showering, and you should never expose it to direct water pressure.

Swimming should be avoided until the tattoo has completely healed. When is that, you may wonder? Your tattoo may take up to two months to heal, depending on your immune system, tattoo aftercare regimen, and overall skin health and resiliency. When the tattoo is completely closed, healed, scab-free, and matte in appearance. This means you should avoid swimming for at least 2 to 3 weeks, just to be safe.

Let’s face it: the sea, rivers, and ponds might be brimming with bacteria, and you may wish to avoid a bacterial infection of the tattoo. So, by not swimming for a few weeks, you’re ensuring that the tattoo is properly cared for and remains healthy. So be patient and wait; it will be worth it!

The Dangers of Swimming With a New Tattoo

Swimming at a Pool:

Chlorine is used in swimming pools to kill algae and bacterial growth.
However, chlorine is a chemical that might irritate the skin around your tattoo. This might result in rashes, itching, and redness.
It is also important to remember that chlorine is used to eliminate stains.
As a result, it’s possible that the chlorine will destroy the tattoo and make it look dull or washed out.

Swimming In The Sea:

  • You may believe that because pools contain hazardous chemicals, swimming in the ocean is better for your skin.
  • After all, it’s all-natural, isn’t it? Wrong!
  • Sea or ocean water is not sterile.
  • It contains germs that can irritate your skin, making it red and irritated.
  • Furthermore, the salt in the water is an irritant and can cause irritation to your skin.


We understand how tempting it is to show off your new tattoo and go swimming straight away. However, having a little patience with something that has been ‘carved’ into your skin to last a lifetime should be common sense. Allow your tattoo to heal properly; nothing can truly protect it during swimming like your own, fully healed skin. So, be patient and plan your tattoos intelligently; if you want to go swimming during the summer, don’t get your tattoo a month or two before the holiday season; instead, get it done during the fall or winter months so that it may fully heal just in time for a good, refreshing swim.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About How to Waterproof a Tattoo for Swimming?

Is there a way to swim with a new tattoo?

To swim with a new tattoo, cover it and waterproof it as much as possible before getting in the water, then remove the coverings and carefully wash it with warm water and antibacterial soap before allowing it to air dry and heal. Use the aftercare cream for the duration of the tattoo healing procedure.

Can you apply Vaseline on a new tattoo before going swimming?

Do Not Use alcoholic beverages, Neosporin, Vaseline, or petroleum jelly (they can trap dirt and germs and cause infection). DO NOT use a thick layer of lotion (remember the skin must breathe in order to heal). For the first two weeks, avoid direct sunlight, swimming, saunas, steam rooms, and hot tubs.

Is it OK to swim with a week-old tattoo?

To allow your tattoo to heal properly, avoid contact with water at first, whether in the sea or in a pool. Any prolonged contact with water should be avoided since it risks shifting the tattoo’s ink or changing the color.

What happens if you swim with a tattoo that is a week old?

Why You Shouldn’t Swim If You Have a New Tattoo. Your tattoo remains vulnerable until it has fully healed (i.e., a new layer of protective skin has grown over it) (read: prone to infection). “Water from a pool, lake, or ocean is not sterile and may introduce bacteria into the skin.”

Can I swim 3 weeks after the tattoo?

Tattoo aftercare should be undertaken for at least three weeks before bathing or swimming in any type of water to allow the skin to recover and shut correctly, protecting the tattoo/wound from chemical irritation, infection risk, and water saturation.

How do I protect my new tattoo at the beach?

Waterproof Sterile Bandages from Nexcare. Applying a bandage over your new tattoo before going to the beach is an excellent technique to keep water, sand, and bacteria away from the spot.

What should you avoid when getting a new tattoo?

Never use petroleum-based items on your tattoos, such as A+D Ointment, Bepanthen, Aquaphor, Vaseline, Bacitracin, and Neosporin. These six products have a purpose other than tattoo aftercare or tattoo healing.

What happens if a tattoo gets too wet?

Because your tattoo is an open wound, soaking it in water may expose it to microorganisms, increasing the risk of infection. Soaking can also cause skin to dry out, causing cracking and making it more vulnerable to infection and scarring.

What happens if a new tattoo is immersed in water?

To summarize, while you should maintain your tattoo clean, do not wash it otherwise the scab may soften, fall off, and leave a scar.

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