How Long After Getting a Tattoo Can You Take a Bath?

How Long After Getting a Tattoo Can You Take a Bath?

A tattoo is a form of body art that has become increasingly popular over the years. Not only do people today enjoy expressing their individuality through tattoos, but they are also looking to add a bit more vibrancy to their appearance. However, with any new experience comes questions; one being ‘How long after getting a tattoo can you take a bath?’ It’s important to understand the proper way to care for your tattoo and how much time you should let pass before taking another dip in the tub. Let’s explore why it’s necessary to wait for a post-tattoo before hopping into the shower or bathtub, as well as what alternatives may exist for those who want freedom from waiting!

What Happens If You Submerge a New Tattoo IN Water?

When a new tattoo is submerged in water, various issues can arise which could potentially damage the tattoo and your skin. First and foremost, the tattoo is essentially an open wound initially, and just like any other wound, submerging it in water increases the risk of infection. Pools, hot tubs, and even bathtubs can harbor bacteria which could lead to an infection.

Secondly, water, especially hot water, can cause the skin to swell and could potentially open the tattoo wound. This could lead to the ink leaking out, leading to a patchy tattoo once healed. Furthermore, the chlorine in pools can bleach the ink, leading to premature fading of the tattoo. [1] The tattooed skin is also more sensitive, and exposure to water can lead to dryness and itching. With all these factors combined, it is advised to wait for a minimum of two weeks before submerging the tattoo in water, by which time the surface layer of the skin has usually healed.

What Happens If You Submerge a New Tattoo IN Water?

How Many Hours After Getting My New Tattoo Can I Get In The Bath?

As a general rule of thumb, it’s recommended that you avoid submerging your tattoo in water for approximately 2-3 weeks. This translates to about 336-504 hours post-inking. It’s crucial to remember that every person’s body is different, and hence, the healing timeline can vary. During this period, it’s best to opt for quick showers instead of long baths, making sure the water stream isn’t hitting the tattoo directly. This time frame allows the top layer of your skin to adequately heal, which is crucial in maintaining the vibrancy and detail of your fresh tattoo.

However, these are guidelines and not strict rules – if your tattooed skin is still sensitive or showing signs of redness, swelling, or weeping even after this period, it may still not be ready for submersion in water. In such cases, consult the tattoo artist or a healthcare professional for advice. It’s important to remember that dedication to your new tattoo doesn’t end when you step out of the tattoo studio – careful and patient aftercare is essential to ensure your tattoo remains as stunning as it was on day one.

Do I need to do anything differently as I shower?

Absolutely, there are a few adjustments you’ll need to make to your shower routine following a new tattoo. Firstly, as mentioned earlier, avoid letting the shower stream hit your tattoo directly, especially during the initial healing period. High-pressure water can be abrasive and potentially damage the tattoo. Secondly, try to keep your shower time brief. Showering for an extended period can saturate the tattoo, which can slow down the healing process and even lead to ink bleeding.

Avoid hot showers as well, as heat can cause the pores to open, potentially leading to ink leakage. When it comes to cleaning the tattoo, use a gentle, fragrance-free soap, and apply it with your hands. Avoid using loofahs or washcloths, as they can be too harsh on the tattoo and can introduce bacteria. [2] Rinse the soap off gently with cool or lukewarm water.

After showering, don’t rub the tattoo dry. Instead, gently pat it dry with a clean towel. Also, it’s key to remember to apply a thin layer of the recommended tattoo aftercare product to keep it moisturized, but don’t overdo it as this can suffocate the skin and delay healing. Finally, if your tattoo is on an area that can be covered, consider doing so to protect it from any shower products that may cause irritation. Always err on the side of caution when caring for your new tattoo in the shower, and when in doubt, consult with your tattoo artist.

Do I need to do anything differently as I shower?

Is It Okay To Use My Scented Bubble Bath?

While soaking in a scented bubble bath might be your favorite way to unwind, it is strongly advised against those with a new tattoo. The chemical fragrances and dyes found in many bubble baths can be irritating and harmful to a fresh tattoo. Furthermore, as discussed earlier, the act of soaking itself can lead to serious damage to your new artwork. Bubbles in the bath create a soapy film that can potentially strip the color and vibrancy from your fresh ink. Moreover, these products often contain harsh chemicals that can dry out your skin, disrupting the healing process of your tattoo. They can also increase the risk of infection.

Remember, your new tattoo is essentially an open wound, and it’s crucial to keep it clean and free from any potential irritants. Therefore, while it may be tempting to indulge in a bubble bath, it’s best to wait until your tattoo is fully healed before doing so. By being patient and taking good care of your tattoo during the healing process, you ensure that your body art will remain vibrant and beautiful for a long time. If you’re unsure or have any concerns about your tattoo aftercare, always consult with your tattoo artist or a healthcare professional.

What about afterward?

Once your tattoo has healed completely, you can revert to your normal shower and bathing routine. However, it’s still important to take good care of your tattoo to ensure it remains vibrant and clear. Regular moisturization can help prevent your tattoo from drying out and fading. Opt for a moisturizer that’s gentle, fragrance-free, and suited to your skin type.

If you’re going to be out in the sun, be sure to apply a high SPF sunblock to your tattoo, as UV rays can lead to the fading of tattoo ink. When swimming, whether in a pool, the ocean, or a hot tub, remember that chlorine and salt water can be harsh on tattooed skin and can cause color fading over time. Rinelyour your tattoo thoroughly after swimming and apply a moisturizer. 

Despite the implementation of these measures, it is important to recognize that your tattoo will naturally diminish in vibrancy as time passes. This is a normal part of the process, but with good aftercare, you can significantly slow down the fading process and keep your tattoo looking great for years to come. Also, keep in mind that everyone’s skin responds differently, what works for others might not work for you. It’s crucial to pay attention to how your skin reacts to different products and routines and adjust accordingly.

What about afterward?

Will Soaking A New Tattoo Fade It?

Yes, soaking a new tattoo can indeed fade it. A fresh tattoo can be likened to an open wound, and immersing it in water for prolonged durations can potentially result in adverse consequences. The skin absorbs water, which can cause the tattoo to swell and the ink to leach out, leading to fading. Additionally, extended contact with water can interfere with the healing process and elevate the likelihood of infection. This is why it’s generally advised to avoid soaking in baths, hot tubs, swimming pools, and natural bodies of water until your tattoo is fully healed.

Once healed, while it’s safe to soak your tattoo, remember that chlorinated water, salt water, and even soap can be harsh on the skin and possibly cause your tattoo to fade over time. To protect your tattoo, rinse it thoroughly after soaking and apply a moisturizer. Additionally, it protects it from the sun’s ultraviolet rays, which can also cause fading. Regular aftercare, including moisturizing and applying sunblock, can help keep your tattoo vibrant for years to come. Remember, everyone’s skin is different, and these guidelines might not apply to all. It is advisable to seek guidance from your tattoo artist or a healthcare expert should any concerns arise.

How do I know when my tattoo is fully healed?

Identifying the point at which your tattoo is completely healed can differ from one individual to another, yet there are certain typical indicators to be mindful of.

  1. Appearance: Your tattoo should look vibrant and clear with no scabbing or peeling. The ink should have properly settled into your skin, and there should be no visible raised or puffy areas.
  2. Feel: Fully healed tattoos typically feel smooth and soft to the touch, just like your regular skin. There should not be any pain or discomfort when touching or cleaning the tattoo area.
  3. No Scabs or Flaking: In the early stages of healing, scabbing or flaking can occur, but this should have stopped when the tattoo is fully healed.
  4. No Redness or Swelling:These indicators of inflammation should diminish as the tattoo reaches full healing. Persistent redness or swelling could indicate an infection and should be checked by a healthcare professional.
  5. Time: A general guideline is that a tattoo takes around two to three weeks to heal on the surface and up to six months to heal completely beneath the skin. However, this can vary based on factors such as the size and complexity of the tattoo, your overall health, and how well you care for the tattoo during the healing process.

Remember, these are general signs and your healing process might vary. In case of any concerns or if your tattoo doesn’t seem to be healing as expected, it is advisable to seek guidance from your tattoo artist or a healthcare professional.

How do I know if something’s wrong?

While every person’s healing process is unique, there are certain signs that may indicate something is not right with your new tattoo.

  1. Excessive Redness or Swelling: Although experiencing some redness and swelling in the initial days following a tattoo is typical, excessive or prolonged redness and swelling might indicate a potential infection.
  2. Pain: Some discomfort is expected after getting a tattoo, but severe or increasing pain could be indicative of a problem.
  3. Pus or Discharge: Any kind of pus or unusual discharge coming from your tattoo is a clear sign of infection.
  4. Bad Odor: A foul smell coming from your tattoo could indicate an infection.[3]
  5. Fever or Chills: If you’re experiencing fever or chills along with other symptoms, you should seek medical attention immediately as this could indicate a serious infection.
  6. Rashes or Allergic Reaction: If you notice a rash, hives, or severe itching around your tattoo, you could be having an allergic reaction to the ink or aftercare products you’re using.
  7. Bleeding: While some slight oozing of blood and ink is normal in the first few hours after getting a tattoo, persistent or heavy bleeding is not and needs immediate attention.
  8. Blurred Lines or Color: If you observe blurred lines in your tattoo or notice a rapid fading of colors, this may signal an issue with the healing process of your tattoo.

Remember, these are general signs and may vary from person to person. If you suspect something wrong, it’s always best to consult with your tattoo artist or seek medical attention.

How do I know when my tattoo is fully healed?

Does It Hurt To Shower After Getting A Tattoo?

Taking a shower after getting a tattoo typically shouldn’t result in discomfort, as long as you exercise caution and adhere to the recommended aftercare instructions. However, some discomfort can be expected, particularly in the first few days following the tattoo session when the area is still fresh and sensitive. It’s important to remember that a freshly done tattoo can be likened to an open wound, so subjecting it to the direct force of water from the shower head might induce some stinging or tingling sensations. This is because the nerves in your skin are still recovering from the trauma of the tattoo needle.

The warm or hot water can also cause your pores to open up, which could potentially lead to ink leakage and cause your tattoo to fade. Therefore, it’s crucial to avoid focusing high-pressure water on your tattoo. Instead, let the water run gently over your body and trickle down to the tattooed area. Utilize a gentle, unscented soap to clean the tattooed area, refraining from any vigorous scrubbing. Thoroughly rinse to ensure no residue remains on the skin, as this could potentially lead to irritation or infection. It’s essential to delicately pat the area dry with a clean towel or allow it to air dry, as rubbing may irritate the tattoo and impede the healing process. To summarize, while showering after getting a tattoo should not cause significant pain, it’s important to do so with care in order to avoid discomfort and ensure optimal healing of your new piece of body art.

Does It Hurt To Shower After Getting A Tattoo?

Tips on how to take care of your fresh tattoo

  1. Personal Hygiene: Maintain clean hands before making contact with your fresh tattoo to reduce the risk of infection. Avoid touching your tattoo unnecessarily or with dirty hands.
  2. Keep It Clean: Cleanse your tattoo gently using a mild, unscented soap and lukewarm water. Avoid scrubbing or using hot water, as it may provoke irritation or open up pores, potentially leading to ink leakage.
  3. Moisturize Regularly: Use a high-quality, fragrance-free lotion for tattoo aftercare products to keep the tattooed area moisturized. Dryness can lead to cracking and delayed healing.
  4. Avoid Sun Exposure: Shield your tattoo from sunlight because UV rays can induce ink fading and hinder the healing process. After it has fully healed, consistently apply a high SPF sunblock to safeguard your tattoo.
  5. Avoid Soaking: Avoid soaking your new tattoo in water for prolonged periods. This includes swimming in pools, hot tubs, or the sea as it may expose your tattoo to harmful bacteria and cause the ink to fade.
  6. Protect from Friction: Steer clear of wearing tight clothing over your fresh tattoo to prevent friction, which can result in irritation and potential damage to the tattoo.
  7. Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle: Keep your body healthy to promote faster healing. This includes eating a balanced diet, staying hydrated, and getting sufficient sleep.
  8. Be Patient: Healing can take time, usually between 2 to 4 weeks for the surface skin and potentially up to six months for the deeper layers. [4] Don’t rush the process, and if you have any concerns, consult your tattoo artist or healthcare professional.
  9. Avoid Scratching or Picking Scabs: During the healing process, your tattoo may experience itching or develop scabs. It’s important to resist the temptation to scratch or pick at it, as doing so could lead to scarring or loss of ink.
  10. Don’t Rush to Show Off: Although it might be tempting to proudly display your new tattoo, it’s advisable to wait until it has fully healed to avoid exposing it to potential sources of infection or damage.

Remember, each person’s skin and body may react differently to the tattooing process, and the healing time can vary. Always follow the advice of your tattoo artist and don’t hesitate to seek medical attention if you believe something is not right.

Tips on how to take care of your fresh tattoo

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I have a bath 5 days after a tattoo?

While it’s generally advised not to fully submerge your tattoo in water for prolonged periods during the initial healing process, taking a bath 5 days after getting a tattoo could be okay depending on how your tattoo is healing. It’s crucial to avoid soaking the tattoo in water, as this can lead to the ink fading and increase the risk of infection. A quick bath might be acceptable, but try to keep the tattooed area out of the water as much as possible. Always pat the tattoo dry gently after bathing, avoid scrubbing, and apply your aftercare lotion or ointment as directed by your tattoo artist. However, this is a general guideline and it’s always best to follow the specific aftercare instructions provided by your tattoo artist, as the healing process can vary depending on the size and location of your tattoo, your overall health, and other factors. If in doubt, contact your tattoo artist or a healthcare professional for advice.

How do I know if my tattoo is healed?

Determining whether your tattoo is healed can depend on several factors, including the size and location of the tattoo, your overall health, and your care routine. Generally, a tattoo is considered healed once the surface skin has completely regenerated and no scabs, redness, or swelling are visible. The tattooed area will have a fresh, shiny look, which will eventually dull down to match the rest of your skin. Additionally, the tattoo should no longer cause any discomfort such as itching or sensitivity to touch. Please note that while the surface skin might heal within 2 to 4 weeks, the deeper layers of skin can take up to six months to fully heal. If you’re uncertain about your tattoo’s healing process, always consult your tattoo artist or a healthcare professional.

Can I swim 2 weeks after a tattoo?

Swimming 2 weeks after getting a tattoo is generally not recommended. Pools, hot tubs, and natural bodies of water all contain bacteria and chemicals that could potentially cause infection and negatively impact the healing process of your tattoo. Moreover, soaking a tattoo, especially a new one, can cause the ink to fade. It is typically advised to wait until your tattoo is fully healed before swimming, which can take anywhere from 2-4 weeks for the surface skin, and up to 6 months for deeper skin layers.

Can I take a bath after a tattoo with a second skin?

Yes, you can take a bath after getting a tattoo that’s covered with a second skin, a thin, adhesive, plastic layer often used to protect new tattoos. However, you should still avoid soaking the tattooed area for extended periods. This second skin barrier is designed to protect your new tattoo from bacteria and other contaminants, allowing your skin a more controlled environment to heal. It’s also water-resistant, so you can shower with it. But remember that it’s not meant to last forever. It should be removed as instructed by your tattoo artist, usually after a few days. After its removal, you should follow traditional tattoo care guidelines.

Useful Video: How To Shower With A NEW Tattoo The RIGHT Way!


In conclusion, tattoo aftercare is a critical step to ensure your tattoo heals properly and remains vibrant for years to come. The healing process requires patience and diligence as you follow the advice aftercare steps, which include protecting your tattoo from the sun and excessive water exposure, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and resisting the urge to scratch or pick scabs. Always remember that each person’s healing process varies and it’s important to pay attention to how your body responds post-tattooing. When in doubt, don’t hesitate to consult with your tattoo artist or a healthcare professional for guidance. Your tattoo is not just a piece of art; it’s an investment in your self-expression, so take good care of it!