How Soon Can You Swim After Getting a Tattoo?

How Soon Can You Swim After Getting a Tattoo?

According to Healthline, it’s usually about 2–4 weeks before you can swim after getting a tattoo. There are two primary reasons to wait. You don’t want your fresh ink to be washed away by the chemicals in the pool, and you don’t want to let your skin get infected. Below, we take a closer look at new tattoo care as it applies to swimming and pool use.

When You Get Home

Initially, the only water you should get on your new tattoo is a little soap and water in the shower to clean off the location. This is done to wash away any excess ink and reduce the risk of infection. At this point, swimming would be too risky for the main reason mentioned above.

During the First Week or So

This is when your skin is still healing and recovering. During this time, scabs will form and soreness will still be noticeable. Swimming during this time can also be problematic because your skin is still healing. Your skin is also porous, meaning water from the pool can get into it—or at least certain chemicals can make their way into your skin’s upper layers, even if you’re swimming in a natural pool. This happens to be the same area where the tattoo ink—and the skin layers that are in the process of healing—are located.

During the Second Week

Scabs should go away at this point, and there should be some flaking and other signs of the final stages of healing and recovery. If you only had a small tattoo done, you should be able to start swimming again. It’s still a good idea to start slowly getting back to swimming again. Part of the reason is to make sure there are no signs of infection. These include:

• Redness or swelling
• New soreness where the tattoo is located
• Pain that suddenly develops in the tattoo area during or after your first few swims

Waiting a Bit Longer for Larger or Multiple Tattoos

If your new body art covers more areas or is in multiple locations, it’s best to go to the end of the 2–4 week recommendation. This way, the larger areas of skin will have time to properly heal and recover. It’s also a good idea to wait a while longer to give your skin time to heal properly if you have any of the following conditions that could affect your skin:

• Diabetes—especially if it’s not sufficiently under control
• Eczema and similar skin-related issues that could require more healing time after a tattoo
• Severe sunburn that hasn’t fully healed yet

Remembering to Use Sunscreen

Speaking of sunburn, protect your healing skin by applying sunscreen before getting into your pool. The general recommendation is to use an SPF of 50 or higher. On a side note, also do this on cloudy days when you’ll be swimming, since UV rays can still be an issue even when there’s not visible sunlight.

When you’re ready to build a swimming pool of your own, reach out to the experienced pros at San Diego Pools. We’re the experts in pool design San Diego homeowners have trusted for more than four decades. Give us a call today at 888-707-7786 to learn how we can help you create the perfect design with just the right features that make your pool the one you’ve always dreamed of.

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