A tattoo must heal completely before we can swim again to prevent discoloration and infection. Although healing times vary from person to person, we must ensure that the tattoo remains clean and protected for at least two to four weeks. So we can’t swim freshly tattooed?
Although, in theory, there is nothing wrong with getting the tattoo a little wet, the main causes for concern are keeping the area clean and preventing it from getting water soaked. Although a quick shower is highly unlikely to cause any harm, swimming in a public pool for an hour or two is likely to cause a number of problems.
No chlorine or salt
A public pool is likely to contain chlorine, which could severely irritate a new tattoo. The chances of there being some nasty bacteria in the pool, regardless of the chlorine content, are pretty high, increasing the chance of getting an infection. Also, keeping the uncured tattoo submerged for a long time will increase the risk of diluting the ink and reducing sharpness and vibrancy.
Most indoor and outdoor pools have some kind of strong chemical that kills bacteria. The most widely used chemical in public pools is chlorine. This is an enemy of new tattoos, and we must avoid coming into contact with it during the initial healing period.
This chemical can irritate the tattoo before it heals , making it extremely dry and flaky. It can also make the area itchy and cause a number of other conditions, such as skin rashes and red bumps to appear in the area.
If the pool does not use chlorine or any other chemicals, it is still recommended to stay away. These pools may not have preventative methods to protect swimmers from infection and therefore the tattoo will be extremely prone to infection.
Likewise, swimming in the sea will not only contain millions of types of infection-causing bacteria, but the sea salt will also have a negative effect on tattoo healing times. Pools containing salt water should also be avoided. Like chlorine, salt will actually dry out the area and irritate the skin before it has healed, leading to many different types of possible reactions, including itchiness, redness, and rashes.
How long is the wait?
Tattoo aftercare should be done for at least three weeks before bathing or swimming in any type of water so that the skin can recover and close properly. It is advisable to protect the tattoo or wound against chemical irritation, the risk of infection and the possibility of water saturation.
We should definitely wait until the tattoo has finished scabbing and peeling, so if it takes more than three weeks for the ink to finish this process, it is recommended to wait a little longer before going for a swim.
There are several things that we should not do before the tattoo is completely healed, and submerging it in water is one of them. Swimming after the tattoo has finished healing is fine and should not cause long-term damage to the tattoo.