How Long After A Tattoo Can You Swim? (Risks & Safety)[2024]

Showing off the new tattoo on your body is a great idea. But you have to make sure the newly tattooed skin is healed completely. Remember, you have to follow some tattoo aftercare instructions during tattoo healing. According to our experience, a tattoo of an average size takes two to six weeks to heal properly. No doubt, you are here to know “how long after a tattoo can you swim?” right?

Don’t worry we are always here to help you with tattoo-related topics like this one. You should know that tattoo goes through different phases during healing. So, you must take care of your new tattoo during sleep, work, showers, or swimming. Our tattooist team has shared the answer to “How long after a tattoo can you swim?” in this article.

Let’s get into it.

Swimming With A New Tattoo – Risks And Precautions

Why You Should Wait Before Swimming With New Tattoo?

After painlessly getting your new tattoo with the best tattoo numbing cream, you should take care of it briefly. If you don’t wait for your tattoo to heal, start going swimming. You can face the following risks:

1. Infection

Washing your new tattoo with care is 100% fine. However, dipping your newly tattooed skin into the water can be harmful, and your tattoo can get infected. Because a tattoo is nothing less than an open wound, and you are exposing it to bacteria and germs in pool water. As a result, you will face more itching, scabbing, and irritation.

2. Damage

The tattoo ink takes time to set in the epidermis layer of the skin completely. But during this phase, soaking the tattooed skin in water can upset the ink, and the tattoo design or even the skin will be damaged.

3. Irritation

You may think that irritation on newly tattooed skin is typical and is not a big issue at all. However, we have found that irritation or stinging can make you uncomfortable and lead to scratching or inflammation. In short, irritation can cause red itchy, rashes, crusting, and blistering.

Swimming With A New Tattoo

How Long After A Tattoo Can You Swim In Chlorine Or Salt Water?

The chances of infection to your tattoo in laboriously chlorinated water are less than in normal water. But remember, chlorine water does not kill bacteria. So, there are enough chances that your new tattoo can get infected even in chlorine water.

Also, drowning your new tattoo in water can damage the tattoo ink in your tattoo. Especially, chlorine water and salt water can disturb the ink and your tattoo can start leaking. As a result, your tattoo will look less prominent or more like blurred lines and patches.

Therefore, you can swim in chlorine water or saltwater when your tattoo is completely healed. An average size tattoo can completely heal within 2-6 weeks. Moreover, lake water, river water, seawater, and beach water are examples of saltwater.

How To Waterproof A Tattoo For Swimming?

In case you don’t have a choice and have to expose your new tattoo to deep water. In other words, if you have to swim with a new tattoo after one week or 10 days. The situation can be medical therapy or rehab for the body.

Then, you should waterproof your new tattoo. Saniderm bandages are used to waterproof or protect new tattoos from a dusty environment. Saniderm bandages are available in sheets, rolls, and packets on Amazon.

Don’t forget to cover the new tattoo with a saniderm bandage before entering the water and remove it after getting out. Wash the tattoo with the best tattoo soap and dry it with a paper towel.

How To Waterproof A Tattoo For Swimming


The bottom line is you can swim 2 to 6 weeks after getting your new tattoo. Also, avoid submerging your new tattoo in chlorine and saltwater. The side effects of swimming with a new tattoo mentioned above in this article are not guaranteed. It means only some people face these conditions when they don’t follow the instructions of tattooists.

Hopefully, you found your answer to “How long after a tattoo can you swim?” You can ask us anytime in the comment section below for further questions. Our team is always here to guide every tattoo lover. Kindly share this article with everybody and check our blog for the latest posts.
Thank You!

Chloe Arthur

Chloe Arthur

Hi, I’m Chloe, a passionate tattoo artist who has been creating stunning tattoos since 2013. Through my blog posts, I aim to provide valuable information and tips on tattoo styles, aftercare, and everything you need to know about getting and maintaining beautiful tattoos.

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