How Long After a Tattoo Can You Shower?

Last Updated on June 21, 2021

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written by tattoo artist Steven Martin

So, you’ve been through the thick and thin of getting a tattoo? The pain was excruciating but you got through. Now you have some amazing art on your body. We truly realize what it means to get a tattoo. The commitment connected with it is great and it is not a decision one takes lightly. But when you commit, commit all the way through. Don’t look for any shortcuts. No amount of cutting corners will turn up a good result.

But we all want to maintain proper health and hygiene at the same time, don’t we? Besides, you can’t go for weeks without showering or taking a bath. Well, you really don’t have to. As a matter of fact, you can shower with your fresh new tattoo if you follow certain guidelines, the most important of which is to not get the tattoo wet. Today we will go through all the rules you need to follow in order to shower with a tattoo.

washing in shower with tattoo

But before that, how long after a tattoo can you really shower?

If you are looking to shower after getting your tattoo, don’t do it till at least 3 to 4 hours after getting it. And when you do, don’t get the tattoo wet. You need to do a good job at covering it, so no water or soap gets to it. If it does, remove it immediately. A fresh tattoo needs to be kept from soaking in water for at least 2 weeks after getting it.

Tattoos can get ruined rather easily. Even treating them with a little too much aftercare can ruin them too. The key is to not go overboard with caring for your tattoo. Don’t panic if something goes wrong and always ask for help from your artist. The best source for answers to all your tattoo related question and how to take care for your skin is with your artist and dermatologist, so feel free to contact them whenever you require assistance.

Tattoos can basically be seen as open wounds since your skin was repeatedly penetrated by the tattoo needle. Some artists even suggest you wait for an upwards of 24 hours before getting a shower. It is crucial to adhere to the timetable that your tattoo artist gives you. This is because you can get your tattoo infected very easily. And getting it wet will only speed up that process.

Tips on showering after a fresh tattoo:

You can totally shower after getting a tattoo provided you follow these tips closely and stick to them faithfully. Any breach of rule will result in a ruined tattoo. No one wants a ruined tattoo especially after going through a lot of pain to get it.

Think of your tattoo as a wound:

The tattoo gun injured your skin to lay the ink underneath. Its part of the process of getting a tattoo. Your skin at this point is very sensitive and open to any infection that may reach it. So, keeping your tattoo well covered and always protected is important. Make sure you maintain a sanitary environment around your tattoo and clean it at least 3 to 4 times a day.

Using warm (not hot) water for cleaning:

You need to set the temperature of the water you use beforehand. Make it so its not hot. You need lukewarm or even cool water to wash your tattoo when you replace bandages. Don’t use the shower head directly to pour water onto your tattoo as the pressure can irritate the skin and cause it to swell up.

Take water in your hands or pour by using a cup. And go in a circular motion while gently rubbing the tattoo surface. You need to avoid anything and everything that can disturb the tattoo skin. You may also experience some pus oozing out along with blood. That is completely normal and all you need to do is clean it using the aforementioned method. However, if you experience a lot of blood coming out, you need to consult your dermatologist immediately.

Using mild soaps:

When it comes to washing your tattoo in between changing the bandages or when you are taking a shower, you need to wash it with mild fragrance-free soap. Make sure the soap does not have any strong chemicals as they can take layers of skin off. Any corrosive material needs to be kept away from the tattoo skin.

Your best option is to use soaps that don’t have any abrasive qualities and ones that use all-natural ingredients as they will not flare up any allergic reactions. This is another thing you need to pay mind to. Make sure the soap you use does not have anything that can cause allergic reactions to you. Go through the ingredient list beforehand to ensure a stress-free wash.

Taking short showers

Keep your showers as short as you can. Don’t take a long time showering as the more time you take, the higher the chances of your tattoo getting wet. Other than this, exposing your tattoo to steam and heat can break the skin and open it up for bacterial infections to happen.

So, try making your shower quick so you can cater to your tattoo better.

Use a paper towel to lightly dab the tattoo to dry it off. Don’t rush this process and certainly don’t rub it harshly. Take a touch and escape method of doing it as it is the safest and will keep the skin protected.

Moisturizing the tattoo skin:

Moisturizing the tattoo is very important. Not only does it create a medium between your skin and the air that makes it hard for infections to travel through, but also revitalizes your skin by providing it with all the well-needed nutrients. This helps in keeping the tattoo soft, supple, and well hydrated.

Using petroleum jelly for example Vaseline is a great option you can look at. Try to avoid using over-the-counter creams and lotions without having a word with your doctor. Some unprescribed lotions can have certain ingredients you may not do very well with.

Following these rules while showering will make sure your tattoo stays in pristine condition. However, it is a very sensitive process and easy to mess up. So, be careful and gentle while doing it and you will be good to go.

Getting a tattoo is an amazing experience and you deserve to have all the information you need to take good care of it. This article is your one-stop-shop for all of it. With that said, rock that ink like you mean it! Be proud of what you get!