You’ve come back from your tattoo session or you’re preparing for one because you don’t want anything getting in the way between your perfect tattoo and you. You’re not completely sure about whether to take your tattoo artist’s advice and need more insight into whether it’s safe to shower after finishing your session. Don’t worry, you’ve come to the right place!
There are several reasons why someone wants to shower after a tattoo. First and foremost, it’s hygienic and pretty much normal. Second, you’re one of a few unfortunate people who got their tattoo inked during the scorching summer temperatures or some other reason.
Whatever may be the reason, it’s important to inform yourself about the aftercare methods for your skin to ensure that your tattoo and skin won’t be irritated due to a poor approach to tattoo aftercare and healing.
In this article we’ll detail can you shower after getting a tattoo, and how much time should pass before you can soak your tattoo into the shower. You’ll get all the information you need, and hopefully dispel all your fears about the tattoo aftercare, especially if this is your first tattoo.
Is It Safe To Shower After Getting A Tattoo?
The short answer is yes. But, there’s more to that.
Many tattoo artists have different opinions. That’s why it’s always a good thing to ask a few people about the right option. If your tattoo artist said that you shouldn’t shower for the first 24 to 48 hours, you should definitely look at this article and choose the best decision, in case you need to urgently take a shower.
If your tattoo artist told you to freely shower despite doing the tattoo and no 24 hours passed, this article is still a good read if you want to learn about the precaution necessary for the proper healing of the tattoo that you will use.
So, in a short answer, it’s safe to shower after getting a tattoo. But, that’s a superficial answer. There’s a lot of things to consider like how long has it been since you got your tattoo done, what water you’re using, what soap you’re using, and if you’re not using any extra items to assist you in the shower.
Fortunately for you, we’ll talk about all of this in this article, so let’s move further.
First 24 to 48 Hours
Many tattoo artists say that this timeline is the most crucial after getting a tattoo and often dictates the healing pace of your tattoo. We couldn’t agree more. To ensure that your tattoo will heal properly, here are the tips that you can use to shower and clean yourself in the first two days until you can freely soak the tattoo into the shower.
When your tattoo is complete, your tattoo artist will use one of either bandage:
Both are quite good for new tattoos and will prevent the breakthrough of bacteria and other germs into your tattoo over the first days of getting a tattoo.
Depending on how complex your tattoo was, your tattoo artist will tell you how long you need to carry your bandage and whether you should add a new one after a day. Make sure to communicate these issues with your tattoo artist to ensure your wound remains intact.
1. Don’t Remove Bandages For The First Shower
One of the key things to remember is not to remove the bandages when you go into the shower. The water in the first hours can be quite bad for your healing process. What’s more, most bandages are waterproof, but it’s still advisable to keep that entire area dry.
By avoiding contact with water in the tattooed area, you also avoid contact with potential bacteria that enjoy breeding in a warm and humid ground if hot water touches the area. The tattoo wound needs to dry out to be able to heal. That said, don’t leave your tattoo exposed in the first days after getting inked.
2. Try Sponge Shower
Both baths and thorough showers are a no-no in the first days after getting your tattoo. That’s why it’d be best to shower only body parts that are not connected to the tattoo. Sponge baths and showers are the best options when the tattoo is large and it’s hard to avoid soaking it. Use a sponge and shower gel to wash the parts that are away from the tattoo with mild water.
Sponge showers are often applied in hospitals after a patient has gone through a serious surgical procedure. Since tattooing involved a needle that penetrates the top skin layer called the dermis, it’s best to use this mild type of showers to clean up and refresh your body.
After You Remove The Bandage
So, you removed the bandage, your tattoo is less irritable and swollen, and it’s time for your wound to make the first contact with water. Don’t think that you should stop being careful now. The tattoo can take well over 6 weeks to heal if it’s large and demanding. That’s why you should take the following steps to ensure that your tattoo will be clean.
3. Use Mild Water
One of the worst things that you can do is a shower in cold or super-hot water. As you may know, hot steam and water can open the pores on your body and cause an infection that you will have a hard time recovering from. Your skin still needs to recover itself and heal in its entirety.
That’s why you should use cool water or lukewarm water if you’re worried about getting cold. Avoid hot water at any cost, because it can be horrible on your tattoo that is now on its way to getting healed. Not just that, showering in hot water will be extremely painful if the hot water comes in touch with your tattoo wound. It can cause burning, stinging, or simply put, an eye-tearing painful reaction.
Editor’s notes: Don’t force yourself to shower if your tattoo is healing slower for one reason or another. You can continue with sponge showers if you feel like you’re not ready. Still, keep in touch that cleaning your tattoo is important at this point.
4. No Scrubbing
Remember, just because your tattoo started healing itself, doesn’t mean that it’s time to literally throw the showerhead into it and scrub it off. Like we said, your tattoo isn’t ready for direct water contact, especially in warm or hot water.
Make sure to splash a bit of lukewarm water into the tattoo wound and simply dampen your skin, gently. Scrubbing could potentially irritate your skin, leading to an infection. Additionally, it could make your skin begin to peel off, which is definitely bad for your tattoo.
Avoid too much contact with the tattoo and just gently dampen the area.
Editor’s note: Avoid using shower scrubs, peeling lotions, and scrubbing cloth at any cost. You don’t want your tattoo skin to become inflamed. The washcloth is also a bad thing as it is a breeding ground for bacteria
5. Use a Mild Soap
Again, no soap scrubbing but simply dampening and gently rubbing it into your skin. It needs to be a mild soap, made of sensitive skin-friendly compounds that won’t cause additional irritation to your skin. There are a lot of different soaps that you can try out that are good both for face and body wash.
Editor’s Notes: We recommend two of the best mild soaps used for sensitive face and body:
- Eucerin – It’s a hard soap-free formula that will work wonders both on your face and body. It’s fragrance and dye-free, so you don’t have to worry about additional risk.
- Sebamed Liquid Face and Body Wash – With a pH value formula that is mild or rather neutral, Sebamed liquid wash is the best for the most sensitive parts of your face and body. Dampening it into your tattoo wound will ensure that it’s cleaned properly.
6. Clean Your Tattoo Gently
You shouldn’t spend too much time in the shower, just enough to clean your tattoo wound, refresh and rejuvenate it, so that it can continue drying off and healing at its own pace, and even faster if you care for it properly.
Don’t scrub yourself roughly after you finish the shower, cover the part with the tattoo with a gentle towel and dampen it into the tattoo, don’t scrub, rub or sway it across the tattoo as the skin may become swollen, irritated, and even start bleeding.
Things To Avoid When Showering After Tattoo
Finally, we made a list of things you shouldn’t do when showering after getting a tattoo. Read them and remember them just in case you may think about doing this unintentionally.
- Don’t pick the flakes of your tattoo
- Don’t use strong body lotions and ointments. Even sunscreen can be a good ointment to get rid of the inflammation.
- Avoid rubbing and scrubbing the towel into your skin
- Avoid swimming in the pool, but make sure to read this guide if swimming is simply unavoidable for you.
- Don’t bathe for a week to two weeks until the tattoo enters the final stages of healing.
- Don’t allow yourself to scab the tattoo off, as that will ruin the looks of your tattoo and you’ll likely have to go and get a rework done at the tattoo artist after the tattoo heals. You don’t want to go through the same healing process over one tattoo twice, right?