Getting tattoos is one of the ways people beautify their bodies, and it is a thing that has been around for a long time now. Even swimmers, either those who take it as a hobby or those who take it as a career, are not exempted.
Should swimmers get to swim after getting a tattoo? When can you go to a swimming pool after getting a tattoo? Let us get into the details.
You might need to wait for about a month for your tattoo to heal before you can start swimming, as recommended by the American Academy of Dermatology Association. Healing might take more than a month, sometimes up to six months, depending on many factors.
I know you just got this tattoo, and you want to show it off so badly. One of the ways you are planning to do that is by going swimming.
Take it easy, and you need to know that a new tattoo is more like a fresh wound. Just like you will need some time for a wound to get better, you will need to wait for your tattoo to heal. During this time, you are waiting for the tattoo to heal. You are not meant to expose it to sunlight, water, chemicals, bacteria, etc.
Getting into a swimming pool with a fresh tattoo won’t suit your tattoo, especially if it is a large one. The recommended time for your tattoo to heal is about a month. For about 2 weeks, it can go lesser if the tattoos are small ones.
If, by any chance, the tattoo is still showing that it is not fully healed, wait till it finally gets healed. Some products can be of help by speeding up the healing process.
Why Do You Have To Wait?
You might wonder what the essence of waiting for about a month before you can start swimming again is. There are dangers attached to swimming with fresh tattoos.
1. You can be infected
Swimming in the pool with a fresh tattoo is like swimming with an open wound. You have opened it to microbes that can infect it in the water.
Cases like sepsis and even death are possible. Though, this barely happens. A man got Vibrio vulnificus with his new tattoo in the Gulf of Mexico. This shows that there is still a possibility, even though it is rare.
Even though swimming pools use chlorine for their bacteria, you should still not risk it. Chlorine does not have 100% effectiveness in killing bacteria.
2. It can affect your tattoo.
If you swim and your fresh tattoo comes in contact with chlorine or saltwater, they may dull the color of your tattoo. Besides that, swimming will delay your tattoo’s time to get healed. I am sure you don’t want your tattoo dulled, as it is fresh. You should stay away from swimming till the tattoo is healed.
3. It can also affect the skin.
Usually, fresh tattoos may come with irritation, but opening it to chlorine might heighten the situation. It can result in rashes, then sores, swelling, etc. Just guard your beautiful tattoo.
How Do I Know If My Tattoo Is Healed?
How do you gauge if your tattoo is healed enough to be exposed? There are several pointers, but it can get confusing and tricky because you might feel like your tattoo is ready to go just looking at it.
It is recommended that you do not expose the tattoo for a month. Tattoo artists agree, with a range of 2-4 weeks depending on if the tattoo is large or not.
I stated earlier that there are some cases where the tattoo is not fully healed in one month. What should be done in this situation? You should wait.
How you care for the tattoo after getting it matters, concerning the tattoo’s healing. If the tattoo does not itch you, look red, or scab, it might be a pointer that the tattoo is healed.
If it is healed, you can confirm where you had tattoos done. You can check it. It will be easier this way.
What If I must Swim?
I want to give room for exceptional cases where there might be a compulsion to swim. Is it okay to? If you have to swim, there are some precautions you can put in place to position you in a safe spot.
1. Apply waterproof
Since exposing the tattoo to water is dangerous, making a waterproof water dressing that disallows contact with water should help immensely.
This waterproof dressing exists in different sizes. Use them to cover the tattoo up only before you go into the swimming pool. Also, ensure that you take it off immediately you are done swimming.
Though this will affect the healing process, it still provides a good option. It will reduce the risk of infection when swimming.
2. Get the tattoo cleaned.
Just before you remove the waterproof dressing, gently pat the areas where you have your tattoo to avoid water coming in contact when removing the dressing. Once the waterproof dressing is off, the next is to get the tattoo cleaned.
Gently clean the tattoo; you can use soap – a mild one, and warm water. Once done, pat the areas again with neat tissue paper until they dry.
What If I Had Already Swam Without Taking Precautions?
There is also this exception, probably you don’t know that you should not be swimming when you get a tattoo, and now you are thinking if it won’t affect you and what can be done to the effects.
I don’t think you should be worried. The death case due to infection from exposure to tattoo swimming pool water is not so typical. If by any means, you notice anything that seems fishy, like your tattooed area being continually red, or continually peeling off, etc.
You should get to your tattoo artist, in this case, to ensure your safety.