Can You Shower With A New Tattoo?

A lot goes into taking care of a tattoo after it has been inked onto your skin, and it can be a little overwhelming if it's your first one. Aftercare is the number one priority, so you'd think having a shower would be the first port of call once you return home from your appointment. However, as your new piece of art will have been covered up by your artist, you'll have to wait some time before you start the cleaning process.

According to Sorry Mom Shop, you should leave your tattoo wrapped for two to four hours before washing it for the first time. Once you let your tattoo breathe for the first time, you can wash your tattoo with warm soapy water. It's recommended that you don't submerge the ink, though, as this can "complicate the healing process" according to Authority Tattoo. This is especially the case if you go swimming, as the water can have "bacteria and over contaminants in it" which could lead to an infection as a tattoo is an open wound as it heals.

Be careful when showering with a new tattoo

That being said, you can shower with a new tattoo – you just have to be careful about it. Short showers are best when caring for a new tattoo, according to Healthline, as a steady stream of water can irritate the skin. You've also got to be mindful of the products you usually use in your shower routine. Don't use any loofahs or sponges on the skin, and avoid any other product other than a "mild, fragrance-free soap" as anything else can dry out and irritate the skin that's trying to heal.

As for the temperature of the water, Tattoo Moisturiser recommends that lukewarm water is best. This will get rid of any of the "gunk" that appears during the healing process, but will keep the pores closed. If hot water is applied to the area, skin pores will open which "may cause some ink to leak out" according to the site. It's also recommended to give your new tattoo a little cold water in the last 30 seconds of a shower "to help close the pores and prevent ink loss."

Once your shower time is over, don't dry your tattoo with a towel. Instead, grab a piece of clean paper towel and dab the skin, or just let it air dry (via Medical News Today). This way, there's no risk of anything getting into the tattoo, like fibers from a towel or bacteria in general.