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How to Shower Properly with a New Tattoo? – 5 Helpful Tips & After Shower Guide

by  Kin Liu -  Last updated on August 11, 2021

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Forget what you have heard about what happens when you shower after getting a tattoo, they’re all wrong. Don’t worry, your new tattoo won’t fall off or fade or flake away after a single shower. Showering with a new tattoo is completely fine as long as you take a few essential preventive measures.

In fact, you can and should shower after you get a new tattoo. It’s the best way to keep your body clean and your new tattoo safe and bright and in good condition. Cleaning and showering is greatly encouraged after you get a new tattoo but there is a certain way to do it.

The steps are easy to follow and your new tattoo will look all the better for it.

How to Shower Properly with a New Tattoo?

1. Don’t submerge your tattoo

It’s more than okay if your brand new ink gets a little wet. However, it shouldn’t be totally submerged in water or placed under a steady stream of running water for long periods of time right after it’s been put on your body. When concerned, just err on the side of getting it wet but not submerged or soaked. That is a generally good rule of thumb.

2. Keep showers short

While you can shower pretty soon after you get your new tattoo, you should try to keep your shower time short so you do not irritate that skin. Aim to be in and out of the shower in about ten minutes.

3. Avoid scrubbing

You can thoroughly clean all other parts of your body like you normally do but you will want to avoid any harsh cleaning supplies or scrubbing on the area of your fresh ink. No loofahs will be allowed near your tattoo. Be extra gentle on that part of your body, but the rest of your skin should be fine for normal cleaning.

4. Avoid harsh products

Wash the tattooed area gently using only fragrance-free soap. Certain cleaning items with alcohol and other chemicals irritate and dry out the skin, which will lead to serious scarring and troubles with the healing process.

5. Avoid high water pressure

You need to be careful if your shower has strong water pressure. If it does, you need to keep the tattooed area of your body away from such a strong, steady stream. Ideally, the water will run over your body, including your new tattoo. But you do not want your tattoo to be directly sprayed by the showerhead.

After the Shower

After the shower, you will continue to be very gentle with your new tattoo. Remember that any harsh touch and all products with intense chemicals are bad. Make sure you go very easy on that part of your body.

You will have to bypass some of the products and lotions you might normally use but that is for the greater good as your tattoo is healing.

Pat the sensitive area dry with a very clean and very dry towel. When that is done, apply a thin layer of moisturizing ointment, which may be provided to you by your tattoo artist after the artwork is completed. This ointment will help prevent drying and it also adds a protective layer.

Once your tattoo begins to heal, you will need to focus on hydrating and moisturizing your tattoo. At this time, you’ll be able to change from the aforementioned ointment to a non-scented lotion instead.

How Soon Can I Shower?

After a long day at the tattoo parlor, you might want to shower right away. However, this might not be possible. It really depends on the type of covering your tattoo artist used on your tattoo.

They will tell you how long to keep it on and they will also tell you when you can next shower. Follow their advice closely since they are the experts. Generally, people are advised to wait anywhere from 1 to 24 hours, depending on the location and size of your tattoo.

How About a Bath?

You might want to take a bath after your long stressful day but that is probably the worst idea you can have. Baths are big no-nos after you get a tattoo – and for good reason too.

Think of it this way: your tattoo is an open wound, completely submerging it in water could expose it to bacteria. With that exposure can come a serious infection that will cost you more than just your tattoo, it can cost you your health too.

Plus, soaking in a bathtub can also dry out your skin and lead to serious cracking. That is why baths are bad ideas immediately after your tattoo.

Remember at all times that you need to avoid immersing your tattoo in water and keeping it soaked for a prolonged period of time. A rinse is okay, like in the shower. But anything more than that is frowned upon.

Therefore, you can assume that there will be no swimming or baths, hot tubs, or pools for about two whole weeks.

When is a Tattoo Fully Healed?

All tattoos and all people who get tattooed are different. That means that it’s hard to really determine just how long it will take for a tattoo to heal. Your artist will tell you how long the healing process takes. They will also inform you of what you should and shouldn’t do during that period of time.

Roughly, the outer layer of human skin usually heals in about two weeks, leaving the area looking and feeling like it’s healed.

Warning Signs

You should pay close attention to your tattoo after it is done. If you start to notice some serious problems or skin reactions, you should immediately contact your tattoo artists or even your doctor. You should especially look out for the following:

  • Prolonged redness
  • Puffy or swollen skin
  • Oozing fluid or pus
  • Bleeding
  • Severe itchiness or hives
  • Discoloration

These issues will often be met with other serious problems, such as:

  • Fever
  • Increased or excessive pain
  • Warm skin
  • Increased and severe redness or redness that bleeds beyond the tattoo
  • Itchy, red or bumpy rash
  • Open sores on the tattoo

These are a sign that something is wrong and that you need to seek medical attention as soon as possible.


The truth is that you can take a shower after you get a tattoo, you just might need to wait a little while. However, while you can shower, you need to be extra careful to make sure that your tattoo does not get submerged in water or very wet for a while. This can lead to very serious, life-threatening problems that should be avoided at all costs.

Also Read: How Long Should You Keep Your New Tattoo Covered?


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