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How to Shower With a New Tattoo: A Step-by-Step Guide

Just got inked and itching to shower?

Hold on!

A new tattoo is an investment in self-expression, and proper aftercare is key to a flawless healing process.

This comprehensive guide unlocks the secrets to when and how you can safely shower with your new tattoo to avoid complications and to keep your artwork looking fresh.

tattoo shower

Can You Shower With a New Tattoo and How Soon?

The first 48 hours after getting a tattoo are crucial in maintaining your ink’s lifespan.

Your tattoo’s appearance after scabbing and flaking will depend on how well you take care of it the first couple of days.

One essential rule to remember after getting a new ink: refrain from submerging or soaking your tattoo in water until fully healed.

Thankfully, that doesn’t mean you should steer clear of the shower altogether.

So yes, you can take a shower with a new tattoo.

But how soon can you take a shower after getting a new tattoo?

It primarily depends on the type of bandage or wraps your tattoo artist used to cover your new ink.

Here’s a simple showering guide after getting a new tattoo you can follow.

  • 3-4 hours after getting a tattoo

If you want to take a shower without washing your new ink, you can do so around 3 to 4 hours after the tattoo artist wrapped your new tattoo.

If the tattooist used a waterproof and medical-grade bandage to cover your new ink, you can take a shower anytime.

  • 12-24 hours after getting a tattoo

Tattoos are open wounds and you must treat them as such.

You wouldn’t want to take a shower with an open wound.

Most artists who use a piece of regular bandage or a plastic wrap to cover a new tattoo suggest waiting around 12 to 24 hours before you shower.

Ultimately, your tattooist knows best and should advise when would be the safest time to shower and clean your new ink.

Showering With a New Tattoo: 6 Essential Steps

Now you know that showering with a new tattoo is 100% okay.

Forget those urban myths that say your tattoo will wash off if you shower soon after getting it.

These are not true, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have to take a couple of basic precautions.

If you just got your ink and think of showering, here’s the best way to deal with shower time with a new tattoo:

1. Set the Water Temperature to Cool or Lukewarm

After getting a tattoo, your skin will be extremely sensitive, especially in and around the new ink.

It’s important to shower with the proper water temperature to avoid causing any stinging pain or swelling on your skin.

Hot or warm water can also open your skin pores, which isn’t what you want to do with a new tattoo.

Otherwise, it could cause the ink to bleed, and you’ll end up with a patchy or faded tattoo.

The best water temperature to shower with a new tattoo is either cool or lukewarm, and make sure you check if the water feels comfortable before jumping right into the shower.

2. Dampen the Tattoo Carefully

Showering with the jet blasting water out too powerfully right into your new tattoo is another no-go.

The powerful water from the showerhead can’t only cause your skin stinging pain but might also possibly force the tattoo ink out.

Instead, very carefully dampen your new ink with shower water.

It will be less harsh on your sensitive skin and prevents your new tattoo from getting soaked.

When you shower with intense water pressure, don’t draw the spray towards your inked skin.

3. Clean the Tattoo With a Mild, Fragrance-Free Soap

It is essential to clean your new tattoo while showering to maintain hygiene and to prevent any infection.

However, you have to do it the right way, like using the ideal soap for your new ink.

You can’t use ordinary soap to shower with a new tattoo unless you’re already using a skin-sensitive soap.

The best soap for showering with a new tattoo should be mild, fragrance-free, and antibacterial to ensure proper cleaning and prevent irritation.

Some recommended options include:

Pacha Nada Bar Soap: This soap is simple, unscented, and gentle, making it a great choice for cleaning new tattoos.

Dial Complete Clean + Gentle Antibacterial Foaming Hand Wash: This soap is recommended for its ability to prevent irritation and clean new tattoos effectively.

Dr. Bronner's Pure-Castile Liquid Soap
$8.95 ($1.12 / Fl Oz)

This all-natural soap is gentle, unscented, and effective at cleaning new tattoos.

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04/11/2024 01:23 pm GMT

4. Take Your Shower as Fast as You Can

As a general rule, you should avoid soaking your new tattoo in water, so it’s essential to make your showers as fast as you possibly can.

Once you’ve cleaned yourself and your new ink, leave the shower as quickly as possible.

This way, you can prevent your tattoo from getting exposed to water, soap, or steam for too long as any of these things can cause your ink to fade or become ultra-sensitive.

5. Be Careful When Drying Your New Tattoo

Be extremely careful when drying your new tattoo after getting a shower.

It may be advisable to avoid using your regular towel as it can harbor tons of bacteria and germs that may cause infection.

Instead, blot it dry with a paper towel or opt for drying your tattooed area naturally with air.

The last step in the aftercare process involves applying a thin layer of unscented moisturizing ointment to the tattooed area.

Aquaphor Healing Ointment
$15.99 ($1.14 / Ounce)

Aquaphor contains ingredients that help pull water from the air into the skin, keeping it hydrated and promoting healing.

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04/11/2024 02:25 pm GMT

The purpose of using an unscented moisturizing ointment is to keep the tattoo hydrated and prevent it from drying out, which can lead to excessive scabbing and itchiness that could potentially damage the new ink.

Crucial Tips for Showering With a New Tattoo

It’s OK to get your new ink a little wet, but leaving it under running water or submerging it in the water for long periods is not ideal.

Too much water can dilute the ink and may even cause it to wash out.

Besides that, there are a couple of other things you should avoid doing when showering with a new tattoo to prevent skin irritation that could also damage your new ink.

Skip the Washcloth or Loofah

Avoid scrubbing or rubbing your new ink and even the skin area surrounding it.

Skip the fancy shower routine until after the skin becomes fully healed, which means skipping your favorite sponge, shower brush, and loofah.

Besides, these things can be home to bacteria and germs.

Rubbing your newly tattooed skin can also irritate it and might even cause bleeding.

Never Scrub Your New Tattoo When Drying

You also need to be mindful of how you dry your new tattoo after the shower.

To prevent peeling skin or scabs from being pulled accidentally, always dry it gently and lightly with a soft and non-abrasive paper towel.

Air-drying your new tattoo after the shower is also recommended to be extra safe.

Chantelle Farrell

Chantelle is a professional cosmetologist who runs her own skin care clinic Amaranthine Aesthetics. She specializes in anti-aging treatment and natural skin care procedures that restore skin beauty and keep it healthy over time.

As a skin care expert, Chantelle enjoys sharing her advice about reliable skin care products, techniques, and aftercare procedures. She believes that everyone should take care of their body and skin and can do that effectively when armed with proper knowledge.

About Loo Academy

At Loo Academy, our mission is to offer trusted advice for everything related to bathrooms (design ideas, plumbing advice, showering & bathing tips, remodeling guides, and more) — a place where we all spend a great deal of time.

We work closely with qualified experts and follow a thorough editing and fact-checking process before publishing content.

Published content is regularly fact-checked and revised so that the information we provide is accurate and up-to-date.

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