How Long After a Tattoo Can You Take a Bath: A Guide to Proper Tattoo Aftercare

Getting a tattoo is an exciting experience, but proper aftercare is crucial to ensure that the tattoo heals correctly and looks its best. One common question that many people have is, “how long after a tattoo can you take a bath?” In this guide, we will explore the answer to this question and provide some tips on how to take care of your tattoo after getting inked.

How Long After a Tattoo Can You Take a Bath?

The general rule of thumb is that you should avoid soaking your new tattoo in water for at least two weeks. This means that you should avoid taking a bath, going swimming, or soaking in a hot tub. Water can damage the tattoo and cause the ink to fade or blur, which can lead to an unsightly tattoo.

However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t keep your tattoo clean. In fact, it’s essential to keep your tattoo clean to prevent infection and ensure that it heals properly. To clean your tattoo, you can use a gentle soap and warm water. Gently wash the tattoo with your hands, avoiding using a washcloth or loofah, as these can be too harsh on the delicate skin.

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Tips for Proper Tattoo Aftercare

In addition to avoiding soaking your tattoo in water for the first two weeks, there are several other tips that you should follow to ensure that your tattoo heals properly. These include:

Keep Your Tattoo Moisturized

After washing your tattoo, it’s essential to keep it moisturized. You can use a gentle, fragrance-free lotion to keep the tattoo hydrated. Apply the lotion to the tattoo several times a day, but be careful not to overdo it. Too much lotion can clog the pores and cause irritation.

Avoid Direct Sunlight

Direct sunlight can damage your new tattoo and cause the ink to fade. For the first few weeks after getting your tattoo, it’s best to keep it covered or avoid spending extended periods in the sun. If you must be in the sun, be sure to wear protective clothing and apply a high SPF sunscreen to the tattooed area.

Avoid Tight Clothing

Tight clothing can rub against your new tattoo and cause irritation. It’s best to wear loose-fitting clothing that allows your tattoo to breathe and heal properly.

Don’t Pick at Your Tattoo

As your tattoo heals, it’s normal for it to scab and peel. However, it’s essential to resist the urge to pick at it. Picking at your tattoo can damage the ink and cause scarring.

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Follow Your Tattoo Artist’s Instructions

Your tattoo artist should provide you with specific instructions on how to care for your new tattoo. Follow these instructions carefully to ensure that your tattoo heals correctly and looks its best.


Getting a tattoo is a significant investment, both in terms of time and money. Proper aftercare is crucial to ensure that your tattoo looks its best and lasts for years to come. While it’s tempting to take a bath or go swimming after getting inked, it’s essential to wait at least two weeks to avoid damaging the tattoo. By following these tips for proper tattoo aftercare, you can ensure that your tattoo heals correctly and looks its best for years to come.