How to Waterproof a Tattoo for Swimming: Best Way 2023

How to Waterproof a Tattoo for Swimming! So, you’ve got a fresh tattoo, and the water is calling your name. But hold on – tattoos, especially new ones, need special care, especially when it comes to swimming. You don’t want your beautiful artwork to get ruined, right? Fear not! In this comprehensive guide, we will explore How to Waterproof a Tattoo for Swimming. Here we’ll dive into the art of waterproofing tattoos for swimming, exploring the reasons you can’t just jump into the pool, a step-by-step guide, essential tattoo care tips for swimmers, the repercussions of swimming too soon, how to handle showering and bathing, common pitfalls, intriguing facts, and, of course, a solid conclusion to tie it all together.

Why Can’t You Swim With a Tattoo?

Tattoos are essentially wounds; your skin has been punctured, and it’s in the process of healing. Submerging a fresh tattoo in water, especially chlorinated or dirty water, can introduce bacteria and impurities, leading to infections and faded ink. It’s akin to planting a delicate flower and then stomping on it – not a pretty picture, right?

How to Waterproof a Tattoo for Swimming: Step-by-Step Guide

Here you can checkout a ste-by-step guide about how you can Waterproof a Tattoo for Swimming:

Total Time: 10 minutes

Wait Patiently

First things first, let your tattoo heal! Wait at least two weeks before even thinking about swimming. Patience is your best friend here.

Cleanse and Dry

Before taking the plunge, cleanse your tattoo gently with mild, fragrance-free soap. Pat it dry with a clean, soft towel. A dry surface is key to effective waterproofing.

Use a Waterproof Bandage

Invest in high-quality, waterproof bandages or covers specifically designed for tattoos. These are your superheroes in the battle against water. Ensure the entire tattoo is covered securely.

Seal it Tight

Press down on the edges of the bandage to create a tight seal. Imagine it’s like putting a lid on a jar; you want it snug to keep the freshness in – or in this case, the water out.

Check for Adhesion

Double-check the edges to ensure the bandage is sticking well. If there are any loose corners, press them down firmly. Think of it as ensuring all windows and doors are locked before leaving your house.

Reapply if Necessary

If you’re going for a long swim, consider reapplying the waterproof bandage after a couple of hours. Water and time can wear down the effectiveness of the seal.

Tattoo Care Tips for Swimmers

  • Avoid Pools and Hot Tubs Initially: Chlorine and other chemicals in pools and hot tubs are not friends with fresh tattoos. Wait until your tattoo is fully healed before taking the plunge.
  • Rinse After Swimming: After swimming, promptly rinse your tattoo with clean, lukewarm water. This helps wash away any residual chlorine or salt.
  • Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize: Keeping your tattoo moisturized is crucial. Use a tattoo-specific aftercare lotion to keep your skin and ink in top condition.
How to Waterproof a Tattoo for Swimming
How to Waterproof a Tattoo for Swimming

Side Effects of Swimming With a New Tattoo

Swimming too soon can lead to various issues, including:

  • Infections: Prolonged exposure to water increases the risk of bacterial infections.
  • Faded Colors: Swimming can leach color from your tattoo, making it look less vibrant.
  • Delayed Healing: Waterlogged skin hampers the natural healing process, prolonging recovery time.

How Do I Shower With a Tattoo? Can I Take a Bath With a Tattoo?


When showering, avoid direct water pressure on your tattoo. Let the water gently cascade over it. Do not scrub or use harsh shower gels on the area.


While baths are generally less abrasive than swimming pools, it’s still best to avoid submerging your tattoo until it’s fully healed. Stick to showers for the time being.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

  1. Ignoring Aftercare Instructions: Your tattoo artist will provide aftercare guidelines. Ignoring them is like ignoring a recipe and expecting a perfect dish.
  2. Being Impatient: Rushing the healing process can lead to long-term issues. Patience is the key to a beautifully healed tattoo.
  3. Choosing Cheap Waterproof Covers: Quality matters. Investing in cheap, ineffective covers can lead to water seepage, defeating the purpose entirely.

Facts About Waterproofing Tattoos for Swimming

  • Tattoos aren’t just ink on your skin; they’re an investment in art. Treat them as such!
  • Even after your tattoo is fully healed, sunscreen is its best friend. UV rays can fade your ink over time.
  • Waterproof bandages are a boon for tattoo enthusiasts. They not only protect your tattoo while swimming but also during showers or workouts.


In conlusion of How to Waterproof a Tattoo for Swimming, your tattoo is a work of art, and protecting it during the healing process is paramount. Waterproofing your tattoo for swimming involves patience, care, and the right materials. Don’t rush the process; your skin will thank you in the long run. Follow the steps, avoid common mistakes, and remember, a little caution now ensures a vibrant, long-lasting tattoo in the future. Here you can checkout 8 Interesting Things You Should Plan for This Fall.

FAQs About How to Waterproof a Tattoo for Swimming

How long should I wait before swimming after getting a tattoo?

Wait at least two weeks before swimming. Your tattoo needs this time to heal and form a protective layer of skin.

Can I use regular plastic wrap instead of specialized waterproof bandages?

Specialized waterproof bandages are designed for this purpose, offering better adhesion and protection. It’s advisable to use them for optimal results.

Can I swim in the ocean with a healing tattoo?

Swimming in the ocean with a healing tattoo is not recommended. Saltwater can introduce impurities and bacteria, increasing the risk of infection.

What should I do if my tattoo gets wet despite the waterproof cover?

If your tattoo gets wet accidentally, remove the cover, gently pat it dry, and reapply a new waterproof bandage to maintain protection.

Is it normal for my tattoo to peel and scab during the healing process?

Yes, peeling and scabbing are part of the natural healing process. Avoid picking at them to prevent scarring and maintain the tattoo’s integrity.

Can I swim after my tattoo is fully healed?

Yes, once your tattoo is fully healed, you can swim without restrictions. However, always remember to apply sunscreen to protect the colors from fading.

Can I speed up the healing process of my tattoo?

While you can’t rush the natural healing process, you can aid it by following your tattoo artist’s aftercare instructions diligently, keeping the area clean, and moisturizing regularly.

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