Can I Shower After Getting a Tattoo? 6 Things You Should Know

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It’s important to take care of your tattoo in the first 48 hours after getting it, as this will affect how the tattoo looks during the healing process.

One question that many people have is whether it’s okay to shower after getting a tattoo.

So, Can I shower after getting a tattoo? The answer is yes, but it’s important to wait 3-4 hours after the tattoo is finished and to use lukewarm water when showering. Avoid applying water directly to the tattooed area and avoid submerging the tattoo in water.

Easy, right?

While these guidelines may seem simple, there are likely many other questions you may have about caring for your tattoo.

Read on for more information.

guy with tattoos showering

How Soon After Getting a Tattoo Can I Take a Shower?

It is generally recommended to wait at least 3 hours after getting a tattoo before showering, although some tattoo artists may recommend waiting up to 24 hours. It is important to follow the advice of your tattoo artist, as they will be able to provide specific recommendations based on the size and location of your tattoo.

When you do shower, be sure to avoid hot water and use a mild, fragrance-free soap to gently clean the tattooed area.

Avoid scrubbing the tattoo or soaking it for an extended period of time. Properly caring for your tattoo during the healing process will help to prevent infection and ensure that it heals properly.

Taking a Shower After Getting a New Tattoo: 6 Things You Should Know

#1 Be extremely gentle

Your tattoo is like an open wound, so treat it as such. You want to be extremely gentle and maintain a clean and sanitary tattoo during this aftercare period because the skin has experienced trauma and needs time to heal.

#2 Avoid using hot water

Set the water temperature and power to a gentle stream of cool or lukewarm water. Exposing your fresh tattoo to steam and heat can break down the pigment and slow down the healing process.

can you shower after getting a tattoo

#3 Don’t apply water directly to the tattooed area

Never apply water directly from the shower-head. Instead, gently wash the area with your hand or a cup.

#4 Use unscented, mild soaps

The best soaps for this should be free of abrasive chemicals and designed for sensitive skins, yet still have the ability to clean the bacteria and impurities in the gentlest way possible.

tattoo foam soap

#5 Don’t soak your tattoo

Keep your showers as brief as possible to avoid submerging your tattoo in water for extended periods of time. You want to keep water exposure to a minimum because this can impact the pigments in the tattoo and increase the chances of tattoo infection.

#6 Use papel towel to dry your tattoo

Pat dry your tattoo with papel towel or let it air dry.

How Long After a Tattoo Can You Shower Normally?

The type of bandage your tattoo artist uses on you will determine how soon you can shower normally.

If they have used a waterproof protective tattoo film, you can shower pretty much normal almost immediately. Once the bandage has been removed after 3-5 days, you can shower at any time you want, following some precautions.

Some old-school bandages or cling wrap as is traditionally used will require a waiting period of up to 12 hours until you can get in the shower. Be sure to make note of this with your tattoo artist.

tattoo film on new tattoo

What to Do After Taking a Shower?

Once you are out of the shower, be sure to completely dry the area, and moisturize your skin thoroughly.

Generally, tattoos begin to scab and flake 48 hours after they have been done. Most tattoos can take up to two weeks to fully heal, so be diligent with caring for them. Read more on the first days of healing in our article “Tattoo care first 48 hours“.

moisturize tattoo after shower

You might be tempted to pick at the scab, but it is extremely crucial to avoid doing this at all costs.

Doing so might risk scarring, discoloration, and exposing it to bacteria that can destroy all of the hard work your artist put into the piece. Patience is extremely important during this time so be sure to be extra cautious when it comes to caring for your tattoo.

Can You Bathe After Getting a Tattoo?

The short answer is no, at least not right away. The tattoo is an open wound and exposing it to water, especially hot water, can cause infection and damage to the tattoo.

Why Can’t You Bath After a Tattoo?

The reason you can’t bathe after getting a tattoo is that the tattoo is an open wound. Bathing in water, especially hot water, can cause infection and damage to the tattoo. The tattoo artist will likely give you specific aftercare instructions (or check our professional tattoo care routine), but for the first few days, it’s best to stick to quick, lukewarm showers.

Can I take a Bath a Month After a Tattoo?

A month after getting the tattoo, it’s generally safe to take a bath, but always check with your tattoo artist for their specific recommendations. They know best about your tattoo and the healing process.

Can You Shower After Tattoo Removal?

After getting a tattoo removed, it’s important to be cautious when it comes to showering. It’s recommended to avoid taking a shower for at least 24 hours post-procedure. This is to allow the treated area to start healing without the risk of infection. Once the 24 hours have passed, you can start showering again, however, it’s important to take certain precautions such as:

  • Avoiding direct water pressure on the treated area to minimize irritation
  • Keeping the area covered with a thin layer of petroleum jelly to lock in moisture and protect the skin.

It’s always a good idea to check with your tattoo removal specialist for specific aftercare instructions as they will know best how to care for your unique case.

shower after laser tattoo removal

Can You Shower With a Tattoo After 2 Weeks?

When it comes to showering with a tattoo, after 2 weeks it should be healed enough to shower normally. However, it is still important to be gentle and avoid direct water pressure on the tattoo. And don’t forget to use a fragrance-free, mild soap to clean the area.


In conclusion, taking showers and keeping your new tattoo clean is crucial for ensuring that your tattoo heals correctly and maintains its integrity.

Waiting at least 3 hours before showering, using lukewarm water and mild fragrance-free soap, being gentle, and avoiding hot water are all important steps to take. Additionally, it is important to not apply water directly to the tattooed area, avoid soaking the tattoo, and use the same towel or paper towel to dry the tattoo.

Follow the aftercare instructions provided by your tattoo artist and wait for the bandage to be removed after 3-5 days. To prevent infection, avoid taking a bath for at least a month after getting a tattoo and avoid showering for at least 24 hours after tattoo removal.

By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your tattoo will heal beautifully and last for many years to come.


How can I protect my tattoo from water?

To protect your tattoo from water, you can use a tattoo film or bandage that is specifically designed for tattoos. It’s important to choose a product that is both breathable and waterproof and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper use and care.

Should I moisturize my tattoo after shower?

The best way to keep your tattoo hydrated is to use an aftercare moisturizer every morning and night, especially after showering, to prevent it from drying out. Most professional tattoo artists advise their clients to follow this moisturizing routine to give their tattoos the best chance of healing.

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