Showering after a new tattoo
Tattoo Aftercare

Can You Shower After a New Tattoo? 8 Tips to Do it Right - Sorry Mom


You have sat through the pain and now have a brand-new piece of art tattooed on your body permanently.

The next 48 hours following this are crucial for maintaining your tattoo’s lifespan because it will determine how your tattoo will look following the stages of scabbing and flaking.

You might be in a hurry to jump in the shower, but the first step is to get the green light from your tattoo artist.

So, Can you shower after getting a tattoo? If you are looking to shower without washing your tattoo, you can do it 3-4 hours after the artist has wrapped the tattoo. It's important to avoid soaking the area for at least 2 weeks, and remove any soap immediately. 

If you are looking to wash your tattoo, this is a completely different story.

The waiting period your artist has recommended before removing the bandage is extremely important to adhere to, so avoid peeking at your piece and allow your tattoo its time to heal.

Waterproof bandages will allow you to shower immediately while protecting your tattoo.

The best piece of advice for every newbie or even veteran when it comes to tattoos is to seek guidance from your artist. They are experts in their field and will be able to provide the best advice for your specific art piece.

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

Tattoos are basically open wounds, and as tempted as you might be to show off your new ink, it is advised to leave the bandage alone for at least 3 hours. Some artists even suggest waiting upwards of 24 hours.

As soon as your tattoo artist is done with their work, your tattoo is bandaged almost immediately after to protect it from infections and scarring.

Ultimately, your artist knows best, so seek their advice as it can vary depending on your piece. Once you have kept your tattoo under wraps based on your tattoo artist’s advice, the next step is to go about washing and cleaning the tattoo itself.

8 Tips On Taking a Shower After Getting a New Tattoo

#1 Treat your new tattoo like an open wound

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 Use cool or lukewarm water

Set the water temperature and power to a gentle stream of cool or lukewarm water. Your skin is extremely sensitive and not being careful here can cause your skin to swell even further.

#3 Wash the area with your hand or a cup

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

washing tattooed hands

#4 Use mild, fragrance free soaps

Use an unscented and gentle product designed for sensitive skin when you are washing your tattoo in the shower. The best soaps for this should be free of abrasive chemicals, yet still have the ability to clean the bacteria and impurities in the gentlest way possible.

#5 Don't submerge your tattoo in water

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.

#6 Take short showers

Keep your showers as brief as possible. Exposing your fresh tattoo to steam and heat can break down the pigment and slow down the healing process.

#7 Use paper towel

Blot your tattoo dry with a paper towel or let it air dry. Avoid using a towel as cross-contamination can cause bacteria can accumulate and result in infections.

#8 Apply moisturizer once it's completely dry

Moisturize the area once it is dry. 

In Sorry Mom, we have several gentle moisturizers that are fragrance-free and free of harsh chemicals.

Additionally, we have developed products specifically for tattoo care that speed up the process of healing.

How Long After Getting 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. 

protective tattoo film

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.

Read Also: Protective Tattoo Film vs Cling Film

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.

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 I Bathe After Getting a Tattoo?

Washing your tattoo is crucial but taking a bath can have the opposite effect and altogether ruin your tattoo.

Avoid submerging yourself in water for long periods of time after you have gotten a fresh tattoo. This means swimming pools, hot tubs and bathtubs should be avoided at all costs for at least a few weeks while your tattoo is in the process of healing.

Read Also: How Long After a Tattoo Can You Swim?


Keeping your tattoo fresh might seem like a difficult task because of the number of precautions and steps needed to be taken before you can fully enjoy the artistry behind it. 

But don’t let this deter you from getting your ink done.

The process, as many can attest to, is a small price to pay for the permanent artwork and creative expression that you can have on your body. 

Maintaining care for your tattoo will ensure that it heals well and stays vibrant for as long as possible.