How to waterproof a tattoo for swimming? 7 Safe Tips

How to waterproof a tattoo for swimming

Are you a tattoo lover who’s also a fan of swimming? If so, you might wonder how to protect your tattoo while dipping in the pool or ocean.

It’s no longer a secret that water can damage tattoos, but there are ways to waterproof your tattoo ink so you can enjoy your swim without worrying about fading, smudging, or infection. 

In this blog post, you will find 7 safe Tips on how to waterproof a tattoo for swimming, so you can have fun in the water without sacrificing the beauty and longevity of your body art.

Researchers are exploring using “smart waterproof tattoos” to monitor health conditions using tiny sensors to measure blood sugar levels and hydration. The potential for a waterproof tattoo to revolutionize healthcare is fascinating.

If you’re looking for tattoo machines, you might be interested in our article on the best wireless tattoo machines.

7 Safe Tips to Waterproof a Tattoo for Swimming

7 Safe Tips to Waterproof a Tattoo for Swimming

We realize that swimming with a new tattoo can be tricky to navigate. However, you can use several methods to get a waterproof tattoo effectively.

Some essential tips include:

1. Use a waterproof sunscreen

Applying a high SPF waterproof tattoo sunscreen to your tattoo can help protect it from sun damage while also creating a barrier against water.

2. Waterproof bandages

Covering your tattoo with a waterproof bandage is another effective method for preventing water damage. These can be found at most drugstores, made specifically to protect tattoos.

3. Petroleum jelly

Applying a thin layer of petroleum jelly to your tattoo before swimming can help protect it from water damage.

4. Tattoo sealant

Special tattoo sealants can help protect your tattoo from water damage.

5. Avoid Soaking

It’s important to avoid soaking your tattoo in water for extended periods, as this can increase the risk of water damage.

6. Rinse and pat dry

After swimming, it’s important to rinse your waterproof tattoo with clean, fresh water to remove any chlorine or salt residue. Pat to dry it with a clean, soft towel without rubbing or scratching the affected area.

7. Moisturize

Applying a tattoo aftercare lotion can help keep your tattoo moisturized and protected from the elements.

Can I protect my fresh tattoo ink from swimming?

Can I protect my fresh tattoo ink from swimming

If you recently got a new tattoo, taking extra precautions to protect it from water is essential, especially if you’re a swimming fanatic. While you might be eager to show off your new body art in the pool or ocean, it’s crucial to make sure you have a waterproof tattoo.

Meanwhile, during the healing process, your tattoo is essentially an open wound, and exposing it to water can increase the risk of infection, fading, or smudging. However, if you must go swimming while your tattoo is still fresh, there are a few ways to protect it.

Nonetheless, it would help if you remembered that protecting your tattoo is crucial to ensure it heals properly and looks incredible for years.

Why can’t you swim with a new tattoo?

Why can't you swim with a new tattoo

Swimming with a new tattoo can be highly damaging to the healing process, and thus, it’s essential to avoid exposing your tattoo to water until it has fully healed.

When you get a tattoo, the process involves using needles to inject ink into your skin, which creates minor wounds. These wounds need time to heal, and any exposure to water can increase the risk of your tattoo’s fading.

In addition, chlorine, saltwater, and bacteria found in swimming pools and oceans can all harm your tattoo, especially while it’s still healing. Also, the constant rubbing and friction of swimming can cause irritation and damage to the delicate skin surrounding your tattoo.

Remember that patience is vital when getting a new tattoo, and caring for it properly ensures it looks outstanding.

When can I go swimming with a fresh tattoo?

While it’s important to avoid swimming with a new tattoo until it fully heals, there will come a time when you can safely take a dip in the pool or ocean without worrying about damaging your ink.

In general, it’s best to wait at least two weeks before exposing your tattoo to water, although the exact length of time may vary depending on the size and location of your tattoo. Your tattoo will go through several stages during the healing process, including peeling, scabbing, and itching. Once these symptoms have subsided and your tattoo fully recovers, you can feel comfortable swimming without worrying about damage or infection.

In addition, it is essential to take the-most-important precautions when swimming with a tattoo, which include:

  • Using a waterproof bandage or sunscreen
  • Avoid exposing your tattoo to the sun for extended periods.

In conclusion, you can always enjoy swimming by taking good care of your tattoo and using common sense.

Professional swimmers now get “biomechanical tattoos” to improve their performance in the water. These tattoos mimic the movement of fins, improve grip and help swimmers move through the water more efficiently.

What if I went swimming without waterproofing my tattoo?

What if I went swimming without waterproofing my tattoo

If you go swimming without properly waterproofing your tattoo, it might get some damage. Chlorine and saltwater are both harmful to tattoos, especially if they are still healing into a waterproof tattoo.

Hence, if you expose your tattoo to water, it’s essential to take immediate action to minimize damage. These include:

  • First, rinse your tattoo with fresh water to remove chlorine or salt residue. 
  • Pat to dry it gently with a clean, soft towel, careful not to rub or scratch the affected area. 
  • If your tattoo is red, swollen, or tender to the touch, it may be infected, and you should seek medical attention immediately.
  • Once you’ve cleaned and dried your tattoo, apply a tattoo aftercare lotion to moisturize and protect it. 
  • Please avoid using harsh soaps or body washes on the affected area, and keep it out of direct sunlight until it has fully healed.

Always remember that prevention is the best way to protect your tattoo from water damage.

A new tattoo is like an open wound. Submerging it in water can introduce bacteria and irritate the skin. It’s essential to wait until it fully heals to avoid skin infection.


No! Waiting until your tattoo heals completely before swimming is essential to avoid the risk of infection.

We recommend waiting at least 2-4 weeks to ensure your tattoo heals properly.

You can use several methods, including waterproof sunscreen, wearing a waterproof bandage or wrap, or using a tattoo sealant.

Yes! Chlorine can be harsh on a new tattoo, so it’s crucial to take steps to protect it while swimming in chlorinated water.

No! It is best to avoid hot tubs and other soaking environments until your tattoo has fully healed.


While there are many ways to protect your tattoo while swimming, waiting until it heals is crucial. You can enjoy your favorite aquatic activities by taking the time to care for your tattoo properly. Thus, with the proper techniques, you can enjoy your tattoo in and out of the water.

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