How Soon After a Tattoo Can You Shower?

Getting a tattoo is a significant investment, and it’s essential to take good care of your skin during the healing process to ensure the best results. Proper aftercare is crucial to prevent infection, promote healing, and preserve the color and integrity of the tattoo.

One of the most common questions people ask after getting a tattoo is how soon they can shower. Here’s what you need to know about showering after getting a tattoo.

How long should you wait before showering after a tattoo?

The general rule of thumb is to wait at least 24 hours after getting a tattoo before showering or washing your tattoo. This is because the first 24 hours are critical to the healing process, and any exposure to water can increase the risk of infection.

During the first 24 hours, the tattoo is an open wound, and it’s essential to keep it clean and dry to prevent bacteria from entering the skin. The tattoo artist will apply a thin layer of ointment or a sterile dressing to protect the tattoo and help it heal faster. You should leave this covering on for the first few hours, and then remove it and wash the tattoo with lukewarm water and a mild, fragrance-free soap.

After the first 24 hours, you can shower, but you need to take some precautions to avoid damaging your tattoo.

Tips for showering after getting a tattoo

  1. Use lukewarm water

Hot water can damage your tattoo and cause it to fade or peel. Avoid using hot water and opt for lukewarm water instead.

  1. Keep it short

Long, hot showers can cause your skin to become soft and wrinkled, making it more susceptible to damage. Keep your shower short and avoid scrubbing your tattoo.

  1. Don’t use a loofah or washcloth

Avoid using any harsh scrubbing tools like loofahs or washcloths as they can irritate your skin and damage your tattoo. Instead, use your hands to gently wash your tattoo.

  1. Use a mild, fragrance-free soap

Choose a mild, fragrance-free soap that won’t irritate your skin or damage your tattoo. Gently lather the soap on your hands and apply it to your tattoo, avoiding any scrubbing or rubbing motions.

  1. Avoid soaking your tattoo

Avoid soaking your tattoo in the bath, hot tub, or swimming pool until it’s fully healed. Soaking your tattoo can cause the ink to fade, and the water can introduce bacteria to the skin, increasing the risk of infection.

  1. Pat dry

After showering, pat your tattoo dry with a clean, soft towel. Avoid rubbing your tattoo as this can cause damage to the skin.

  1. Apply ointment

Once your tattoo is dry, apply a thin layer of ointment to keep it moisturized and protect it from bacteria.

How long does it take for a tattoo to heal?

The healing time for a tattoo can vary depending on the size and location of the tattoo, as well as your skin type and overall health. In general, a tattoo takes around two to three weeks to heal, but it can take up to four to six weeks for larger tattoos.

During the healing process, your tattoo may scab, peel, or itch, which is normal. Avoid scratching or picking at the scabs as this can damage your tattoo and increase the risk of infection. Keep your tattoo clean and moisturized, and avoid exposing it to direct sunlight until it’s fully healed.


In summary, you should wait at least 24 hours before showering after getting a tattoo. When you do shower, use lukewarm water, a mild, fragrance-free soap, and avoid using any harsh scrubbing tools like loofahs or washcloths. Once you’ve finished showering, pat your tattoo

What happens if you take a bath with a week old tattoo?