How Long Do You Wait To Swim After Tattoo – According to Dr. Charles Smith, of the Family and Preventive Medicine Department at UAMS, there is no medical evidence to support this myth.
Your mother probably told you that you will get severe cramps and drown if you decide to swim after eating. The theory behind this myth is that there is increased blood flow to the stomach and intestines to absorb nutrients. This means there is less blood to deliver oxygen and to remove waste products from exercising muscles. In fact, you have more than enough oxygen to supply your stomach and muscles.
How Long Do You Wait To Swim After Tattoo
If you are swimming for recreational purposes, eating well before entering the water should not cause any problems. If you’re in the water for exercise, it makes sense to wait at least an hour to allow most of the food in your stomach to pass through. With any strenuous exercise, the diversion of blood flow to the stomach for digestion can temporarily reduce flow to the muscles and may result in some cramping. Moreover, it is difficult to exercise hard on an empty stomach.
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To learn more about the personalized care our doctors provide using modern equipment and technology, please visit our medical services section. Wait to show it, especially in a swim suit. Unfortunately, tattoos and water don’t mix, at least not until the new addition is fully healed. That means swimming is not allowed, on the beach or in the pool. The same goes for hot tubs and baths.
There are several reasons why swimming after getting a tattoo is dangerous, both for your health and the quality of your tattoo. “A new tattoo is usually an open wound,” says Dr. Shari Marchbein, MD, a dermatologist and clinical assistant professor of dermatology at the NYU School of Medicine. “And it can predispose to infection.”
Open water like oceans, lakes and rivers, no matter how fresh, contains different types of bacteria, and when you swim with a fresh tattoo, it’s easier for bacteria to enter your body and cause an infection. If the infection spreads to your bloodstream, it can be very dangerous—even life-threatening. In 2017, a man died from an infection caused by Vibrio vulnificus, a bacteria related to shellfish, after he swam in the ocean with a new tattoo.
Swimming pools and hot tubs can cause many issues. If the pool is not chlorinated, or it only has a low level of chlorine, there is probably still a lot of bacteria in the water. And highly chlorinated pools, while less likely to give you an infection, can still cause significant irritation to your tat, says Dr. Noelle S. Sherber, M.D., a dermatologist, co-founder of SHERBER + RAD, and clinical assistant professor at George Washington University. “You should avoid chlorine—the chemical can cause peeling or red itchy bumps on your tattoo,” says Sherber, which can make you more susceptible to infection and cause healing issues, changing the appearance.
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The general recommendation is to wait at least four weeks (or until your tattoo is fully healed) before submerging it in water. If you have a compromised immune system, due to medications or illness, you may have to wait longer, because your risk of infection is greater, Sherber says.
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You’ll know your tattoo has healed when it stops peeling or peeling, and no scabs have come off, says Dr. Debra Jaliman, dermatologist and author of Skin Rules. Look for signs of infection: increased pain or swelling, redness in or around the tattoo darkens or spreads instead of clearing and shrinking; itchy, red, painful tattoo bumps, drainage, pus or open tattoo wounds, fever, chills, or chills. If you have any of these symptoms, see a doctor STAT to get the issue ID Most infections can be cleared with an antibiotic.
It’s hard to avoid humidity completely (hello, you still have to shower!), but it’s important to be smart about your contact. If you can keep your tattoo dry while you shower, covering it with waterproof bandages and plastic wrap or keeping it out of the water, this is fine. Skip the bath and avoid exercises that make you sweat, like hot yoga. “If you sweat a lot, the drips can carry germs into the open tattoo,” says Jaliman.
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Bottom line: Don’t swim or submerge your tattoo in water for at least four weeks after getting it. Sinking earlier is not worth the risk.
Kristin Canning is the features director at Women’s Health, where she assigns, edits and reports long-term features on emerging health research and technology, women’s health conditions, psychology, sexuality, mental health, reproductive justice, wellness entrepreneurs, female athletes and the intersection of health, fitness and culture for both magazine and website. She has worked in health media for seven years, holding previous positions in health, self, and people’s health. When she’s not writing and editing, you can find her running, hiking, biking, dancing, listening to podcasts or planning her next outdoor adventure.
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Swimming attire suddenly gives you ample opportunity to show off your current body art, which may inspire you to add more. But there are a few things you should know before you call your tattoo artist.
For starters, tattooed skin alone is extra sensitive because the needle—or needles—create micro-injuries in the skin, leaving the barrier compromised and more susceptible to burns and scarring, the dermatologist says. which is Matthew Lin, MD, FAAD. Basically, your new tattoo is an open wound, so it’s best to avoid prolonged sun exposure.
Unfortunately, this is one situation when sunscreen won’t help you. In fact, putting sunscreen on a healing tattoo is a big no-no. The only products your tattoo needs to heal are Aquaphor and fragrance-free lotion. Other than that, the rule of thumb is to leave it alone – and keep it out of the sun at all costs. If you don’t, the ink may fade and become patchy. “The risk of fading is greater when the tattoo is fresh, but fading can also occur with sunburn on older tattoos,” added Dr. Lin.
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Chlorine is not your friend either. Tattoo infections may not be common, but exposing your new tattoo to chlorinated water can present one. “It can also cause a rash known as irritant contact dermatitis,” says Dr. Lin. Worse, chlorine leaches the ink from the tattoo, reducing the longevity of the design and the vibrancy of the ink. Salt and ocean water are just as Harmful to new tattoos Like chlorine, water can increase the risk of infection and fading, while salt will dry out the skin and prolong the healing process.
You will know that your tattoo is healed after the ink has completely settled into the skin and there is no sign of scabbing or peeling. According to dermatologist Robert Finney, MD, this can take a few weeks for small tattoos, but longer for something large, like a large thigh or back tattoo. Once healing is complete, it’s safe to apply sunscreen to your tattoo and soak up the sun, just don’t forget to reapply every two hours. If your tattoo doesn’t heal within four weeks, or you notice it’s starting to swell or ooze, call your doctor – it could be an infection.
Moral of the story? If you plan to spend most of your summer by the pool, consider moving your next tattoo appointment until after your sun-soaking days are behind you. If not, invest in one
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