Can I Swim After Tattoo Removal?

Can I Swim After Tattoo Removal?

Skin doctors do not recommend swimming immediately after tattoo removal. Before swimming, you should wait four to five days or two weeks after each tattoo removal procedure. After tattoo removal, the tattoo ink remains on the skin. The procedure just splits it into smaller particles that your body can absorb and remove.

By that time, the skin peels and blisters from the treatment should have disappeared. It takes four to eight weeks for the skin to recover fully from a tattoo removal procedure. You can also choose to wait until that time when your skin has had enough time to heal.

Swimming After Tattoo Removal


Swimming before removing your tattoo is safe. But swimming immediately after tattoo removal raises fears and concerns about safety because the skin is still healing from the treatment. The goal is to minimize the risk of infection from heat, seawater, or chlorine. All of these can cause bacteria to form on the lasered area.

After tattoo removal, your skin is raw. It will thus be sensitive to:



Chlorine can infiltrate your skin and cause pain and stinging. Worse, it can trigger swelling and cause a condition called contact dermatitis. Contact dermatitis is an itchy skin rash that results from direct contact with a substance. 

The substance may irritate the skin or cause an allergic reaction. The outcome is soreness and itchiness that may cause blistering, open wounds, swelling, and crusting. All these can affect how your skin heals from tattoo removal.

Ocean or Seawater


If your skin has not recovered, swimming in the lake, sea, or ocean can be life-threatening. As with open blisters, which is what a newly removed tattoo is, dipping your lasered tattoo could expose it to destructive germs in the water.

Infections can be mild or severe; although rare, you can develop sepsis. Sepsis is a fatal complication of an ailment. It happens when your body's reaction to an infection injures its own organs and tissues. The risk of infection is lower in chlorinated water than in sea or ocean water, but chlorine does not destroy the bacteria.

Sun Exposure


Direct sun exposure after tattoo removal can generally lengthen the ink removal process. If your skin breaks or becomes blistered during the treatment, getting suntanned or burnt will hurt your treated skin and cause pain and scarring. 

That, in turn, could make the tattoo removal process take longer. Skin experts recommend avoiding contact with direct sunlight before, during, and after your tattoo removal treatment.

Skin Irritation

After removing your tattoo, you can expect your skin to feel irritated and itchy. But exposing it to chlorine and other chemicals can aggravate the irritation. It can cause tremendous discomfort and put you at risk of infection, especially when you respond by picking or rubbing it.

Feel free to consult your skin doctor if you have any concerns or questions about the tattoo removal process and healing. They will help you understand the treatment better and ensure you are confident about the treatment.

To learn more about swimming after tattoo removal, visit at our office in Sacramento, California. Call (916) 600-4428 to schedule an appointment today.


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