It is advisable to wait at least two weeks after getting a new tattoo before entering a swimming pool. Pools potentially contain harsh chemicals or bacteria that pose risks to the art and could cause infection.
Swimming pool chemicals, such as chlorine, are too harsh for a fresh tattoo and may damage the art. Swimming pools and hot tubs also harbor bacteria that could gain entry to the body through the freshly tattooed area. For those who enjoy swimming, waiting until after the warm summer months to get a tattoo is a good idea. Any washing of a new tattoo must be as gentle as possible, ideally using just the fingers and very mild soap.
A fresh tattoo is essentially an open, healing wound and requires taking precautions to prevent infections. Cleanliness is important for new tattoos, so some exposure to water is necessary. For instance, showering
is fine, and advisable, with a new tattoo as long as the water only touches the tattoo indirectly. Soaking a new tattoo, whether in a bath, hot tub or swimming pool, is potentially dangerous. Some of the danger is merely a risk of harm to the art itself. Warm water in a hot tub or bath causes pores to widen, providing a means for leakage of the fresh ink.