How Long After Getting a Tattoo Can You Swim?

After getting a tattoo, swimming must be avoided until the skin has stopped peeling and all scabs have fallen off. For most people, this means waiting a minimum of two weeks.

A tattoo is not fully healed until a new outer layer of skin has grown in. This usually takes about three months. Until the tattoo is fully healed, the area is vulnerable to the bacteria found in swimming pools and lakes. Waiting a minimum of two weeks to go swimming reduces the risk of irritation and infection, but if the tattoo has not completely healed, it is necessary to clean the area thoroughly after swimming.