Working Out After Tattoo: What You Need To Know

February 23, 2018

Jelly Bell

Working Out After Tattoo: What You Need To Know

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Getting a new tattoo can be an impulse decision to make. However, after you’ve done it, it’s necessary to take good care of your tattoo healing process. Doing so helps keep it safe and away from those that make things worse. And this includes being careful about working out after tattoo. Imagine that you have to run and sweat all over the body with a new tattoo until you’re completely healed up! This will damage your lovely artwork for sure.

Meanwhile, there are many questions raised up for this issues, such as HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET A TATTOO? HOW TO SLEEP WITH A NEW TATTOO? Or what should we do at the gym to avoid worsening our tattoos? Just take a closer look, we’ve got the best answer for you!     

Working out after tattoo, can you do it?

Getting a new tattoo is supposed to be quite a hurtful process. And this is, after all, an experience that has the act of puncturing the skin with a needle to change the look. The entire tattoo healing process is just something that you must take seriously. As for working out after tattoo, sure enough, getting in an environment of sweat and dust might not be a good idea [1]!

Getting a new tattoo is supposed to be quite a hurtful process
Getting a new tattoo is supposed to be quite a hurtful process

Once you’ve got a tattoo, you need to wait for at least two days before exercising. But why shall we do this? First of all, working out after tattoo will stretch out the place where your tattoo was made, so we guess you don’t want to spend the rest of life with it! Besides, it can get hurt! The tattooed area is quite sensitive just after getting the tattoo. But worse than that, sweating so much on the place will lead to pain.

Besides, try to put on loose clothes over the body for a more few days so that there would be no irritating chafing of your skin. Working out after tattoo could cause the healing time to take much longer than you thought, not to mention how it worsen the area.However, if you tend to own a daily workout schedule, it probably feels wrong to skip it. Just learn the best way to take good care of your new tattoo since your exercise is essential.

In other words, it’s fine to exercise after having a new tattoo, but it’s best to dodge the sun exposure, soaking, stretches and sweat. Doing so can help you heal properly.

Be cautious about working out after tattoo

Let’s follow our aftercare instructions by maintaining your tattoo as moist as possible. How to do it well, especially after working out after tattoo? Just cover it with a certain bandage and then make some minor changes in your workout routine. It’s time to keep an eye on how you feel and the specific condition of your complexion throughout the physical exercises. If so, your new tattoo can be protected from the irritation and scabbing.

If you keep asking “can I work out after having a new tattoo? Or “is it possible to wait for 48 hours?” Then you might love to exercise though you’ve got a tattoo. If you choose to exercise before the tattoo gets fully healed, be more cautious to ensure your tattoo to be as fresh as possible.

Speaking of the clothes when working out after tattoo, any clothing that is likely to rub against your new tattoo would be a big no-no. Please avoid this no matter what happens! Once you head to the gym, bear in mind that wearing a thicker layer of ointment on your new tattoo, one bandage, and plastic wrap.  

Such a precaution is useful because it makes sure that no particular bacteria can invade your tattoo and triggers any infection. Besides, it’s your bandage which can also prevent your sweat from getting into the new ink. Right after your exercise is complete, try to cleanse your hands carefully and get rid of the bandage before keeping up with your tattoo care. You can think of SHOWERING WITH NEW TATTOO, but remember to utilize mild soap! But WHAT IS THE BEST SOAP FOR TATTOO CARE?

Be cautious about working out after tattoo
Be cautious about working out after tattoo

When would you begin working out after tattoo?

When will you get to work out with a new tattoo? It’s based on different elements. So please consider these factors as below:

Tattoo age

A brand new tattoo tends to be more prone to being damaged as compared to a certain tattoo that might take a few days for the entire healing process. While a few people choose to exercise on the similar day they’ve got the new tattoo. Let’s enable the body to have a short time to recover fully [2].

Tattoo positioning

Tattoos that are out of the way during the exercise you’re doing will mean that it’s less likely to get damaged. On the other hand, in case the tattoo stays in the place where is related to what you’re doing, then there would be more of an opportunity for something bad taking place with the ink.

Think of what to wear when working out after tattoo! If you play football with your tiny tattoo on the forearm, which helps you reduce much trouble, whereas if you choose to do it with a new tattoo on top of the foot, things are getting more dangerous for the ink.

Workout type

All sorts of exercises and gym routines bring different difficulties to your new tattoo without a doubt. Each depends on what body parts will be in use and how possible it is for a tattoo to get involved in the type of workout you’re doing!

Workout intensity

When it comes to workout intensity, the more difficult and more intense you exercise, the more likely it is for your new tattoo to be damaged. First of all, the harder you exercise, the less you tend to focus and worry about the tattoo. In other words, you probably miss the ink and could do something that can impact it badly.

Besides, if having heavy sweat around the tattoo, you’re said to destroy the new ink which hasn’t had a chance to settle in place under your skin. Apparently, this disruption possibly causes some spots of patchiness and ink fading. Last but not least, your tattooing process, especially with bigger tattoos, feel quite hard for the body.

Your skin is poked in and out by needles like several times throughout the tattoo session. And this drives a spectacular healing response from the body. Your healing reaction asks your body to need as much rest as possible so that you can keep healing the areas more effectively.

Note that working out after tattoo too soon won’t give enough time that your body indeed needs to take a rest. Also, it can delay your recovery times and decrease the quality of the healing process.

Workout outfit

It’s best to be more careful about what you put on as it comes to working out after tattoo. Your clothes shouldn’t be too tight, or it might cause your tattoo to rub it, causing unpleasant experience and fading. However, if you select the clothes that feel too loose, they can welcome more dirt and bacteria beneath, getting the new tattoo to the risk of infection.

Workout location

As being said, working out after tattoo at a dirty space can open the tattoo up to all types of germs. They easily delay your healing times and even create permanent damage without your expectation. It’ll happen this way if you don’t treat and take care of the infection fast.

What are the risks of working out after tattoo?

risks of working out after tattoo
Some risks of working out after tattoo

In reality, there are many ways you can destroy your new tattoo through the workout if you’re not cautious about it. Here are the most common risks you should watch out:

Irritation and rubbing against clothing

Rubbing the tattoo on your outfit, workout equipment, or other body parts which can irritate your recovered area of skin and delay the healing process.

Ink fading

Losing tattoo ink is a common risk of working out after tattoo. Though these tattoos are pretty good at keeping most of the ink throughout the healing process, some happenings still raise the risk of losing the ink through the upper skin layers. If your new tattoo is wet, which easily causes the ink to leak out of the tattoo so fast. Thus, you need to try to keep that spot as dry as possible.

Aside from this, it means that you mustn’t do anything too hard and whatever probably cause the sweating around the tattooed area. Though sweating a little bit feels natural and won’t cause a big problem, the amount of your sweat can be the culprit causing those spots of the tattoo to leak a certain amount of ink. As a result, it leads to the evident fading [3].

Break off scabs

We recommend you to keep your scabs as much intact as possible and let them attach to the skin until the very last point where they start to fall off fully. Be cautious even when it’s hung on by the thread, it remains being attached to pull out you tattooed ink once it’s broken off accidentally. For this reason, you should be aware of the scabs all times when working out.

Even the smallest motions could rib off your scab away from the skin. Make sure to keep the tattoo covered as best as you can with your protective outfit.

Getting infected

There’s one important thing to bear in mind when you work out after getting a new tattoo that you would become more vulnerable to any infection when the skin is healing up. The tattoo can be seen as a huge open skin wound, so it’s best to try your best to treat it well.

Besides, playing team sports like soccer, for instance, is a big no-no here since the sport is teeming with bacteria. It’s just the same as when you use any gym equipment. Do not use any sweaty and dirty weights, yoga mats, or fitness benches. Allow your tattooed ink to be in contact with any bacteria, which can increase the risk of your infection.

Note that if your infection is not cured in time by a medical specialist, it will lead to permanent damage to that tattoo.

Decrease your fitness performance

Working out after tattoo will potentially reduce your performance for many reasons, especially when you participate in competitive sports. It slows you down, or your worry about the new tattoo could make you lose concentration on your physical activities. Worse than that, it causes you to lose the healing from your tattooing session makes you feel extremely fatigue.

Ensure that you’re conscious of it before joining any competitive activity. There’s always a risk that the tattoo makes you perform less than expected.

Working out and Physical Activities

A lot of people have wondered “HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE FOR A TATTOO TO HEAL?” if you work out right after a new tattoo! Regarding look, all tattoos need to be healed from two to three weeks. And this will last as long as everything goes well with none of the infection and scabbing that take place.

It’s not highly recommended to get to the gym or do any intense activity for a couple of days after having your brand new tattoo. If not, your immunity gets weakened, and your healing will be delayed.

Your skin under the tattoo might take longer to heal, which usually takes up to four months. This tells us why getting another tattoo in the same area would be more hurtful than the first time. A new tattoo is often moist until both scabbing starts.

What if you have the habit of drinking? CAN YOU DRINK AFTER GETTING A TATTOO? We’re not recommending it! The period for your tattoos to recover has lasted from 7 to 10 days in every area as long as you stop smoking and drinking.

Within the first two weeks after a new tattoo, wear clothes anytime you must run in the sun, or when you have to exercise on the hot days. After getting fully healed, it’s indeed essential to put on sunscreen on the tattooed complexion that you show to the sun. It’s the UV rays which are the number one causing the whole damage, so be cautious about it!

Once the tattoo pigment absorbs the harmful rays, it starts to break down. This would be seen in the blur of the lines and some minor changes to the colors. For lighter colors, they tend to fade easily and quickly while black becomes blue or green with age. Guard the tattoo throughout the life!

Apart from working out, what’s your best tattoo aftercare?

You can work out after a new tattoo, but it’s best to avoid exposing yourself to the sun, stretches, soaking in the water, and sweat for the fullest recovery. Keep it as moist as possible, and cover that area with a bandage. As a result, you can keep tattoo from feeling irritated.

Working out must be about 24 hours right after a tattoo, but ensure that you should follow the suitable aftercare guide here so it can heal up well! Retain your bandage on the tattooed spot for two days.

Working out must be about 24 hours right after a tattoo
Working out must be about 24 hours right after a tattoo

Don’t forget to clean it up with antibacterial soap before patting it dry with a soft towel. You’re recommended to avail the antibiotic ointment on your new tattoo, like Aquaphor for example. But IS AQUAPHOR GOOD FOR TATTOOS? Yes, totally. It works well to hydrate your dry skin areas and soothe your irritated skin for many reasons.

If not, it’s fine to use fragrance-free lotion for skin moisture, or please view our BEST LOTION FOR TATTOOS. Do not take a bath and soak in hot water for two weeks after a tattoo.

If you have to exercise outdoor, barely wear a piece of clothing that can cover up your tattoo. For instance, if you own a tattoo on shoulders to head outdoors for a jog. Put on a pair of loose T-shirt to cover that spot. After healing your tattoo, using the SPF 30 is enough, or sunscreen to decrease tattoo fading if it’s shown to the sunlight.


As we said in our post today, working out after tattoo is fine because doing so won’t cause too many serious problems. But you must know how to avoid exposing your tattooed areas to the sun or sweating. Remember to cover it up with a bandage and changes your workout routine slightly. Be sure to keep the spot as clean as possible, and once the healing is complete, just show off that badass artwork at the gym like a cool guy you are!

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