Exercise and tattoos have a lot in common: They’re addictive, they give you a rush of adrenaline and they serve as a way to enhance your appearance. Just be careful when these two worlds collide. Exercise after tattoo and with a new tat can be tricky. Try these tips to keep your new ink intact when you’re working out.
1. Be sure not to do any exercise or sport that causes your tattoo to rub against a surface. For example, if you have a new tattoo on your back, don’t do sit-ups! Abrasive surfaces will scratch your tattoo, and make them bleed and scab up, resulting in a faded tattoo.
2. Keep your oozing bandage away from the public. This includes your local gym! Not only is it gross and unsanitary for others, but who knows what germs are lurking on the equipment. Remember, your newly tattooed skin will continue to ooze for about three days, so be sure to keep the bandage and skin clean. Also, sweat can be irritating!
3. Steer clear of workouts that pull and stretch the skin like pull-ups or weight-bearing exercises. It’ll hurt!
4. Protect your newly tattooed skin from the sun if you’re going out for a run. After it heals — it usually takes about two weeks — wear an SPF 30 or greater sunscreen to reduce fading if it will eventually be exposed to sunlight.
5. Avoid swimming for at least two weeks. Not only are you more susceptible to infection during this time — especially if you’re swimming in a public pool — but soaking your tattoo in water can also cause the scab to come off prematurely, causing damage to your tattoo.
6. Wear loose workout clothing to avoid irritation due to rubbing against the skin.