Can You Drink Alcohol After Getting a Tattoo?
When Can You Drink Alcohol After Getting a Tattoo?
Wait 48 hours to drink alcohol after getting your new tattoo because your body's immune system is necessary to promote healing and alcohol thins the blood an inhibits the healing process. To put it another way, we like alcohol and we love tattoos, but they should always be enjoyed separately. Whether you're getting your first tattoo at Sacred Raven Tattoo or your fifteenth, read on to discover how avoiding alcohol helps to prepare your body to get a new tattoo and heal the new tattoo safely.
We’re here to give you the in’s and out’s of what to do and what not to do, after getting your tattoo. Keep reading below to discover the best ways to help your body accept and heal your new ink!
Can You Drink Alcohol After Getting A Tattoo?
No, do not drink alcohol for 48 hours after getting a tattoo. In fact, you shouldn’t drink for 24 hours before getting a tattoo either. Your new tattoo will be considered an open wound, and alcohol thins the blood which can cause excess bleeding and prolong the body's initial healing process of natural clotting and scabbing. Alcohol affects both the body and the mind, and also disrupts consciousness and emotions, as evidenced by the many tattoo artist horror stories where people pass out during their tattoo, cry uncontrollably and throw up.
There are clear medical explanations for why you should not drink alcohol before or after getting a tattoo--keep reading below.
Why You Shouldn’t Drink Alcohol After Getting A Tattoo
Because it is detrimental to your health. Though you probably want to celebrate after getting your new tattoo, or take the edge off the soreness of your skin, be patient and self-controlled, refraining from drinking alcohol for a zone of 72 hours--24 hours before your tattoo and 48 hours after your tattoo--to protect your body's ability to accept and begin healing your new tattoo.
Think of the tattoo as a medical procedure, where you’ll need to rest up and heal for a few days. Here are some of the reasons why you should not drink after getting a tattoo:
Alcohol Thins Your Blood
Alcohol thins the blood, which disturbs the body’s natural clotting function. Our blood forms clots to protect us after wounds or injuries.Even though a tattoo is an artistic procedure, it is technically an injury at the same time- as far as the body is concerned. So how does thin blood cause complications after tattooing?
Some bleeding is normal during and after tattooing, but if your blood is too diluted as a result of drinking, this bleeding can then become excessive and interfere with your health and the tattoo artist's visibility, which puts you at risk and complicates your new tattoo design. The last thing you want is a jacked up tattoo, but worse, drinking interferes with your body's natural ability to clot the blood, naturally scab, and ultimately heal. When seeping blood extends beyond 36 hours after a tattoo, one of the main reasons is that your body has not been able to clot--due to alcohol consumption. In fact, if your new tattoo is still seeping blood after 48 hours, this is an indication that you need to seek medical attention immediately. Bottom line: refrain from drinking alcohol after getting a tattoo so your body can clot, scab and heal the open wound.
Drinking Alcohol Can Disturb The Healing Process
A tattoo machine actually pierces the skin hundreds of times, depending on the size of your tattoo. The tattoo process forms an open wound that needs days to heal. Larger tattoos take even longer to recover- sometimes even weeks. Drinking alcohol makes it harder for the skin to complete the clotting and scabbing process, which is the body’s way of healing skin that has been broken because alcohol thins the blood and depresses the immune system. As a result, alcohol before or after a new tattoo makes you more prone to excess bleeding and unnecessary infections that your immune system otherwise knows how to fight.
Loss Of Self-Control
Let's face it, the reason we're covering this topic is because normal alcohol consumption allows us to relax, especially under stress or potentially painful situations. Though it is tempting to think that you can face the pain of a new tattoo by drinking alcohol, the actual effect is your brain's loss of self-control, which can lead to fainting, over-emotionalism, nausea, and even violence. Drinking lowers your inhibition, impairs judgement, and increases the risk of aggressive behaviors, endangering your health and your tattoo artist.
How Long After Getting A Tattoo Can You Drink Alcohol?
You can shower 3-4 hours after getting a tattoo, if you have a Saniderm bandage on, however, if you have a plastic wrap wait 24 hours to unwrap your tattoo and shower. In either case, shower in cold or lukewarm water and avoid prolonged soaking or submerging your tattoo in water for 3-4 weeks.
Can I Shower An Hour After Getting A Tattoo?
No. We don't recommend taking a shower within one hour of getting a tattoo. Even with a Saniderm bandage on, it's wise to let the ink settle for several hours before getting your tattoo wet. In many cases, the plastic wrap, bandage or covering on your tattoo will be required to stay on for much longer than an hour.
Remember, a tattoo is like a medical procedure, and a new tattoo is actually considered to be an open wound, which needs care and time to heal. Ink is placed into your skin via the use of a needle. Although your new tattoo may not look like a wound when it’s finished, you can’t shrug it off like a minor fall or scrape. Depending on the size and location of your tattoo, it will take around four weeks to completely heal, and showering too soon may be painful and cause further irritation or infection.
Think of it this way, would you expose a fresh wound, uncovered and raw, to hot water or hard pressure in a shower? Probably not! You need to treat your new tattoo the same way, and avoid showering an hour after you get it.
Can You Shower With Saniderm On A Tattoo?
Yes. If your tattoo artist bandaged your tattoo with Saniderm, it is a medical grade, waterproof bandage, that should remain on your skin while you shower. It is still wise to keep your tattoo out of the heavy flow of the shower water for sensitivity sake.
Saniderm is a special aftercare product used for tattoos, but is designed for use by doctors in medical settings such as hospitals. Saniderm was designed specifically with the purpose of being waterproof, allowing it to repel water rather than absorbing it. This means that it’s safe to use in places where a wound may be submerged, or in some cases sprayed with water--though you should not submerge your tattoo in water for 3-4 weeks after a tattoo, even if you've been bandaged with Saniderm.
With Saniderm, though you’re able to shower straight after your tattoo has been completed, you still need to be careful. Use lukewarm or cold water, and keep the tattoo from heavy shower flow, instead opting to gently rinse the area of your tattoo. Make sure the bandage is secured to your skin before you expose it to water pressure from the shower.
Remember, if your tattoo is covered with plastic or a non-Saniderm bandage, you should not get your tattoo covering wet. A wet cloth sitting on a fresh wound isn't a good idea. Again, you run the risk of infection when your tattoo is exposed to a damp, non-breathable environment, especially in the early stages after receiving your tattoo.
Saniderm’s waterproof nature is the only medical grade wrap that you’re completely safe with, if you want to get wet in the shower. Saniderm is designed to protect the integrity of your tattoo even in light exposure to water.
How Long After A Tattoo Can You Take A Bath?
Do not take a bath and fully submerge your tattoo for 3-4 weeks after getting a tattoo. The larger the tattoo, the longer we recommend you wait to fully submerge your tattoo in water. You should never submerge a new tattoo in water for any length of time directly following a tattoo. If you're wondering just how long after getting your tattoo you can take a bath: the answer is only after your tattoo has healed completely which typically takes 3 to 4 weeks, and in some cases longer.
Recovery after a tattoo depends on a number of factors, such as the size and placement of your tattoo and how well your body’s immune system is. Bottom line: If your tattoo isn’t fully healed, then please don’t soak it! You’re at risk of infecting the wound, which may lead to illness or disfiguration of your tattoo.
Note: there are several other activities you should wait to do after getting a tattoo, like waiting 48 hours to drink alcohol, waiting 21-30 days before shaving or prolonged exposure in the sun, and waiting 30 days to get a covid vaccine after a tattoo.
Always wait the recommended amount of time after getting a tattoo before submerging it, or doing any of the following:
1) Avoid Taking a Bath
Avoid taking a soak in the tub while your tattoo is in the process of healing.
2) Avoid Swimming in Pools or at the Beach
There are all kinds of bacteria found in swimming pools or at the beach that, if exposed to your tattoo, can cause infection. Wait until your tattoo has healed before swimming in public places.
3) Avoid the Sauna
Similar to a swimming pool or the beach, a sauna carries unwanted bacteria that isn’t good for a healing wound. The added moisture in the warm environment isn’t recommended or encouraged if you have a new tattoo.
How Long After A Tattoo Can You Swim?
Wait 3-4 weeks to swim after getting a tattoo. Do not soak or submerge your tattoo in water following your tattoo. You risk irritation and bacterial infection and swimming is even more destructive to your tattoo than a bath because of chlorine or salt water. Regardless, it’s the soaking you should be concerned about here. You need to avoid soaking or submerging your tattoo as much as possible until it’s fully healed, and here's a swimming tattoo horror story to keep you honest.
A general rule of thumb is to give your new tattoo a minimum of three weeks away from any kind of pool, ocean, or bath. Washing your tattoo with warm or cold water and a mild, fragrance-free, antimicrobial soap is totally fine, and is actually recommended for hygiene reasons. Apply the soap gently with your fingers and avoid loofahs and washcloths, which can carry bacteria or further irritate the tattooed area.
Bottom line: prolonged submersion of your tattoo in water leaves you at risk of infection, leaches ink from your tattoo causing fading and blurriness, and makes your skin itch and scab which takes the tattoo longer to heal.
Will Soaking A New Tattoo Fade It?
Yes, if you soak your tattoo immediately after getting it, your new tattoo may fade more quickly. Worse, soaking your tattoo can cause infection, flaking, itching, and scabbing, so don't soak your tattoo. After waiting a month for healing, you can soak your new tattoo in a bath or swimming pool without causing the ink to fade.
How Long After A Tattoo Can You Wash It With Soap?
Though you can rinse your new tattoo within 3-4 hours, it's best to wait 24 hours to gently wash it with hypoallergenic soap. Always follow the instructions of your tattoo artist for when to apply soap, as in many cases, if your tattoo is wrapped with Saniderm, you may keep the healing bandage on for 3-4 days before removing it to wash with unscented antibacterial soap.
Avoid using soaps with alcohol, as they will cause your skin to dry out, and may affect the ink. Use warm-to-cold water, hypoallergenic soap and your fingers to clean your tattoo during the early stages of healing. You may notice your tattoo is a little weepy, which means there is some ink coming out of the tattoo. This is completely normal and lasts for about a week.
Avoid using anything abrasive such as loofahs and washcloths, as these will prolong your tattoo’s healing process and may harbor harmful, infection-causing bacteria.
New Tattoos and Water Summary
In conclusion, you can shower after getting a tattoo, but don't submerge the tattoo in water for any prolonged period of time. Follow the instructions your tattoo artist gives you, and if you're bandaged with Saniderm, you can keep the covering on your tattoo while you shower because it is waterproof.
If your tattoo has been wrapped in a non-waterproof bandage, avoid getting it wet until you’re safe to remove it per your tattoo artist instructions. Once your tattoo is uncovered you’re free to rinse it gently with lukewarm or cold water and hypoallergenic antibacterial soap, and do not submerge your tattoo in water for any length of time. Avoid abrasive soaps or loofahs and hot showers, and allow your tattoo to fully heal for 3-4 weeks before swimming or taking a bath.
If you make sure to gently clean and rinse your tattoo and avoid submerging it in the bath, pool or ocean, you'll keep your tattoo vibrant for years to come and avoid bacterial infection.