Updated: Dec 8, 2022
Are you a workout junkie but also love collecting tattoos? I’ve had a few clients that were devastated when told that they are not allowed to go to the gym during the tattoo healing process.
When it comes to a fresh tattoo, there must be proper procedures taken to ensure that you have an easy healing process. You must be careful when going to the gym with a fresh tattoo, as gyms are pretty much a nursery for bacteria and tattoos are an open wound. Take care not to touch your tattoo to any gym equipment, as there are dirt, other people’s sweat, and bacteria that can seriously affect your tattoo. I would recommend to wait at least a couple days to ensure that the pores have closed up if you just can’t skip your workout for the week.
It’s normal that your skin will stretch in different directions as you’re exercising and using the equipment, and it’s also normal that your skin will get dry and peel. The most important part is to make sure to keep the tattoo moisturized because dry scabs cracking and being pulled during the healing process can be very irritating to your skin, and may cause ink spreading/loss of pigment/scars on the areas of your skin where the scabs have been disturbed.
Always shower immediately after your workout so that the sweat and salt on your skin to avoid any possibilities of infection and keep your skin and tattoo clean. Avoid contact sports at all to prevent skin abrasions.
If you’re exercising outdoors, make sure to wear a fresh, loose cotton piece of clothing to keep the area nice and covered. Once the tattoo is healed, wear sunscreen religiously every day to prevent fading for the rest of your life.
You really need to be patient when you get freshly inked, as exercise only raises the risk of infection. It’s best to wait 2-3 days, and it may even be better for you and your tattoo so that your body is able to focus more on healing your tattoo. Signs of infection to watch out for are red, swollen skin, pain and tenderness of the skin lasting for more than 48 hours, and yellowish-green pus weeping out of the area. If you feel that it may be infection, contact your artist or doctor immediately.