top of page

Getting a Tattoo in the Summer

Summer is a time for fun, adventure, and self-expression. For many, this includes getting a new tattoo. However, the warm weather and increased sun exposure require extra care and attention to ensure your new ink heals properly and stays vibrant.

Here’s a guide to getting a tattoo in the summer, covering everything from pre-tattoo considerations to aftercare and protection for both new and old tattoos.

Pre-Tattoo Considerations in the Summer

1. Sunburn: A No-Go for Tattoos

Before heading to your tattoo appointment, it's crucial to avoid sunburn. Tattooing over sunburned skin is extremely painful and can lead to poor healing and potential damage to the skin and the tattoo. If you're planning on getting inked, keep your skin protected from the sun in the days leading up to your appointment. Use high-SPF sunscreen, wear protective clothing, and seek shade to keep your skin in optimal condition for tattooing.

2. Hydration: Key to a Better Experience

Staying hydrated is essential for your overall health and plays a significant role in how well your skin handles the tattoo process. Well-hydrated skin is more resilient and can handle the stress of tattooing better than dry, dehydrated skin. Make sure to drink plenty of water in the days leading up to your appointment and on the day itself.

3. Dressing for Comfort

On the day of your tattoo, wear cool, breathable clothing. Not only will this help you stay comfortable during the process, but it will also be easier to remove or adjust clothing to give your tattoo artist access to the area being tattooed. Loose clothing will also prevent rubbing against the fresh tattoo afterward, reducing the risk of irritation and infection.

During and Tattoo Aftercare Tips

1. Sun Exposure: The Enemy of Fresh Tattoos

Sun exposure can be incredibly harmful to a fresh tattoo. UV rays can cause the ink to fade and increase the risk of complications such as infections and prolonged healing times. After getting your tattoo, keep it covered with clothing or sterile derm when you’re outside. Even after you remove the derm, continue to protect your tattoo from direct sunlight.

2. Keeping Cool and Comfortable

After getting a tattoo, it’s important to keep the area cool and dry. Avoid activities that will cause excessive sweating, as this can irritate the tattoo and introduce bacteria. Choose breathable fabrics that won’t stick to your skin and aggravate the tattooed area.

3. The Importance of Aftercare

Proper aftercare is crucial for the healing process of a new tattoo. Follow your tattoo artist’s instructions carefully, which usually include gently washing the tattoo with mild soap and water, applying a thin layer of moisturizing lotion or a specific aftercare product, and avoiding scratching or picking at the tattoo. Consistent aftercare helps prevent infections and ensures your tattoo heals beautifully.

4. Hot Tubs, Pools, and Lakes: No-Go Zones

During the healing process, typically the first two to four weeks, avoid submerging your tattoo in water. This means no swimming in pools, lakes, or the ocean, and no soaking in hot tubs or baths. Immersing a new tattoo in water can introduce bacteria and increase the risk of infection. Stick to quick showers to keep the area clean without soaking it.

5. Sunbathing and Traveling with a New Tattoo

Sunbathing with a new tattoo is not recommended. The sun can cause severe damage to a fresh tattoo, leading to fading and increased healing time. If you’re traveling, plan your tattoo appointment accordingly. If you must travel with a fresh tattoo, make sure you have all the necessary aftercare supplies with you and continue to protect the tattoo from sun exposure and dirty environments.

Long-Term Tattoo Care and Protection

1. The Role of SPF

Even after your tattoo has fully healed, protecting it from the sun is essential to maintain its appearance. UV rays can cause tattoos to fade over time, so apply a high-SPF sunscreen to your tattoos whenever they’re exposed to the sun. Make this a daily habit, especially in the summer when sun exposure is more intense.

2. Seeking Shade

Whenever possible, seek shade to protect your tattoos from direct sunlight. Whether you’re at the beach, park, or just out and about, try to stay in the shade to minimize sun exposure. This not only protects your tattoos but also helps prevent sunburn and skin damage.

3. Moisturizing Regularly

Keeping your skin moisturized is key to maintaining the vibrancy of your tattoos. Use a high-quality, fragrance-free moisturizing lotion daily to keep your skin hydrated and your tattoos looking their best. Hydrated skin helps keep the tattoo’s colors sharp and reduces the appearance of aging.

4. Protective Clothing

Wearing protective clothing can also help shield your tattoos from the sun. Long sleeves, wide-brimmed hats, and other protective gear can provide an extra layer of protection against UV rays.

Bottom Line

Getting a tattoo in the summer requires some extra precautions, but with the right care and attention, you can ensure your new ink heals properly and stays vibrant. Remember to avoid sunburn before your appointment, stay hydrated, and wear comfortable clothing. After getting your tattoo, protect it from sun exposure, keep it cool and dry, and follow your aftercare instructions diligently. Avoid swimming and sunbathing until it’s fully healed, and take extra care when traveling. For both new and old tattoos, regular use of SPF, seeking shade, moisturizing, and wearing protective clothing will help maintain their beauty for years to come. With these tips, you can confidently get a tattoo in the summer and enjoy your new art with pride.


bottom of page