Why Can’t You Workout After Getting a Tattoo?

It’s a common question with a lot of conflicting answers. We did some research and found out the real reason you can’t workout after getting a tattoo.


Getting a tattoo is an exciting, personal experience that has become more popular in recent years. As part of the aftercare of tattoos, it’s very important for people to avoid any strenuous physical activity for at least two weeks after the procedure. This is because it can lead to skin damage and complications that could prevent healing or even be dangerous. In this article, we’ll discuss why it’s important to wait two weeks after getting a tattoo before working out and provide you with some tips on how to ease back into exercise afterwards.

Effects of Sweating on a New Tattoo

Sweating is an important part of the healing process for a new tattoo. It helps to flush out toxins from the area and keep it clean. However, intense physical activity such as working out can put too much strain on a new tattoo, which can cause damage and irritation. In this article, we will look at the consequences of working out after getting a tattoo and the best ways to care for a new tattoo.

Sweat can cause infection

Sweat can cause infection due to its acidic content, which can cause irritation to new tattoos and delay the healing process. Sweating while working out or participating in activities that involve prolonged physical activity can introduce even more bacteria into the wound. This increased bacteria exposure could lead to adverse effects, including a weakened immune system, and may increase the likelihood of infection. Sweat is also known to cause scabbing and raise the odds of scabs tearing open as they start to peel away from the healing skin beneath, potentially damaging your tattoo significantly in the process.

It is essential for those with tattoos not to allow their skin to get too sweaty if they want their ink to heal properly. Working out is only allowed once a tattoo has fully healed and has all its layers intact—typically 4-6 weeks post-tattoo—and it should be done carefully with a t-shirt covering any partially healed area while taking frequent breaks so that sweat doesn’t build up on the skin.

Sweat can cause fading

While getting a fresh tattoo may make you feel like an invincible modern-day warrior, it is important not to push yourself too hard too early. It is critical to take the necessary safeguards and avoid activities that could damage your new ink. Sweating can cause fading in new tattoos, so it is unwise to engage in any type of strenuous activity after getting inked.

The anatomy of a tattoo is made up of many layers: the dermis, where pigment has been placed; and the epidermis, which produces sweat and oil glands. When you sweat, these elements contaminate the pigment on your skin – causing its brightness to fade overtime. This can happen with any type of physical activity (from a light jog to intense cardio), leaving you with an undesired dull look rather than your original brightly colored tattoo.

In some cases, excess moisture from sweating combined with bacteria from dirt traumatically inserted during the tattooing process can even cause infection – especially if sweat gets trapped in your bandaged wound for too long. To minimize risk, it’s best for all those who just got inked wait at least two weeks before working out or partaking in activities that require physical exertion or high amounts of perspiration.

Effects of Exercise on a New Tattoo

Getting a new tattoo is an exciting experience, but it’s important to know how to properly care for the tattoo after it’s been completed. One of the most important things to avoid is any kind of exercise or strenuous activity in the first few weeks after getting a tattoo. Exercise can have a negative effect on a new tattoo, so knowing why it’s important to wait before exercising again is key in making sure your tattoo looks great.

Exercise can cause fading

Exercising too soon after getting a tattoo can cause fading. Tattoo ink is injected deep into the dermal layer of the skin, which means it takes several weeks for it to settle and heal properly. During this time, intense activity from exercise bombs the body with adrenaline and cortisol stress hormones, changing the skin’s PH balance so that it will try to push the ink out rather than seal it in. This can lead to ink fading or even loss of a portion of your tattoo.

It’s best to wait about four weeks before doing any form of exercise that involves heavy contact with your tattoos such as running, weight training and swimming. Until then keep movement light using walking or yoga, as long as you take extra precaution not to overwork your healing tattoo with too much stretching and sweating. If possible wear loose clothing when working out so that the tattooed area won’t be compressed or rubbed while you move around. Allowing time for healing and avoiding high impact activities are important steps in caring for a new tattoo if you want to ensure its longevity!

Exercise can cause infection

Working out when you have a new tattoo can increase your risks for infection. Exercise can cause sweat to build up around the tattooed area, creating an ideal environment for bacteria to grow and spread. Furthermore, touching the tattoo or dressing up in clothing that rubs against it can cause scabs to tear away and disrupt the healing process. Additionally, any friction caused by certain exercise motions such as running, yoga or cycling might also increase further irritation of the affected area. All these scenarios can potentially lead to an infection with skin inflammation and tenderness as major symptoms. If an infection occurs, proper treatment must be sought in order to prevent damage to the tattoo’s appearance or other serious consequences such as pigmentation changes or scarring.

How to Care for a New Tattoo

Caring for a new tattoo is an essential part of the process. To ensure that your tattoo heals properly, it is important to follow the instructions given by your tattoo artist and avoid any activity that could cause harm to your tattoo. In particular, it is recommended that you avoid strenuous activity, such as working out, for at least two weeks after getting a tattoo. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why it is important to wait to workout after getting a tattoo.

Keep the tattoo clean and dry

Your tattoo artist will likely provide instructions on how to care for the tattoo, so be sure to follow them as given. During the first few days after you get a new tattoo, it’s important to keep it clean and dry.

Gently wash your tattoo with clean hands and warm water twice a day. Use a non-perfumed, gentle soap or specialized cleansing lotion specifically designed for tattoos – avoid harsh soaps and any products containing alcohol or irritating chemicals. Allow the tattoo to air-dry or pat with a clean towel if needed.

Apply a light layer of antibacterial ointment or unscented mild lotion to the area once it is completely dry. Pay attention to the amount of ointment/lotion you are using; too much can make it difficult for your skin to breathe and delay healing. When correctly cared for, most tattoos will heal itself within two weeks.

Wear loose clothing

When you first get a new tattoo, it is important to wear loose, breathable clothing. This helps promote healing and avoids pushing against the tattoo. Tight clothes can cause friction and will be painful as the area is healing. Avoid clothing made from fabrics that “clump” like wool or materials that could trap heat for any extended period of time, such as neoprene or rubber. Stick to cotton blends with soft fibers and make sure your shirt fits loosely around the area to provide enough space between the clothing and your skin.

It’s also important to avoid wearing tight watches, bracelets and other jewelry that could put pressure on the skin while your tattoo heals. This can cause discomfort and will irritate freshly-healed skin in just a few hours. Swimming should also be avoided during this time because chlorine can cause irritation if it gets in contact with a freshly-inked tattoo, potentially resulting in infection if not treated properly.

Avoid direct sunlight

Avoid direct exposure of your tattoo to sunlight. Sun exposure can cause premature fading, blurring, and even distortion of your tattoo’s design. When going outside, consult with your artist on what types of sunscreen to use and always wear long sleeves or protective clothing. It can also be helpful to have a tattoo cover-up designed which looks like a natural part of the skin and allows you to protect any exposed areas. If living in a warmer climate, consider avoiding going out in the sun during peak hours (usually between 10am-4pm). If you think you may need more protection from the sun than possible with clothing, talk to a dermatologist about finding sunscreen specifically formulated for tattoos.


It is best to avoid intense activities and heavy sweating whenever possible after getting a tattoo, as they can cause irritation while the tattoo is healing and even lead to infections. Taking it easy for a few days can help ensure that your tattoos heal properly and remain vibrant. However, once your tattoo has healed completely you are free to resume any physical activities and exercise regime that you already had. If you experience any unusual pain or discomfort after exercising or returning to higher-intensity activities, then it might be best to consult with a healthcare professional for advice.

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