Can You Play Sports After Getting a Tattoo

Can You Play Sports After Getting a Tattoo

If you are an athletic person and recently got a new tattoo, you may be wondering when you can resume playing sports or engaging in exercise...

Most Philadelphia tattoo shops will have their own aftercare instructions and restrictions for clients to follow. However, there are some commonsense and often recommended guidelines for getting back to your usual exercise and preferred sporting activities that can be used to keep your new tattoo and skin healthy and looking its best.So, can you play sports after getting a tattoo? The answer is yes with the following limitations and tips for doing so in a safe and gradual manner.

How Long Should You Wait Before Playing Sports After A Tattoo?

Most professional tattoo artists, including those at Oracle Tattoo Gallery, will strongly recommend waiting at least 48 hours or more following a tattoo session to begin any sort of athletic activities including playing sports. However, most tattoos will take 4 to 6 weeks for the initial healing to be complete. It takes even longer for full post-tattoo healing.

Why Wait After Undergoing A Tattoo Session Before Resuming Sports?

There are several good reasons to wait a bit before resuming your usual athletic endeavors and sports pursuits.

The exact time length and aftercare instructions will vary depending on several factors.These factors include:

  • Placement on the body of the tattoo design
  • Size of the tattoo
  • Health and skin condition status
  • Where the activity or sporting event will take place
  • Time of day that the post-tattoo client will work out or engage in sports
  • Degree of stretching that will be expected especially at and near the tattoo site
  • How much the person perspires
  • Type of clothing worn during sports or other athletic activities
  • Degree of friction on the skin at/near tattoo site

Breaking Down The Post-Tattoo Sport & Vigorous Exercise Limitations

Tattoos Break the Skin’s Integrity Causing A Fresh Wound

Your skin is your best defense against germs and other microbes that can cause infection or illness. Getting a tattoo breaks the skin’s natural integrity causing a fresh wound that is susceptible to infection if not cared for properly.

It is imperative to follow every aftercare instruction detail that your tattoo artist gives to you. These instructions will usually entail at least a temporary limitation for doing any type of strenuous physical activity that includes playing most sports and other forms of high-impact activities and exercise.

Be sure to protect your tattoo site from any danger that could lead to infection or loss of tattoo ink causing fading of the tattoo colors. This can occur if the tattoo is exposed to sunlight prior to being healed at about 6 weeks after the session. Keeping your tattoo covered, cleaned and moisturized can help prevent this unwanted and serious complication.

Can You Play Sports After Getting a Tattoo

Friction Potential At Tattoo Site

Always wear loose and comfortable clothing in the immediate aftermath of getting a new tattoo. This will help avoid unwanted friction at the tattoo site due to rubs from tight clothing that can restrict movement.

This is more of an issue with larger sized tattoos and those that are placed in body areas near joints or other locations that are more likely to cause friction.

Why Stretching Vigorously Too Soon Could Be Bad For Fresh Tattoos

Most tattoo experts caution against stretching too vigorously soon after a fresh tattoo job. Smaller tattoos may only limit the person in the upper body, the lower body or one limb or another. Gentle stretching is usually fine if the tattoo is less extensive or on a body area less prone to movement or friction rubs.

Too Much Sweat May Not Be The Best Post-Tattoo Situation

Perspiration itself does not usually cause a problem with a tattoo. However, sweating can cause excess moisture along with any germs, dirt or other substances to transfer onto the fresh tattoo site thereby causing a potential higher risk for infection or other post-tattoo complication.

What Types Of Exercise Are Okay With A New Tattoo?

After the first 48 hours following a tattoo session, it is generally alright to pursue gentle types of exercise in most cases. Some of the types of exercises that may be okay with a new tattoo include walking at a slower pace, doing some easy stretching away from the tattoo site or working out the upper body if the tattoo was somewhere on the lower body and vice versa. If desired, complete an Internet search by inputting “local tattoo shops near me” into your favorite search engine bar to get contact information of nearby tattoo shops. Call ahead of time and inquire about any post-tattoo sport or exercise restrictions to better prepare yourself for following these important rules.

What Exercises Are Not Recommended?

Most exercise restrictions fall away after the initial tattoo aftermath healing takes place at about 6 weeks. After that, slowly get back into your normal routine, but stop any activity if you notice skin stretching, excess irritation or increased discomfort at the tattoo site.

Avoid These Types of Exercise Until Tattoo Is Healed

Strenuous Pursuits Like Serious Bodybuilding Or Vigorous Work Out Sessions — Bodybuilding enthusiasts often workout vigorously to bulk up their muscle mass quickly. This can stretch a tattoo and potentially damage the design due to ink leakage or fading. Also, being in a gym, locker room or other enclosed and confined sport or exercise environment can raise the chances of cross contamination.

This is due to sweaty bodies using the same machines and damp or airless spaces that are prime breeding grounds for germs, molds and other dangerous to health microbes or other issues.

Can You Play Sports After Getting a Tattoo

Running Or Fast Jogging Until Tattoo Is Healed

Take a slower and more relaxed walk rather than jumping back into running or jogging at least for the first few days after a tattoo session. Do not run or do anything that requires wearing of sweaty sneakers or other footwear if you get a tattoo on the foot or ankle area.

Sports Played Outside In Sunlight Or Near Water

Sunlight can burn the skin at the tattoo site initiating redness, a burn and/or other complications. It is unwise to wear sunscreen immediately after a tattoo near the tattoo site.

Sunscreen can be too irritating to the freshly tattooed skin. Wait until after the initial first few days, then religiously apply a thin layer of sunscreen when outdoors and/or cover up the tattoo with clothing.

Being around water outdoors increase risks for sunburns as light is reflected on the water itself. Avoid these areas especially in the hottest parts of the day.

Avoid High-Impact Sports & Activities At First

Take a slight break from high-impact forms of dance, strenuous aerobic or spin classes, hot yoga, gymnastics and other activities until the tattoo has healed and as directed by your aftercare instructions.

Types Of Sports To Avoid Until Tattoo Is Healed

Avoid the following sports in the initial post-tattoo period:

  • Hockey
  • Water sports
  • Snowboarding
  • Football or Rugby
  • Wrestling or Martial Arts

Avoid Playing Outdoor Sports

Steer clear from playing outdoor sports including basketball, tennis or sand volleyball. This is due to increased risks of sunburn, excess sweating and increased chances of getting freshly tattooed body area dirty setting yourself up for a potential nasty infection.

Final Thoughts

Taking the recommended limitations on certain high-impact sports and other exercise restrictions seriously can help you avoid the pains of tattoo site irritation, infection or other post-tattoo complication. Gradually getting back into your normal exercise or sports routine should be your goal. Also, do not engage in anything strenuous in the days prior to your tattoo session to avoid increased tattoo session discomforts. Contact Oracle Tattoo Gallery at (215)-638-1601.

Can You Play Sports After Getting a Tattoo