Should You Use the Sauna After Getting a Tattoo

Timothy Munene Timothy Munene
Should You Use the Sauna After Getting a Tattoo

If you are considering getting a tattoo, you probably have numerous questions. For example, how painful is it? How long is the healing process? Of course, the tattoo artist will give you a brief about the process, explaining what you should or shouldn’t do. The artist even recommends the best sunscreen or cream to speed up healing.

However, if you are a sauna enthusiast, you want to know when to resume your sessions after getting the tattoo. Read on to discover details on how long you should wait before using the sauna after a tattoo. But first, let’s discuss your tattoo's healing process. 

Understanding the Steps to Tattoo Healing

Your tattoo goes through various stages of healing. First, the tattooed area will be tender, swollen, and red because the body perceives the tattoo as an injury. As a result, it responds by dispatching blood cells to the area to facilitate healing. 

Over the subsequent days, a scab will form and peel as your skin regenerates before the tattoo settles into the skin to complete the healing process. Here are the three main healing stages of a tattoo in detail.

·       Initial Healing

This stage occurs falls between the first and seventh day after getting the tattoo. Here, the tattoo appears vibrant and fresh but could be swollen and sensitive. Keeping the tattoo clean and strictly adhering to the aftercare instructions during this phase is important. 

·       Scabbing and Peeling

This stage occurs from the seventh to the fourteenth day after your tattoo. The tattooed area may start to peel while scabs develop as your skin heals. Resist any urge to pick at the scabs, as doing so could damage the tattoo. 

·       Final Healing

The third stage is the complete healing of the tattoo. Here, your skin returns to its normal texture while the tattoo colors will settle fully. Moisturizing your tattoo regularly and protecting it from excessive exposure to the sun keeps the tattoo vibrant for longer.

Being conversant with these stages helps you care for your tattoo, ensuring it heals well. Aftercare practices include cleaning and moisturizing the tattoo, avoiding activities that may damage or irritate the tattoo, and direct sunlight. Follow these aftercare instructions to prevent fading, infection, and scarring. 

Should You Have a Sauna Session with a New Tattoo?

It’s advisable to avoid all forms of moisture, including swimming and sauna sessions. Your tattoo must heal before exposing it to excessive moisture and sweating. When you expose your tattoo to the moisture and heat in a sauna, excessive sweating will occur, disrupting the healing process and increasing the risk of infection.

Other issues may include dilation of blood vessels due to heat, slowed healing, and increased bleeding. Again, exposing your tattoo to the moisture and heat in a sauna can permanently fade the tattoo heat.

The heat can split the pigments in your tattoo, resulting in dispersion and loss of vibrancy. In the end, the tattoo will be blurry and faded. Sometimes, the heat can trigger scarring, especially when the tattoo has not healed fully. 

Covering Your Tattoo During Your Sauna Sessions

What happens if you can’t resist the urge for a sauna session with an unhealed tattoo? Covering your tattoo to protect the ink becomes paramount. There are various ways to go about it, which include:

Wrapping the tattoo with a waterproof bandage: Doing so creates a barrier between your tattoo, moisture, and heat in the sauna, reducing the risk of fading and infection. Choose a wrap or bandage that’s specially designed for use on tattoos. Follow the application and removal instructions below. 

Reduce the duration of your sauna session: Have short sessions under low heat to reduce potential harm to your tattoo. Further, listen to your body and leave the sauna immediately if you feel uncomfortable. 

Apply an aftercare ointment for tattoos: Apply the ointment before wrapping the tattoo to provide an extra layer of protection and promote healing. Always consult your tattoo artist to recommend a suitable aftercare ointment. 

It is worth mentioning that covering your tattoo is not a guarantee of full protection. The sauna's humidity, heat, and sweat can hinder the healing process. As a result, experts suggest that you should give your tattoo time to heal before visiting the sauna. Doing so helps you heal better and provides long-term results while preserving the vibrancy and quality of your ink.

How Long Should You Wait Before Having a Sauna Session After a Tattoo

Once you get a new tattoo, it's important to wait until it's fully healed before going to the sauna. When you notice that the glowing complexion over the tattooed area has faded and the scabs have fallen off, the tattoo is fully healed.

Remember, each tattoo's healing process is different. As a result, you should judge each tattoo individually to determine its healing process. Consult your tattoo artist to help determine whether you’re ready to return to the sauna

Can You Use the Sauna After a Laser Tattoo Removal?

Going to the sauna after a laser tattoo removal is not safe. Instead, consider waiting a few weeks or as long as your tattoo removal artist recommends for your skin to heal fully before taking a sauna bath.

Some experts opine that combining tattoo removal therapy with regular visits to an infrared sauna can be an excellent way to relax. Proponents of this method say it aids in detoxifying the lymphatic system and the body, flushing the ink broken down by the laser out of the body.

Further, the color therapy and dry heat effects from infrared light can positively impact your body while increasing blood circulation, which could accelerate the healing process. 

Will Your Tattoo Fade After Using the Sauna?

As long as your tattoo is fully healed by the time you use the sauna, it will not fade. But if you use the sauna with an unhealed tattoo, then faint spots could develop due to excessive moisture and heat. What's more, the scabs may start falling off too early. 

It’s worth noting that exposure to direct sunlight and dehydration can cause your tattoo to fade. Always use sufficient amounts of sunscreen and drink enough water to remain hydrated. 

Will Sweating Ruin Your Tattoo?

Sweating can negatively impact your tattoo. Exposing it to moisture, sweat, or water for prolonged periods is not ideal. Avoid vigorous physical activity, and do not visit the sauna until your tattoo is fully healed. However, you can still enjoy a moderate workout. Try to keep the tattoo as dry as possible always to prevent it from suffering moisture irritation or bubbles forming on the scab and causing infection.


If you have a new tattoo, you must adopt the right aftercare to ensure your skin heals fast while avoiding infection. Wait until your tattoo heals fully before visiting the sauna. That way, you can be sure to maintain your tattoo's beauty, quality, and vibrancy for longer. If you must visit the sauna before your tattoo heals fully, consider taking the precautions discussed in this article. Remember, waiting for the tattoo to heal is better than visiting the sauna with a fresh tattoo and exposing it to the risk of infection and slowed healing. 

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