When you’re planning for your next tattoo, timing can be everything. Making the time for the appointment itself is usually not the issue – it’s allotting ample recovery time afterward that really tends to cause conflicts. Proper tattoo healing is just as important as the tattooing process, itself. Regardless of how talented your artist is, if your tattoo heals poorly or becomes infected, you’re not going to end up with what you initially wanted.
Aside from general skincare after being tattooed, there are many other post-tattoo factors to take into consideration. The most common tattoo related questions range from “What is the best thing to put on a new tattoo?” to “My tattoo is peeling, what do I do?” and everything in between. But in this article, we will be discussing something that is commonly overlooked when scheduling a tattoo appointment: When is the best time to get a tattoo? Furthermore, what are the pros and cons to getting tattooed in each season? Lastly, how can you care for your tattoos year-round?
The time of year you decide to get tattooed can make a significant difference in your healing experience. Also, it may alter the difficulty in scheduling some recovery time for yourself. Thankfully, we’ve compiled the research and have laid out the pros and cons of getting tattooed in each season of the year.
Spring has become quite a popular time to get tattooed. The rising temperatures get people excited about summer – and showing off their bikini bodies and tattoos. Plus, millions of Americans receive tax refunds and have more disposable income than usual, which causes a spike in visits to the tattoo shop. But, while getting tattooed in spring is generally good, it may not be the best time of year to get tattooed. If you have a tattoo appointment booked for spring, there’s no need to cancel. Just be mindful of how your skin reacts to the changing seasons and plan to care for your tattoos accordingly.
- Higher rates of disposable income – Nearly ¾ of Americans receive a tax refund each year, typically in spring. Why not put that extra cash to good use and reward yourself with a new tattoo?
- Favorable weather conditions – Permitted it’s not raining and humid, spring weather is great for healing tattoos.
- Allergens – If you’re no stranger to getting eczema, acne, or allergies, you might want to postpone your tattoo appointment. Especially if the tattoo will be on an area of the body that is prone to getting rashes. The change in temperature brings with it a spiel of potential seasonal allergens. Pollen, mold, fungi, humidity, and perspiration are all at their peak during spring.
- Rain and humidity – Spring is usually the rainiest of the seasons, which can be harmful to a fresh tattoo if you spend too much time outdoors. Allowing rain to enter your wound site can delay tattoo healing and even put you at risk for developing an infection. Keep your tattoo clean by applying Saniderm and wearing layers while outdoors.
- Warm temperatures – As spring transitions into summer and temperatures increase, you’re more likely to cause damage to your tattoo with outdoor activity. Limit your time spent outdoors to avoid sweating and developing a sunburn.
Although summer is the most popular time of year to get a tattoo, it is undoubtedly the worst season to get a tattoo. The disadvantages of getting tattooed in warm and sunny weather may prove to be more inconvenient than it’s worth. In fact, compared to other seasons, there really aren’t any pros, aside from being able to flaunt your ink more frequently. If you are going to get tattooed in summer, take extra precautions to keep your tattoo clean and protected. Be prepared to ditch the pool parties and stay inside until your tattoo is fully healed. If you need to spend time outdoors, cover your tattoo with Saniderm and a thin layer of clothing.
- Display – More opportunity to show off tattoos in typically covered areas.
- Hot temperatures – While summer offers ideal temperatures for many outdoor activities, hot weather can be problematic when healing wounds. Heat causes the body to lose water and can lead to dehydration. When skin becomes suffers dehydration, it may become inflamed and dry. Keeping your tattoo moisturized is crucial to the tattoo healing process, as it minimizes scabbing and peeling.
- Water – Submerging a healing tattoo in fluid of any kind can be disastrous. Avoid lakes, oceans, swimming pools, jacuzzis, and tubs at all costs. Your tattoo is technically an open wound so allowing potential contaminants to enter will be detrimental to the healing process.
- UV rays / Sunshine – Spending too much time in the sun is easily one of the worst things you can do to your tattoo. UV rays cause skin cells to become damaged or die and can lead to skin cancer. When skin cells become damaged, the skin loses elasticity and becomes rugged. This will eventually alter your tattoo’s crisp lines and colors, leaving you with a dull and faded tattoo. For the sake of your tattoo, DO NOT apply sunscreen, tanning oils, or lotions. Harsh chemicals will likely cause irritation and discomfort. Plus, it may increase your chances of developing sunburn, aggravating tattoo peeling and scabbing.
- Excessive Sweating – Just like any source of water, sweat is another fluid that you do not want on your healing tattoo. Allowing sweat and oil to enter the wound site will encourage bacteria growth. And, if you’re healing your tattoo with Saniderm, sweat may also loosen the adhesive of the bandage. By allowing sweat to enter the tattoo site, the chances of developing an infection increase.
Based on our findings, fall is the best time of year to get tattooed. The weather is more agreeable and closely resembles indoor temps, making it the least threatening season to heal wounds. By spending less time in hot and humid temperatures, you’re less likely to be sweating, exposed to harmful UV rays, developing a sunburn, sweating, and so on.
- Light clothing – Fall attire usually consists of 1-2 layers of light clothing, which is ideal for healing wounds. A single layer of loose, clean clothing over your Saniderm bandage is the best protection you can get from potential contaminants. Wearing too many layers of clothing can put too much pressure on your tattoo and risk premature peeling or scabbing. Plus, it can suffocate the tattoo by limiting proper airflow. On the flip side, not enough coverage over your new tattoo can put you at risk of developing sunburn, rubbing your tattoo on contaminated surfaces, and getting an infection.
- The holiday season – Since the fall season runs from September to December, getting tattooed during these months can be extra fun and festive. Tattoo shops often offer special discounts for the holidays. You may be able to score a sizeable new piece at a discounted price for Halloween or Black Friday.
- Less heat and sunshine – You can still enjoy the great outdoors while not overheating your skin, risking dryness and dehydration. Plus, you’re less likely to get sunburned.
- Allergens – As plants die in early fall, the air is filled with pollen. Allergies in fall are similar to allergies in spring, but usually don’t last as long. If you are extra sensitive to ragweed or prone to getting allergic reactions in the fall, be cautious with the amount of time you spend outdoors, both before and after your appointment.
Winter is a pretty good season to get a tattoo, as long as you’re not spending too much time outdoors. Cold temperatures slow blood flow and cause poor circulation, taking the body much longer to regenerate skin cells.
- Less time spent outdoors – With the decrease in temperature and increase of snow, most people resort to spending much of the season indoors. For ideal wound healing, you want to keep your body temperature around 98.6 degrees. Staying inside and keeping your living space a comfortable temperature makes a big difference in tattoo healing.
- Controlled dryness – When your skin becomes dry in summer, it is usually caused by dehydration and higher temperatures. However, in winter, dryness is caused by lack of humidity in the air. Luckily, it can be curbed with relative ease through a skincare regimen using a skin protectant like Sanibalm.
- Holidays – Since winter tends to be slower than other seasons for most tattoo shops and Christmas occurs during this season, it’s not uncommon to be able to get discounted gift cards and deals. And, if you’re lucky enough to be gifted cash during the holiday season, you can add that to your tattoo budget!
- Cold temperatures – Since cold temperatures decrease blood flow and circulation, your body heals slower when exposed to cold temperatures. Keep your living space a comfortable temperature and stay indoors until your tattoo is healed.
- Peak flu and cold season – During winter months, influenza is at its peak. You’re more likely to catch influenza or the common cold during cold months and these illnesses take time to recover from. Furthermore, if you get tattooed while you’re sick, your body is going to have a much more difficult time recovering. Your tattoo healing may be delayed and your illness may linger a little longer due to a weakened immune system.
- Scheduling conflicts – It may be more difficult to keep your appointment during winter months. Due to poor weather conditions, you may experience delays in travel or have transportation issues. Additionally, artists and clients alike may have scheduling conflicts due to the holidays.
- Display – Cold weather means you’re going to need to keep warm with layers of clothing. In other words, your tattoos will be mostly hidden in the winter! While bundling up in cold weather is a necessity, avoid wearing scratchy or overly heavy clothing. Too much friction against your tattoo can cause irritation and encourage peeling. While peeling is a normal part of the tattoo healing process, it is best to allow the body to discard of skin flakes on its own.
Year-round tattoo care
Regardless of which season you decide to get a new tattoo, being prepared ahead of time is a critical part of the tattoo healing process. After all, properly caring for your tattoo makes a drastic difference in the final outcome of your tattoo. Keep these final considerations in mind every time you get a new tattoo.
- Speak with your tattoo artist regarding their tattoo care instructions prior to your appointment, so you know what to expect.
- Don’t forget to ask if your artist uses a tattoo bandage, like Saniderm. If not, consider purchasing some beforehand.
- Be aware of how your skin reacts to different climate conditions and seasonal allergens.
- Inform your artist if you have allergies, eczema, or sensitive skin.
- Eat and drink plenty of water before and after your appointment. Get plenty of rest, too!
- Limit alcohol, caffeine, and other stimulants at least 24 hours before your appointment.
- Always use clean towels, linens, and clothing while healing a tattoo.
- Stay indoors as much as possible. Keep your body at a healthy and comfortable temperature. Avoid the sun.
- Wear loose, lightweight clothing.
- Avoid submerging your healing tattoo in any fluid.
- Throughout the healing process, keep your tattoo moisturized. Use Sanibalm or a non-petroleum based aftercare product.
Need more tattoo care information? We’ve got you covered! View our new and comprehensive guide to tattoo care, check out our detailed tattoo pain chart to help you determine what part of your body to tattoo next. Or, browse through Saniderm’s knowledge base for more interesting finds! Not finding what you’re looking for? Leave us a comment.