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Exercising with a New Tattoo: A SecondSkin Guide

Written by: SecondSkinTAC



Time to read 5 min

Getting a new tattoo is an exhilarating experience, but if you’re a fitness enthusiast, you’re going to find yourself asking how soon you can hit the gym without putting your fresh ink at risk. Thankfully, SecondSkin is designed to protect your new tattoo even during a high-octane workout session. However, you should be aware of some challenges and possible solutions to make sure your tattoo heals perfectly. So, let’s sweat the details!

Why Exercising With a New Tattoo Is Tricky

Before we get into the details, if you have the option, we highly recommend taking a few rest days after you get tattooed.

Exercise is good for your health, but it can present challenges for your new tattoo:

1. Friction: Constant and intense movement can cause clothing, accessories, and equipment to rub against your tattoo, negatively affecting its healing.
2. Sweat: Exercise causes perspiration, which creates a moist environment that can be a breeding ground for bacteria.
3. Stretching and Pulling: Muscle contraction and stretching can impact the tattoo and how your SecondSkin stays on your skin, especially if it’s near a joint or muscle group that’s being exercised frequently.

The intensity varies depending on the individual, ranging from minimal notability to irritability. Most cases are mild, but in rare instances, redness and tenderness may occur. If experiencing any additional side effects, discontinue use and consult a medical professional. Please report any additional side effects to customer care.

Caring for your new ink doesn't mean putting your life on hold, but it does mean exercising a little extra caution. SecondSkin is there to bridge the gap between aftercare and your active lifestyle, ensuring your tattoo heals beautifully without missing a beat on your fitness routine. Let's explore more in-depth how you can manage the post-tattoo period without sacrificing your gym time.

Understanding the Healing Phases

Knowing the different stages of tattoo healing can help you tailor your exercise routine to your body's needs:

  • Inflammatory Phase: The first few days post-tattoo are critical. Your tattoo is essentially an open wound and will be red, swollen, and sensitive. It's paramount to avoid any direct impact or excessive movement that can aggravate the area.
  • Proliferative Phase: After a few days, your tattoo begins to heal. The body works hard to rebuild skin cells and protect the area from infection. At this stage, your SecondSkin is a crucial ally, maintaining a sterile environment while still allowing your skin to carry on its natural healing process.
  • Maturation Phase: Eventually, your tattoo will enter the final stage of healing. The skin's surface appears healed, but the deeper layers are still at work. Continue to protect your tattoo by wearing SecondSkin, especially when exercising, as the skin is still vulnerable to the stressors of friction and stretching.

The intensity varies depending on the individual, ranging from minimal notability to irritability. Most cases are mild, but in rare instances, redness and tenderness may occur. If experiencing any additional side effects, discontinue use and consult a medical professional. Please report any additional side effects to customer care.

How SecondSkin Comes to the Rescue

SecondSkin is a cutting-edge adhesive bandage designed to protect your tattoo and expedite its healing. Here’s how:

1. Barrier Protection: It acts as a protective layer against harmful bacteria, dirt, and debris.
2. Breathability: It's made of material that allows your skin to breathe.
3. Reduced Friction: SecondSkin shields your tattoo from rubbing against clothing or gym equipment.

4. Thinner and More Flexible Bandage: Our newest bandage is specifically designed to handle intense stretching and pulling in delicate and sensitive areas.

SecondSkin™ Premium Matte Personal Pack

This is the newer, thinner version of our game-changing original tattoo bandage. This version has a matte finish, and is thinner and more flexible than the original. SecondSkin™ is a medical-grade, transparent, adhesive barrier that protects new tattoos. It is latex-free, waterproof, breathable, and hypoallergenic. This personal pack contains four (4) separate 5" x 7" sheets, perfect for healing a small-to-medium sized tattoo.

"I’m fairly new to getting tattooed and I had heard so many good things about using SecondSkin to heal new tattoos. Let me tell you, it's the real deal! They're my best healed pieces to date. Will be buying more!”

Potential Issues and Solutions


Sweat Buildup Inside SecondSkin

The Challenge:

During a rigorous workout, you may notice sweat accumulating beneath the SecondSkin bandage. While SecondSkin is breathable, it’s not designed to wick away a large amount of sweat, which can create an environment conducive to bacterial growth.

The Solution:

1. Post-Workout Cleansing: After your workout, gently remove the SecondSkin and clean the tattoo with a specialized tattoo cleanser. 
2. Bandage Replacement: Once the area is clean and dry, apply a new SecondSkin bandage. Make sure your hands are also clean to prevent any contamination.
3. Time Your Workouts: If possible, schedule your workouts close to the time when you’d usually change your SecondSkin so that you can do both tasks at nearly the same time.

Reapplying SecondSkin Properly

1. Careful Removal: Take your time when peeling off the SecondSkin to avoid disturbing your tattoo.
2. Sterile Environment: Always apply SecondSkin in a clean environment. Wash your hands thoroughly or wear gloves to prevent bacteria from getting trapped under the new bandage.
3. No Stretching: When applying the new SecondSkin, ensure that the skin is in a neutral position. Stretching the skin too much can lead to poor adhesion and potential tattoo distortion.

Additional Advice: Some people like removing SecondSkin in the shower and find it makes the process easier. If you use this method for removal, make sure to use cold-to-luke warm water. Hot water has the potential to cause the bandage’s adhesive to separate and stay stuck to the skin longer than intended.

Overexerting Yourself

The Challenge:

Being overly zealous in your workouts can lead to excessive sweating and even physical injury, both of which aren’t good for your fresh tattoo.

The Solution:

1. Modulate Your Intensity: Opt for lower-intensity workouts in the first few days after getting a tattoo.
2. Alternate Workouts: If your tattoo is on your arm, focus on leg exercises, and vice versa. This way, you can still stay active without directly affecting your tattooed area.

Know When to Stop

Your body will tell you when it’s time to slow down. If you're exercising with a new tattoo and it starts to feel irritated, itchy, or excessively hot, these could be signs of overexertion or an adverse reaction between the tattoo and your level of physical activity. If you find yourself in doubt, consult your tattoo artist.


Exercising with a new tattoo while using SecondSkin is feasible, but it comes with its own set of challenges that require specific solutions. By being mindful of sweat buildup, the reapplication process, and your workout intensity, you can continue to live an active lifestyle without compromising the quality and healing of your new tattoo. So suit up, apply that SecondSkin, and get those gains—safely, of course.