Dr. Nicholas Hendron is an internal medicine resident at the Parkland Health & Hospital System — he said those who have fresh tattoos or any recent wound need to wait until their skin has completely healed before swimming. Many tattoo artists generally advise two weeks before going under water with it.
“If people just wait and do the skin care they need to do, it’s a very preventable thing,” Hendron said.
Texas fatal tattoo infection findings published
According to Hendron, who published his report in the British Medical Journal, the infection that claimed this man’s life, known as “vibrio vulnificus,” is not always fatal and was compounded by the man’s liver problems. The man admitted to doctors he drank roughly six beers per day.
That said, Hendron also said this case can be a lesson to others — do not submerge a recently opened part of your skin where there may be chemicals or bacteria.
“If you went out and got stitches, obviously the next day, that’s not the time to go out and swim in a pond or swim in a pool,” Hendron said. “You would treat that like a wound that’s been infected, and people with new tattoos should do the same thing.”