How Long After a Foot Tattoo Can I Wear Socks?

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A foot tattoo is always a good idea. The foot is a great tattoo placement because you can easily hide the tattoo, protect it from sun exposure, but also show it off during the summer, beach days. However, what if you’ve just gotten a foot tattoo; how do you take care of it? And, most importantly, when can you start wearing socks and shoes?

If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve either had your foot tattooed or you’re thinking about it. Either way, you’re at the right place. In the following paragraphs, we’ll take a look at some useful info and tips on how to survive a foot tattoo. So, let’s get started!

Foot Tattoos: Everything You Need To Know

snake tattoo on foot
Credit: Instagram

How Do I Take Care of a Foot Tattoo?

You will take care of your foot tattoo just like you would do with any other tattoo. It is essential to let the tattoo breathe, clean it and prevent it from getting infected by following the aftercare instructions your tattooist provided. Avoid touching the tattoo with dirty hands, and most definitely, avoid picking, peeling, and scratching it. This could lead to a prolonged healing issue as well as to infection, irritation, and inflammation.

What About Socks – When Can I Wear Them?

The burning question; when can you wear socks after a new tattoo? Unfortunately, you’ll have to wait between 2 or 3 weeks before you start wearing socks.

With tattoos placed in other body areas, it is recommended to keep the tattoo covered by wearing loose clothes. So, you may think that for a foot tattoo wearing socks is fine. However, socks are far from being loose on the feet. It is quite the contrary; they stick closely to the skin, keeping it snug so that your feet can fit into shoes.

Now, because socks are so tight, they must be avoided at all costs until the tattoo is healed. Otherwise, the sock might stick to your tattoo, prevent it from drying and forming a new skin layer. It could also possibly cause an infection due to contact with a foreign, possible contaminated material; we all know that socks tend to get dirty pretty fast.

feet tattoo without socks
Credit: Instagram

And Shoes? Can I Wear Them, and What Kind?

Now, when it comes to foot tattoos, the same sock thing applies to shoes as well. You cannot wear shoes for 2 to 3 weeks, or until your tattoo is fully healed. Shoes might be even more damaging of a tattoo than socks, but when combined, they might mess up your tattoo completely.

However, here are two main reasons you should wait for your foot tattoo to heal before you start wearing shoes again;

  • To wear shoes, you need to put on socks; socks could stick to your tattoo even more, and if you wear shoes without socks, you could cause a serious tattoo infection.
  • Shoes can cause your feet to sweat, which could introduce bacteria to the tattoo, resulting in tattoo inflammation and infection.

But, what if you simply have to wear shoes after you get a tattoo? After all, you still have a life to live, a job to go to, and places to be. We still advise you to wait for at least 2 weeks before you put on any kind of socks or shoes. After all, the tattoo you got is permanent, so you don’t want to mess with something that will remain a part of your body.

However, after 2 weeks, you can start wearing open shoes. Now, this could be a problem in case you’ve had your tattoo during winter or cold months. In that case, you’ll have to simply wait it out before you can put your boots on.

In case you have a tattoo during spring/summer, then feel free to wear open-type shoes after 2 to 3 weeks. Even then, there are some things to consider;

  • You can wear sandals, slides or slip-on shoes
  • You should apply sunscreen to the tattoo and protect it from UV rays
  • You should wash the tattoo regularly
  • You cannot wear open shoes for too long (you could risk injury or infection)
  • Consider wrapping your tattoo when going outside

Note: Some people experience difficulties walking after getting a foot tattoo. It is essential to not put pressure on the tattooed foot until the tattoo is fully healed. A new tattoo is an open wound, so chances are it will be painful and uncomfortable to use your feet until the tattoo is healed. The tattoo will also be swollen and painful so it is best to rest the feet until the tattoo heals.

Other Things To Consider About New Foot Tattoos

Working Out Is a No-No

Until your tattoo is fully healed, you cannot work out. To exercise, you still need to wear your working out shoes, which is a no-go, especially in this situation. Working out induces higher amounts of sweat, especially in the shoes. This could have potentially adverse effects and cause tattoo infection, irritation or inflammation.

Pedicure Can Wait

Just like for the sock and the shoes, you should wait for a pedicure for at least 2 to 3 weeks in case of a foot tattoo. Pedicures include feet soaking and in case of tattoos, submerging them underwater can prolong the healing process, prevent drying and skin layer forming, and ultimately, lead to a tattoo infection. Plus, pedicure water is proven to be filled all kinds of bacteria that can cause serios infections; so, stay away from beauty salons until you’re fully healed.

Prepare for Fading

Once your foot tattoo fully heals, you can expect it to retain the initial vividness and coloration for a much shorter period compared to tattoos in other body parts. The reason for this lies in the constant friction of feet against socks and shoes. Moreover, during the summer season, your feet are more exposed, which will contribute to faster tattoo fading as well.

Say Goodbye to Long Showers and Baths

Until your foot tattoo fully heals, you will have to take quick showers, and avoid long showers or baths. Swimming is also a no-go.

The reason for this lies in the fact that submerging tattoos underwater for too long can prevent proper healing, prolong the overall healing process and possibly cause an infection, indirectly. However, you do need to wash and clean your tattoo, which should be done quickly, using lukewarm water and antibacterial, mild, and fragrance-free soap.

Important Info and Aftercare Tips For Foot Tattoos

  • Avoid getting a foot tattoo in the winter or cold months, since you won’t be able to wear socks and shoes for at least 2 to 3 weeks.
  • Try to get one foot tattoo, on one foot at a time. Getting two tattoos on both feet at the same time can be pretty uncomfortable and difficult. You may even experience difficulties walking or moving around.
  • In some cases, foot tattoos can get messed up due to the so-called ink migration. That is generally an issue with foot and ankle tattoos, so many tattooists advise against foot tattoo placement. In case you really want such an ink, try to get the tattoo at the top of the foot, since the ink migration is less likely to occur in this area.
  • If you have circulation issues, you should avoid getting tattoos on your hands and feet. Diabetic people especially should avoid getting tattooed in the area below the knees, since diabetes causes major circulation issues.
  • After getting a foot tattoo, it is essential to keep the feet in an elevated position to prevent excess oozing, bleeding, or swelling.
  • Swimming in swimming pools and in general should be avoided after getting a foot tattoo (or any tattoo). Tattoos tend to be prone to infections during the recovery time, and while swimming pools are also full of bacteria, they should be avoided at all costs until everything is nice and healed.

Final Thoughts

Foot/feet tattoos are generally super fun and they look amazing. However, because they can impose certain limitations on one’s life for a several-week period, they can be hard to deal with or protect from infections. Many tattoo artists advise their clients against foot tattoos exactly for these reasons. However, if you want a foot tattoo, make sure to have it done by a professional. Also, ensure that you can take a few weeks off from work, or try working from home in that period if your work allows so.

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