Will Wearing A Bra Affect A New Tattoo?

  • Written By Dan Hunter on January 7, 2020
    Last Updated: November 27, 2020

Yes, wearing a bra can affect a tattoo if it hasn’t healed completely. If you must wear a bra, choose one based on the position of your new tattoo. Avoid bra designs that won’t give the tattoo room to breathe.

Tattoos around your back, mid-riff or chest region always look great. As a woman, however, the days immediately after getting the new ink can be uncomfortable, especially if you can’t go out without wearing your bra.

At this stage, you’ll probably want to ignore all the warnings from your tattoo artist and clasp on a bra. However, before you do that, there are a few things you need to know.

New Tattoos Need Air

New tattoos are no different from open wounds. Just as you won’t cover up injuries with tight clothing, you shouldn’t cover up your tattoos with a bra. Bras hold the tattooed area tightly, increasing the chances of an infection.

Within the first week of getting your tattoo, you need to keep it uncovered most of the time, along with other aftercare advice the artist gives you.

Bras Can Ruin the Tattoo Design

Just like wounds, scabs form around tattoos during the healing process. The best tattoo artists will tell you that removing the scabs can ruin the appearance of your tattoo. If you wear a bra at this stage, however, it can rub on the scabs and scrape them off. In worst-case scenarios, the scabs can get infected.

Even when the bra doesn’t remove the scabs, just using one can hinder your tattoo’s healing by delaying the process. Once a negative external influence impacts the recovery of the tattooed area, there’s no telling how it will end. If the recuperation ends oddly, your tattoo design will most likely change.

Bras Can Cause Irritation

After you have gotten a tattoo, the skin around the area will remain tender for a while. For some people, this period can last for weeks. This is natural and nothing to worry about; however, the straps of a bra can cause intense irritation around the affected area.

The pain can be extremely uncomfortable, so you may have to stop using a bra during this period. Does this mean you can’t wear a bra after you’ve gotten a tattoo? No! You can wear bras, as long as you keep the below points in mind.

If You Have to Wear a Bra, Do These Things

If you can’t resist wearing a bra, no matter the reason, try and follow these tips:

  • Don’t cover the tattoo
  • Use tape
  • Keep everything clean

Wear a Bra that Doesn’t Cover the Tattoo

If you have a tattoo high above your chest or in the middle of your back, consider using a sports bra.

A bikini top may also be an excellent option for all types of chest area tattoos. They’re usually as supportive as conventional bras, but more comfortable. Unfortunately, they may not work with tattoos that extend to the rib region.

Some types of cotton bralettes may also work for various kinds of upper body tattoos. Go over a few options and find one that fits.

If your new tattoo is around the shoulder area, you can’t wear a bra with a strap without some discomfort. A strapless bra is the best option here.

Use Tape

If you don’t find a bralette or a strapless bra comfortable enough, you can use clothing tape to hold your current bra in a position where it still offers some support without affecting your tattoo. This is also an excellent option you have to go out before your new bra arrives.

Kinesiology tape can also provide support if you don’t want to use a bra at all. However, it sticks very tightly to the skin, so be prepared for that tape-on-skin ripping pain when you take it off.

Keep Everything Clean

Tattoos can get infected quickly, especially in the early days. All clothing that touches the tattooed area has to be clean. Wash all bralettes, bikini tops or strapless bras regularly, and avoid reusing any from the previous day. The bacteria in worn clothes can trigger an infection if they get onto a fresh tattoo.

Go Braless If Possible

Wearing a bra can affect a tattoo if you don’t take all the necessary precautions. Avoid wearing bras that will clamp down on the tattooed area tightly. Where possible, wear a bra that will not touch the tattoo at all.

Don’t forget to avoid wearing tight-fitting clothing. Even the right choice of bra may not stop you from ruining the tattoo if your dress or shirt is too tight. Give your new tattoo at least two weeks to breathe, and you can go back to wearing what you want.

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