×

Swimming With New Ink Can Lead To Some Serious Consequences, Experts Suggest

Image Via Shutterstock

Speaking candidly, I don't have any tattoos. I'm what like my boyfriend likes to call non-tattooed folk, "a blank canvas." I haven't ruled out the idea entirely, it's just I'm a very wishy-washy sort of gal and what I want one day is completely different the next day, let alone for the rest of my f'in life.

Yeah, yeah, I know—I could always cover it with makeup or laser it off, but to be fair, if I'm going into the whole ordeal with that mentality, what's the point? That's like doing psychedelics in the headspace of, "Well, if I freak out, we can just call the paramedics." As you've most likely put together, no, I've never done psychedelics.

Alright, now that you all know how boring I am, let's move onto the good stuff that has the potential to save your life. First, here's a pretty graphic picture that Men's Health shared on Twitter—

Pretty damn gnarly, huh? Yeah, I almost threw up my breakfast, you're welcome. How did that happen and how can you avoid it?

Well, the pictured tattoo above belonged to a 31-year-old man who decided to go swimming off The Gulf of Mexico just 5 days after getting his new tattoo. According to Medical Daily—"In the report, published in BMJ Case Reports, doctors determined the patient developed sepsis — an extreme reaction to an infection — from swimming in the ocean just five days after getting a crucifix tattoo on his right calf. He went to the emergency room three days after developing a fever and chills, and swelling over his tattoo site, and throughout both of his legs. Lab work showed he had high levels of liver enzymes, suggesting he had a history of chronic liver disease."

This story doesn't have a happy ending. The man died after the flesh-eating bacteria sent him into septic shock. So please, head this warning—"Typically, tattoos should be left to heal for a minimum of two weeks, until the flaking and peeling are finished, and the scabs have fallen off. Going swimming before the two-week mark makes your tattoo vulnerable to bacteria, sun, and chemicals, among other things. This is because tattoos are created through micro-abrasions on the skin, which makes it easier for bacteria to seep in."

MORE:'Woman's Infected Tattoo Removal Will Be The Subject Of Your Nightmares For Life'