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Can I Play Soccer After Getting A Tattoo?

Can I Play Soccer After Getting A Tattoo?

Getting tattoos has become a habit in most parts of the world today and it is not different in the sporting world.

The art of tattooing dates as far back as the Neolithic times evident from mummified human skin, archaeological records, and ancient art.

Different people have different reasons for getting a tattoo. Some people consider tattoos an act of beautification while others get them for personal reasons.

In the world of soccer, many players proudly carry tattoos on different parts of their bodies, it is more common amongst famous players although a star player like Cristiano Ronaldo doesn’t have any.

Soccer players get tattoos for different purposes; sometimes tattoos represent major milestone achievements in a player’s career and other times a tribute to special people.

Even though tattoos are acceptable in many countries, you could get in trouble from having tattoos in countries like Turkey, Iran, Sri Lanka, UAE, Japan, China, and a few others. Does it mean that you can no longer play soccer if you have tattoos?

In this article, we will investigate the significance of tattoos among soccer players. We will also provide the right answers to tattoo-related questions especially when it comes to playing soccer.

Can I play soccer after getting a tattoo?

It may sound contradictory but if you intend to play soccer after getting a new tattoo, what part of your body the tattoo is located plays a vital role because soccer is a contact sport.

Getting a small tattoo on your arm is less likely to cause any injury while playing soccer compared to getting a large tattoo on your back like Netherland’s Memphis Depay.

A man with tattoos in back

The body treats freshly drawn tattoos like an open wound and all open wounds stand a risk of getting infected if not properly cared for. Playing soccer with a new tattoo can also stretch the skin thereby delaying your tattoo from healing properly.

According to tattoo professionals, the recommended period to wait after getting a new tattoo before engaging in contact sports or vigorous exercise is between 2-3 days.

It wasn’t common in the past to see soccer players with tattoos compared to how common it has become in modern soccer. A significant number of high-profile players now ink up magnificent and weird tattoos on their body.

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It’s very hard to see high-profile soccer players without a tattoo or two on their body; players like Lionel Messi, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Sergio Ramos, and Antoine Griezmann are well known for this.

Because soccer players are getting tattoos and proudly showing them off; soccer fans all over the world are beginning to love the idea of getting tattoos as well. Some fans are getting tattoos of their favorite players. But can this practice affect their game or keep them on the sidelines for some time?

How many days does it take for a tattoo to heal?

After getting a new tattoo, people become eager to show them off not knowing that tattoos take more time to heal than expected.

Tattoos heal in four stages but the required length of time may vary with individual habits, the size of the tattoo in question, and the part of the body where they are located.

When a new tattoo is drawn, the visible layer of the skin naturally takes 2 to 3 weeks to heal. Some people might slow down on aftercare not knowing that the skin below the outer skin takes as much as 6 months of recommended care to heal properly.

Let’s look at the four distinct stages of tattoo healing as we earlier mentioned.

Stage 1

This stage starts from the day the tattoo is drawn until the 6th day of having it. During this stage, the tattoo is treated as an open wound and your body responds to it like an injury.

You will notice redness, swelling, slight inflammation, oozing, or a burning sensation. These are all natural and shouldn’t cause you to panic.

Stage 2

This stage starts from the second week of having a tattoo, sometimes it is plagued with a lot of flaking and itching. During flaking, you will think the ink is coming off with the flakes. That isn’t true.

Resist scratching the itch or picking at the scabs as much as possible. Using a recommended moisturizer on the area can reduce itching and keep the skin hydrated.

Stage 3

This stage starts from the third week of getting tattooed and lasts until the fourth week. At this stage, the itching will eventually subside as the tattoo begins to dry out.

If itching and redness persist, you should seek professional help because it might be an early sign of an infection. The tattoo might look less vibrant at this stage which is nothing to worry about knowing that a layer of skin has molded over it.

This layer of skin will naturally exfoliate later revealing your impressive tattoo.

Stage 4

This stage is where the final healing process starts. It starts from the second month and extends to the sixth month.

At this stage, itching and redness should no longer be a problem. The tattoo should look fully healed by now but that doesn’t mean aftercare should be stopped abruptly.

A tattoo requires long-term care which includes keeping it clean, wearing sun-protective outfits, and staying hydrated.

Can sweating ruin a new tattoo?

A soccer player with a lot of sweat

If you just got your first tattoo, you might feel a burst of emotions ranging from nervousness, impatience, excitement, and maybe even regret.

If you are a soccer player who does a lot of training, you might have a lot to consider after getting your first tattoo. Below, we will discuss the effects sweating can have on your new tattoo.

The sweat glands are located in the ‘Subcutaneous layer’ of the skin. They are located very far from where the tattoo ink is normally etched.

Although sweating itself won’t ruin a new tattoo, it can enhance the circumstances that may slow down the healing process because tattoos are open wounds.

Exposing tattoos to a lot of sweat will eventually breed germs of all kinds which may cause an infection. Avoid public gyms in particular after getting a fresh tattoo because public gyms harbor a lot of bacteria and grime.

Understanding the high risks of getting infected after a fresh tattoo can help you stay cautious and safe from such infections.

Macrophage phagocytes are immune cells that help the foreign ink remain inside the body during the healing process without causing adverse reactions.

When a tattooed area is exposed to excessive sweating, the skin becomes unable to trap the ink properly thereby causing the tattoo to end up discolored or blurry. You can prevent this by avoiding excessive workouts, especially in gyms.


Despite having immense benefits as well as backdrops, getting a tattoo is something that requires planning. Before owning a tattoo, you need to consider the extended consequences and effects.

Resolve all anxieties and hesitations in your mind before approaching a tattoo artist. Tattoos might seem pretty cool and fashionable now but the price of removal might be more demanding than you ever imagined.