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As a Canadian tattoo company with studios in Vancouver BC and Toronto ON we enjoy all four seasons. So we know what it’s like to navigate the low temperatures of late autumn and winter, especially on the east coast (TO). As such, clients ask us from time to time “Does cold weather affect tattoos?”. For the most part it doesn’t, unlike the hot summer when the UV index is high and seeking to do damage to skin. That said, there are a few caveats to consider. Let’s break them down below.

3 Things to Consider About Cold Weather and Tattoo Care

How Skin Responds to Low Temperatures

For some people, cold weather has little impact on the integrity of their skin. For others, low temperatures and associated weather behavior such as dry winds can make skin flaky and cause it to crack. When this occurs on a new tattoo, ink particles may break apart, which impacts healing and the aesthetic of the design. Protect your new tattoo from the cold snap by keeping the skin around your tattoo well-moisturized and well-nourished (read: how to eat for healthy skin). In fact, the same winter season moisturizing/nourishing regime is advised for anyone with a tattoo, whether you’ve had it for days, weeks, months, years, of decades.

How You Dress (to stay warm) After a New Tattoo

In extremely cold temperatures, which we’re known to experience in Toronto, newly tattooed clients are advised to reconsider what they wear for a few days after leaving the studio. Heavy weight and thick fabrics that are common to winter attire such as wool tweed and polyester fleece can weigh down and add friction that can complicate the healing of a fresh tattoo. Further, these fabrics can make newly tattooed skin itchy and bothersome. Wear loose fit and lighter clothing and take it easy on the layers over the area of your new tattoo for about a week

Cold Weather Activities

Lastly, we look towards physical activities that you may partake in when the weather gets cold. They can impact your new tattoo’s ability to heal. Skiing, snowboarding, and ice hockey are all enticing ways to enjoy the late autumn and winter in Canada, but if you’ve just received a tattoo you will want to give yourself a little time before enjoying any of them. The rules we’ve laid our in our popular guide to snowboarding after getting a tattoo apply to all high impact cold weather sports. Follow them and your tattoo will be just fine.

If you have any further questions about getting a new tattoo when heading into the cold weather of autumn and winter in Canada, be sure to bring them up during your consultation. Book an appointment at an Adrenaline tattoo shop near you today.