Over the years, tattoos have gone from something rarely seen outside the military or rock 鈥榥鈥 roll worlds to totally mainstream: From watercolor tattoos to this summer鈥檚 hottest earring ink聽trend, there鈥檚 now a body art type for just about everyone. Summer is always a particularly popular time for tats, but as it turns out, it鈥檚 also a time to exercise extreme caution, as heading to the beach or poolside immediately after your latest ink session could get you very, very sick.

As anyone who鈥檚 gotten a tattoo before knows, aftercare is the most important part of keeping your new masterpiece looking its best. In addition to keeping it clean and *lightly* moisturized, it鈥檚 important not to submerge your tattoo in water, particularly in public areas such as lakes or pools, which tend to harbor harmful bacteria and germs that will infiltrate your new wound (which is essentially what a tattoo is in the healing stage) for two full weeks.

According to The Daily Mail (warning 鈥 the photos ain鈥檛 pretty!), one tattooed vacationer didn鈥檛 heed this advice, and decided to go for a swim in the Gulf of Mexico five days after getting a tattoo on his leg. Unfortunately, his wound got infected with sepsis, and the man eventually died (in part due to a preexisting condition which made his infection far worse).

While dying is an extreme example of what can happen if you don鈥檛 let your tattoo heal properly before diving into the nearest body of water and it definitely isn鈥檛 the norm, it鈥檚 certainly a good reminder to stick to your tattoo artist鈥檚 aftercare advice, which should be followed to a tee.

You should also probably plan your beach vacays accordingly, lest you want to end up with a mess instead of a masterpiece!

What鈥檚 the first tattoo you ever got? Tell us @BritandCo!

(h/t Refinery29; photos via Kurt Andre + Getty)