Scar Art: Can You Tattoo Over Stretch Marks?
Stretch marks are common after weight fluctuations, pregnancy, or even growing up to be an adult.
They can appear as long, thin bands on your behind, thighs, tummy, or arms and can range from white to purple to red in color.
While they often fade over time, some people want to cover them up through tattoos.
In this article, we’ll be exploring the question, can you tattoo over a stretch mark? But first, what causes them in the first place?
What Causes Your Stretch Marks?
It's no surprise that many of us have found ourselves in the presence of stretch marks, but few of us know what causes them.
Stretch marks are thin lines caused by the tearing of the dermis layer of skin due to excessive stretching.
As our bodies grow and change, this natural pulling can cause collagen fibers to break down and leave behind these reddish or purplish lines on our skin over time.
That said, not all people experience stretch marks in their lifetime; their susceptibility varies significantly depending on different factors such as genetics, gender, age and weight.
For example, if your parents had stretch marks when they were young then you may be more susceptible to developing them too.
Women typically get more stretch marks than men because pregnancy increases the chances greatly—not only do pregnant women carry extra weight but also due to strong hormonal changes that take place during pregnancy which can make skin less elastic than normal.
People with stretch marks try everything from cocoa butter to silicone scar sheets to expensive cosmetic treatments to fade these marks. But, when those treatments don't work, some opt to tattoo over them instead.
Is it Possible to Tattoo Over Stretch Marks?
Yes, you can tattoo over stretch marks. However, the process of tattooing damaged skin can be more complicated than tattooing on normal skin.
Fresh stretch marks can be challenging to work with because scar tissue is often indented and uneven.
The ink may not attach to the tissue as firmly as it would on normal skin. Moreover, the ink may appear lighter or faded on stretch marks than on regular skin.
Take Your Time
It is recommended to wait at least a year after they appear before getting your stretch marks tattooed to get stretch marks fully healed and faded as much as possible. This period will help to ensure the tattoo produces high-quality results.
On the other hand, if your stretch marks are still red or pink, it’s best to wait until they turn white before tattooing them.
The red and pink colors indicate that the skin is still inflamed and healing.
Also, there is still a chance you can make stretch marks disappear if you first give them some time to heal on their own
Skin Type & Age
Another important consideration before tattooing over stretch marks is your skin type and age.
Not all stretch marks can be tattooed. Older skin tends to be thinner and more delicate and may not be able to hold ink as well as younger skin.
Plus, people with darker skin tones may find that their stretch marks are already darker than their skin, making it hard for the tattoo ink to stand out.
Get a Good Tattoo Artist
A good tattoo artist specializing in stretch mark tattoos will assess your skin, the size of your tattoo, and the chosen design to determine whether it’s possible to tattoo over your stretch marks.
They may also recommend that you cover your tattoo occasionally to protect it from fading.
Once you decide to ink over your stretch marks, you should ask your tattoo artists about aftercare.
Keeping your tattoo clean and moisturized is crucial to ensure a speedy and healthy recovery. You should also follow the artist’s instructions on how long you should protect the fresh tattoo from the sun or other environmental factors.
Here are some of the best aftercare tips to keep in mind after tattooing stretch marks:
1. Keep the tattoo clean: Gently clean the tattooed area using mild soap and lukewarm water. Avoid scrubbing or rubbing the area too hard, as this may cause irritation and damage to the tattoo. Pat the area dry with a clean towel or paper towel.
2. Apply a healing ointment: Once the tattoo is clean and dry, apply a thin layer of healing ointment to the area. Make sure to use a fragrance-free and petroleum-free ointment, as fragrances and petroleum can irritate the tattoo. Apply the ointment two to three times a day, or as directed by your tattoo artist.
3. Avoid picking or scratching: It's natural for a tattoo to itch and scab during the healing process, but it's important to resist the urge to scratch or pick at it. Picking or scratching the tattoo can cause scarring, infections, and may cause the tattoo to fade.
4. Keep the tattoo covered: It's essential to keep the tattoo covered during the first few days of healing to prevent dirt and bacteria from getting into the tattoo. Your tattoo artist will provide you with a sterile, non-stick bandage that you can wear for the first few hours after getting tattooed. After that, you can switch to a clean, loose-fitting clothing to prevent rubbing and irritation.
5. Avoid swimming or soaking in water: Avoid swimming or soaking in water (e.g., baths, hot tubs) for the first few weeks after getting tattooed. Water can cause the tattoo to fade or become infected.
6. Stay out of the sun: Avoid exposing the tattooed area to direct sunlight during the healing process. Sun exposure can cause the tattoo to fade, and the skin may become more sensitive and prone to infection.
7. Follow your artist's instructions: Your tattoo artist may provide you with specific aftercare instructions that are tailored to your tattoo. Make sure to follow their advice carefully to ensure proper healing and longevity of the tattoo.
If you browse TikTok, you will find a few examples of women who have tattooed over their scars. Here's one example from Artist Platinum Tattoo in Sydney, Australia.
Yes You Can Tattoo Over Stretch Marks!
To answer the question, can you tattoo over both vertical and horizontal stretch marks, yes, you can!
While tattooing over uneven and indented skin tone can be more challenging, with the right artist and aftercare, you can have a great tattoo to cover them up.
Remember to wait after your stretch marks have healed and to seek expert advice from a reputable tattoo artist.
Finally, it is essential to take actions like hydrating your body, using creams and oils to ensure your skin is in great condition before getting tattooed.
With these tips, you can get a beautiful and vibrant tattoo without worrying about your stretch marks.