Body changes & Tattoos


Do Tattoos Stretch With Muscle Growth?
Unless you opt for laser removal at some point in the future, a tattoo is for life. The size and shape of your various muscles, however, is unlikely to stay the same throughout your lifetime. When considering tattoo placement and design, it is important to consider whether the tattoo is likely to stretch with changes in your muscle tone and size.

When tattoos are placed over a muscle, the tattoo may stretch if you subsequently increase the muscle mass in that area. According to the website Muscle Gaining, moderate muscle growth should not have any noticeable effect upon a tattoo. However, sudden or significant muscle growth may damage the design and ink of the tattoo. If you develop stretch marks from sudden gain of muscle mass or weight, these stretch marks may destroy some of the ink in your tattoo.

Expert Insight
Any tattooed area of the body which becomes swollen or distended is likely to experience stretching and distortion of the tattoo. This particular article considers the effects of tattoos and piercings on pregnant women's bodies--the same issues of stretching and distortion of tattoos would, however, occur in areas of pronounced muscle growth.

If you want to minimize the risk of a tattoo stretching due to muscle gain, make sure to get the tattoo at a time when your muscles are at the size you expect them to be in future. If you are already a bodybuilder, wait until you have reached the optimum muscle mass you are aiming for before placing a tattoo on your muscles. You should also be aware that a tattoo on a muscle will be prone to shrinking if you cease working out or weightlifting after the tattoo is placed.

Warning / Loosing Weight & Tattoos
Although tattoos are increasingly common in Western societies, many employers require employees to show no visible tattoos at work. Before you get inked, consider whether a visible tattoo may negatively affect your employment prospects. Furthermore, you should bear in mind that tattoo ink is not regulated or approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States. According to, this is because tattoo ink is considered a cosmetic item.

Changes in your body, including weight gain, pregnancy, weight loss or aging, can impact the appearance of your tattoos.
The placement of your tattoo will significantly impact how much it changes as your body changes. Tattoos on the hands, wrists, feet, ankles and back of the neck will be minimally affected by weight loss. Men are apt to find that ink on their arms or stomach is significantly changed by weight variations, while women will notice more differences if their tattoos are on their hips, thighs, breasts or belly.

Slow weight loss will reduce the change to your tattoo. Rapidly losing or gaining weight is more likely to distort your tattoo design than slow gain or loss and may be more likely to cause stretch marks or sagging skin. If you do want to protect your tattoo while dieting, opt for a healthy and gentle weight reduction, rather than drastic fad dieting or weight-loss surgery.

Larger tattoos may show less distortion over time and through body changes than small ones, according to A sleeve or other large tattoo on your arm, thigh or chest may shift less visibly. If your tattoos do shift in an unpleasing way, you may be able to add to them or touch them up rather than having them removed or covered up.

Highly symmetrical tattoo designs, like tribal or Celtic patterns, are more likely to show the effects of weight loss than a less symmetrical one. If you are planning a tattoo on a fleshy area and expect to lose a significant amount of weight, work with your artist to design a tattoo that can accommodate these changes to your body without distorting into an uneven or asymmetrical shape.

If your tattoo has distorted significantly due to weight loss, you may find that a skilled tattoo artist can repair or cover up the design or you may wish to consider laser tattoo removal to eliminate an unattractive tattoo.

Stomach Tattoos - Solution after pregnancy?
Stretch marks can appear on your stomach due to several causes. Weight gain, diseases (such as Cushing's) and pregnancy can all contribute to stretch marks on your torso. If you have stretch marks on your stomach and are not happy with your appearance, getting a tattoo may be a great solution to cover the scars and boost your confidence in your self image.

A tattoo applied by a professional tattoo artist on top of and surrounding your stretch marks can completely cover or camouflage the look of the indented marks in your skin. A tattoo artist will ask you to visit the tattoo shop for a consultation before booking an appointment for you. The tattoo artist must first see your stretch marks to conclude if you are a candidate for a cover-up and discuss your design options.

Before you get the new ink, think about the possibilities of covering the old ink. Not every cover is a good cover! Think twice, think carefully. Ask the tattoo artist for an opinion - not just for the design, but for the colors, the right placement - how big it should be etc. Some people choose darker inks to cover the old ink... If your tattoo is faded you can go with a great floral design or black and white tattoo. It depends.

The type of tattoo design that can be used to cover-up stretch marks on your stomach depends on the length, depth, color and number of stretch marks that are present on your stomach. Another factor in the design is where on your stomach the stretch marks reside. For example, if your stretch marks are on the left side of your stomach and travel up your side, your tattoo artist will draw a design that flows vertically across your stomach and perhaps wrapping around your hip and ribs to conceal the stretch marks. Give your tattoo artist a general design idea, such as floral, tribal or abstract, so they can base the cover-up design on this reference.

Choosing a tattoo artist that specializes in covering up stretch marks will ensure that you are satisfied with the end result. A professional tattoo artist that is experienced in performing scar and stretch mark cover-up tattoos will offer you a portfolio of work to look through.

If you plan to have a child, or additional children, waiting until after you have conceived the number of children you desire before receiving the tattoo is the best option. The cover-up tattoo could be damaged by the addition of more stretch marks on your stomach.

Healing time
Your new tattoo takes time to heal. It can usually take 3-4 weeks with a proper aftercare treatment.
Remember: Choosing a professional tattoo artist is very important. Tattoo artists that are not skilled or experienced in covering up stretch marks with tattoos may tell you that you cannot conceal the marks on your stomach with tattoo work.
Not every tattoo design can cover stretch marks, but a skilled tattoo artist will create a custom design with texture to conceal your stretch marks. The look of your stretch marks have a chance of being enhanced if the tattoo artist attempts to apply a cover-up with a method that works on smooth skin, causing the ink to bleed and the color in the tattoo to heal with uneven patches.


Tattoos & Tanning
Tattoo Scarring
Tattoo Scabbing
Tattoo Fading
Sweating & Tattoos
Signs Of Tattoo Allergy
Proper Tattoo Healing