It is unavoidable that tattoos, both in color and black, will fade over time. However, with proper care, tattoo fading can be prevented by following some simple tips. “Like every other part of your body, tattoos age as well,” says Dr. Michael Diaz, a board-certified plastic surgeon in Florida. “Unlike injectable fillers, tattoo inks are permanent and exposed to all the elements that our skin is subjected to such as environmental conditions, sun damage and loss of elasticity. Most tattoo inks will fade over time but never fade away completely. The edges of the tattoo usually become less defined with time. Removing tattoos through lasers may lead to a discolored patch of skin that can be more visible as we age.”
What To Do?
Moisturize, Moisturize & Moisturize!
Get into the habit of applying a thin layer of moisturizer on your tattoo – this will prevent your tattoo from flaking. No matter which lotion or cream you use, apply it sparingly. A thick layer of moisturizer can leach color out of your tattoo. Dr. Diaz also recommends removing anything that shouldn’t be on your skin including oil, makeup and cleaning products since they can strip color from your tattoo.
SPF is a Tattoo’s BFF
Sun is the leading cause of color fading in tattoos. If you do go out in the sun, and if your tattoo is exposed to its ultra violet rays, be sure to apply sunscreen to your skin, with careful attention on your tattoo. Prolonged sun exposure causes wrinkles, so exercise caution when going out in the sun whether you have tattoos or not. Unfortunately, wrinkles may be more apparent when they are on a tattoo than if they were on non-tattooed skin. “Never forget to apply sunblock to a tattoo of any age,” advises Dr. Diaz. “Even seasoned tattoos can be affected by the sun, and a sunburn can cause peeling and scarring, neither of which are any good for the look of your tat.”
Tattoos & Weight Gain
Depending on where your tattoos are located changes in your body such as weight gain, weight loss and muscle gain can affect the appearance of your tattoos. Tattoos on the hands, wrists, feet, ankles and back of the neck will be minimally affected by weight loss.