Can Tattoos Cover Stretch Marks? – Everything You Need To Know

Many people, especially women, struggle with stretch marks throughout their lives. Stretch marks are usually a cosmetic problem for the majority, and people are always looking for a way to partially or completely cover or conceal the mark.

Tattoos are an increasingly popular way to conceal stretch marks. Sometimes stretch marks just get in the way of certain areas of the body where people usually want to get tattoos. Regardless of the reasoning behind it, tattoos have become a popular trend to conceal stretch marks, that’s for sure.

So, in the following, we’ll look at everything you need to know about tattoos and stretch marks; can tattooing cover them, and should you use this method to hide your stretch marks? So, without further ado, let’s get started!

Stretch marks: explained

What are stretch marks?

Striae distensea, also known as stretch marks, is a well-known and recognized skin condition. These are benign skin lesions that are known to result from disruption of dermal fibers. Stretch marks are not known to cause medical or undesirable problems, other than those of a cosmetic nature.

Because stretch marks tend to be visible in the majority of cases, they can surely cause aesthetic problems and distress for people who have them. Many women have reported not being able to wear more revealing clothes or swimsuits because of their stretch marks.

Why do stretch marks appear?

Stretch marks can appear in both teenagers and adults.

In adolescents, stretch marks appear as a result of rapid growth. Due to the growth, the skin is pulled and becomes too tight. As a result, the normal production of collagen in the skin is completely disrupted, which manifests itself in the form of stretch marks. Stretch marks in teens usually occur during puberty, when growth spurts are most common and most likely to occur.

However, in adults, stretch marks appear for several reasons;

  • Rapid weight gain or weight loss
  • Pregnancy
  • Bodybuilding
  • Rapid muscle growth
  • In case of Cushing’s disease or Marfan’s syndrome

When stretch marks start to appear, they are usually red or reddish-brown. In some cases, they are also purple or pink. The color of stretch marks usually depends on the skin tone and the amount of stretching the skin has undergone.

Also, initially, stretch marks tend to appear as raised skin and can be mildly itchy and uncomfortable. However, over time the color will fade and the raised skin will sink under the skin, slightly lighter than your skin tone. This is why stretch marks are often compared to scars.

Read also: Should you lose weight before getting a tattoo?

Stretch marks and tattoos

Can you get a tattoo on stretch marks?

Technically, yes, you can get a tattoo over your stretch marks, just like it’s possible to get a tattoo over healed scars. However, not all stretch marks are the same and many factors influence the final decision to get a stretch mark tattoo. It is important to assess the stretch marks, their location and whether a tattoo artist can perform the tattoo on such a skin condition.

For example, if you want to conceal stretch marks, the tattoo artist must develop an appropriate method to achieve such an effect. They should also come up with an appropriate tattoo design and ensure that the stretch marks “disappear” without damaging the skin.

So, all in all, one should be able to get a tattoo over their stretch marks, but there are some factors that need to be considered before such an attempt.

Can you get a tattoo on stretch marks
Registered tattoo

What should I consider before getting a tattoo?

  • The state of stretch marks – if the stretch marks have just appeared, or have come up, the possibility of getting a tattoo would be minimal. It would be extremely difficult for the tattoo artist to tattoo on such skin, and it would also be very painful for you to undergo such a tattoo session.
  • The color of stretch marks – if the stretch marks are red or purple, it would be difficult to hide them with a tattoo. Such a color of stretch marks also indicates that they are freshly appeared, so they will also be painful to tattoo, as mentioned before.
  • The width and length of the stretch marks – if the stretch marks are larger, it is more difficult to conceal them with a tattoo. The reason for this is the inability of tattoo ink to completely cover or conceal large stretch marks. In such cases, it is better to bypass the stretched mars than to cover them. Also, if the stretch marks are larger or of a particular shape, it may require more work and design planning to cover them with a tattoo.
  • Potential and future body changes – if you plan to gain muscle or start a pregnancy, it might be better to delay tattooing stretch marks. This is because current stretch marks will change as your body changes, especially on your stomach, thighs, and buttocks. It may also be best to lose weight before tattooing stretch marks. During weight loss, your stretch marks may shrink, so it will be easier to work them out and cover them with a tattoo.
tree of life tattoo on scar
Credit: @marisol_tattoos

So who should (or shouldn’t) cover their stretch marks with a tattoo?

As we mentioned, it is possible to have your stretch marks tattooed, but only if they are completely healed, not raised, not colored, and relatively narrow and small.

So, who should get their stretch marks tattooed?

We surely recommend people with stretch marks on stomach, thighs and buttocks to get stretch marks tattoo in case the stretch marks are completely healed and skin color. Also, if they are not planning drastic body changes, there is no reason not to get such a tattoo.

However, if these people have fresh stretch marks, which are red or purple, or raised, they shouldn’t have such a tattooat least unless the marks are completely healed.

If someone is planning to gain or lose weight or start a pregnancy, it would be better to postpone the stretch mark tattoo. During weight gain or loss, stretch marks change; they can get wider, narrower, bigger, or smaller. In such a case, a tattoo would be completely disrupted due to the change in stretch marks.

So, what you need to do before deciding to get a stretch mark covering tattoo is as follows;

  • Identify if your stretch marks have just appeared or if they are completely healed
  • Identify if the skin is raised or sunken (simply run over the marks with your fingers and you will notice if the skin is raised or lower than the surface of the skin)
  • Identify the color of stretch marks
  • Identify the size and width of stretch marks
  • Identify the cause of their occurrence (whether pregnancy, weight change, surgery or other body changes)
  • Identify if you plan to gain or lose weight or muscle mass in the future

Once you have identified all the factors, consult a doctor and a tattoo artist regarding the possibility of covering stretch marks with a tattoo. This is the best way to get what you want without causing possible health problems.

The woman in this photo was trying to cover her stretch marks with flesh-colored ink
Credit: @everafterenchantress

To note: The woman in this photo was trying to cover her stretch marks with flesh-colored ink in a tattoo shop. Unfortunately, the tattoo concealment session did not go well and the stretch marks turned red due to the tattoo pigment. Now she has to undergo painful laser tattoo removal sessions to get back to her usual state of stretch marks.

Can every tattoo artist do stretch mark covering tattoos?

Unfortunately, not every artist can rise to the challenge of making tattoos that cover scars or stretch marks. Naturally, everyone wants their tattoo artist to do a good job and not cause them any skin or health problems. So, for this reason, there are some things to consider before choosing a tattoo artist for this trip;

  • If a tattoo artist has experience successfully tattooing scars and stretch marks
  • If the artist knows how to adjust the design and color of the tattoo according to the stretch marks
  • If the artist is willing to monitor the healing process of the tattoo
  • Whether the tattoo artist is willing to make adjustments if the tattoo does not heal and is unplanned

So, when looking for a suitable tattoo artist for this job, be sure to check all these factors and ask them directly. You can even ask them to show some examples of their previous work on scars and stretch marks.

Make sure you don’t take this task too lightly. It is essential that you find a tattoo artist who is a professional in the truest sense of the word. The tattoo artist should not only have experience but also know how to work with different types of scars and stretch marks. Choosing a good tattoo artist can simply make or break the tattoo for you.

Also Read: 14 Best Camouflage Tattoo Artists. Find the best American tattoo artists

Final Thoughts

So, as you can see, it is possible to get a tattoo that covers stretch marks, as long as stretch marks are a good candidate and the tattoo artist knows what they are doing. If your stretch marks don’t seem like a good candidate, don’t lose hope; some tattoo artists are known to work well around stretch marks and incorporate them into the tattoo design.

Either way, be sure to consult a doctor and a tattoo artist before making a final decision on how you are going to cover your stretch marks. We believe that stretch marks should not be concealed because they are beautiful and unique. They show what your body has been through and tell a story. So make sure you don’t cover them at all!

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