A lot of people, especially women, fight the everlasting battle against stretch marks throughout their lives. Stretch marks are generally an aesthetic issue for the majority, and people are always looking for a way to cover or conceal the mark partially or completely.
One increasingly popular way of concealing stretch marks is tattoos. Sometimes stretch marks simply come in the way in certain body areas where people want to get a tattoo in general. Regardless of the reasoning behind it, tattoos have become a popular trend for concealing stretch marks, for sure.
So, in the following, we’ll take a look at everything you need to know about tattoos and stretch marks; can tattoo cover them, and should you utilize this method as a way to conceal 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, are a well-known and well-recognized skin condition. They are benign cutaneous lesions that are known to be a result of dermal fiber disturbances. Stretch marks aren’t known to cause any medical or adverse problems, other than those of aesthetic nature.
Because stretch marks tend to be visible in the majority of cases, they can surely cause aesthetic issues and distress to the people who have them. Many women have stated 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 teenagers, stretch marks appear as a result of rapid growth. Because of the growth, the skin is pulled and becomes overstretched. As a result, the normal collagen production in the skin is completely disrupted, which shows in the form of stretch marks. Stretch marks in teenagers generally occur during puberty when the growth spurts are most common and most likely to happen.
However, in adults, stretch marks appear due to several reasons;
- Rapid weight gain or weight loss
- Weight training
- Rapid muscle growth
- In the case of Cushing’s disease or Marfan syndrome
When stretch marks first start appearing, they’re generally red, or reddish-brown. In some cases, they’re also purple or pink. The color of the stretch marks generally depends on one’s skin tone and the amount of stretching that the skin is undergoing.
Also, at first, stretch marks tend to appear as raise skin and can be slightly itchy and uncomfortable. However, over time, the color fades and the raised skin sinks beneath the skin, slightly lighter in color than your skin tone. That is why stretch marks are often compared to scars.
Stretch Marks and Tattoos
Can You Get A Tattoo Over Stretch Marks?
Technically, yes, you can get a tattoo over your stretch marks, just like it is possible to get a tattoo over healed scars. However, not all stretch marks are the same, and there are a lot of factors that affect the final decision to get a tattoo over stretch marks. It is important to evaluate the stretch marks, their location, and whether a tattooist can execute the tattoo over such skin condition.
For example, if you want to conceal the stretch marks, the tattooist needs to develop a proper method of achieving such an effect. They also need to come up with a proper tattoo design and ensure the stretch marks ‘disappear’ without skin damage.
So, overall, one should be able to get a tattoo over their stretch marks, but some factors need to be considered before such an attempt.
What Do I Need To Consider Before Getting Tattooed?
- The stretch marks’ condition – if the stretch marks have freshly appeared, or are raised, the possibility of getting a tattoo would be minimal. It would be extremely hard for the tattoo artist to tattoo over such skin, and it would be also very painful for you to sit through such a tattooing session.
- The color of the stretch marks – if the stretch marks are red or purple, it would be hard to conceal them with a tattoo. Such color of stretch marks also indicated that they’ve freshly appeared, so they’ll also be painful to tattoo, as mentioned before.
- The width and length of the stretch marks – if the stretch marks are wider, it is harder to conceal them with a tattoo. The reason for this lies in the inability of the tattoo ink to fully cover or conceal wide stretch marks. In such cases, it is better to work around stretch mars rather than to cover them. Also, if the stretch marks are bigger or of a particular shape, it might require more work and design planning to cover them with a tattoo.
- Potential, future body changes – if you’re planning to gain muscle or start a pregnancy, it might be better to put off the stretch marks tattooing. That is because the current stretch marks will change as your body changes, especially in the stomach, thigh, and buttock areas. It might also be better to lose weight before tattooing the stretch marks. During weight loss, your stretch marks might shrink, so it will be easier to work on them and cover them with a tattoo.
So, Who Should (or Shouldn’t) Cover Their Stretch Marks With a Tattoo?
As we mentioned, it is possible to get your stretch marks tattoos, but only if they’re fully healed, non-raised, non-colored, and relatively narrow and small.
So, who should get their stretch marks tattooed?
We surely recommend people with stretch marks on their stomach, thighs, and buttocks to get a stretch marks tattoo in case the stretch marks are fully healed and the color of the skin. Also, if they don’t plan on any drastic body changes, there is no reason not to get such a concealing tattoo.
However, if such people have fresh stretch marks, which are red or purple, or raised, they should not get such a tattoo, at least unless the marks have fully healed.
If someone plans on gaining or losing weight or starting a pregnancy, then it would be best to postpone the tattooing of the stretch marks. During weight gain or loss, the stretchmarks change; they can become wider, narrower, bigger, or smaller. In such a case, a tattoo would be completely disrupted due to stretch marks change.
So, what you need to do before deciding to get a stretch marks-covering tattoo is the following;
- Identify whether your stretch marks have freshly appeared or if they’re fully healed
- Identify whether the skin is raised or sunken (just run over the marks with your fingers, and you’ll notice if the skin is raised or lower than the skin surface)
- Identify the color of the stretch marks
- Identify the size and the width of the stretch marks
- Identify the cause of their appearance (whether the cause is pregnancy, weight change, surgery, or other body changes)
- Identify if you’re planning on weight or muscle gain/loss in the future
Once you’ve identified all the factors, consult with a physician and a tattoo artist regarding the possibility of covering the stretch marks with a tattoo. This is the best way to get what you want without causing any possible health issues.
Note: The woman in this picture was trying to cover her stretch marks with skin-colored ink at a tattoo shop. Unfortunately, the tattoo concealing session didn’t go well, and the stretch marks turned red because of the tattoo pigment. Now she has to undergo painful laser tattoo removal sessions to return to her regular stretch mark condition.
Can Every Tattooist Do Stretch Mark-Covering Tattoos?
Unfortunately, not every artist can take on the challenge of doing scar- or stretch mark-covering tattoos. Naturally, everybody wants their tattoo artist to do a good job and not cause them skin or health issues. So, for that reason, there are some things to consider before choosing a tattoo artist for this journey;
- Whether a tattoo artist has experience in successfully tattooing over scars and stretch marks
- Whether the artist knows how to adjust the design and the color of the tattoo to suit the stretch marks
- Whether the artist is willing to monitor the healing process of the tattoo
- Whether the tattooist is willing to make adjustments if the tattoo isn’t healing and planned
So, when looking for an adequate tattoo artist for this job, make sure to check for 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 not to take this task too lightly. It is essential you find a tattooist who is a professional in the true sense of the word. The tattooist doesn’t only have to 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.
So, as you can see, it is possible to get a stretch mark-covering tattoo, so long the stretch marks are a suitable candidate and the tattoo artist knows what they’re doing. If your stretch marks don’t seem to be a suitable candidate, don’t lose hope; some tattoo artists are known to work well around stretch marks and make them a part of the tattoo design.
Either way, make sure to consult with a physician and a tattoo artist before you make a final decision on how you’re going to cover your stretch marks. We believe that stretch marks shouldn’t be concealed, as they’re beautiful and unique. They show what your body has been through and they tell a story. So, make sure to think about not covering them at all!