Tattoo Fading: What To Do To Prevent Faded Tattoos
- Written By Dan Hunter on June 9, 2017Last Updated: November 8, 2020
- Independently fact-checked by Chronic Ink Tattoo
As the saying goes A tattoo lasts forever but a tattoo doesnt always last forever looking good.
If youve had your tattoo for a few years, you may have noticed that it doesnt look as fresh and as striking as it once did. This is because it has most-likely faded to some extent.
While most tattoos will fade at least somewhat over time, some will fade much more than others due to a variety of factors. Sometimes a tattoo will fade simply because of the range of colors used, which is what normally happens with a white ink tattoo
If your tattoo has faded and you want to know why, or if youre simply trying to prevent your tattoo from fading in the first place, then read on.
Think About Tattoo Placement
When it comes to choosing the perfect placement of your tattoo, consider areas of your parts of the body that experience the least friction. For example, tattoos on body parts like your palms feet will likely experience way more more friction, than say, a tattoo on the back of your neck. Shoes and socks can potentially cause fading over time, since your feet may constantly have something rubbing against them. Think back to the section on irritation, and how it can cause premature tattoo fading. No, thanks! Think about how often your tattoo will experience friction over time, whether its skin-to-skin contact or skin-to-material contact, like the sock example.
Even Surgery/laser Treatment May Have Adverse Effects
Surgery and laser treatment remain the more effective the gold standard in the industry for tattoo removal. They are relatively effective and safe if you go to a trained/licensed physician, dermatologist, or plastic surgeon for the treatment. The downside, though? Besides the pain and the costs involved, they do not guarantee results and may not completely get rid of the tattoo for everyone. It may also be a long process requiring multiple sitting. A lot will depend on both the skill of your doctor and how your body and tattoo respond to the treatment!11
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The Speed Of Removal Depends On The Patient And Their Tattoo
The Kirby-Desai scale is a popular and well-regarded tool for analyzing the number of treatments a tattoo will need for removal. The scale accounts for the following factors that affect the rate of removal:
- Fitzpatrick skin type
- Amount of ink
- Pre-existing scarring
The Kirby-Desai scale was published in 2009, and technology has improved since then to remove tattoos, but it continues to be an excellent tool for assessing where a patient stands on the bell curve. There are also other factors, such as patient health, that affect the speed of removal. If a patient is young, physically fit, and has a strong immune system, they will tend to see results faster than an older, obese patient with health problems. Encouraging patients to exercise, drink ample water, and massage thetreated area are good aftercare tips to share with patients looking to get the best results.
Technology plays an important factor in the rate of removal. The Astanza Trinity is the most powerful multi wavelength laser system on the market no other system can match its high peak power across three wavelengths. Interested in learning about laser wavelengths for achieving results? Check out our blog post: Why Wavelengths Matter for Removing Tattoos.
Do Tattoos Lighten When They Heal
New tattoos are often bold and bright. However, over the course of the next several weeks, the tattoo can look dull or faded as it heals. After the healing process, the original brightness usually returns. At that point, some people realize the tattoo is more saturated or bolder than they wanted. Tattoos do begin to fade eventually, but they take a long time to fade on their own. Thats where laser removal can help! Rather than waiting years for the desired look, you can opt for laser tattoo fading to get the look you envisioned.
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Do Tattoos Also Fade Over Time
Yes, tattoos do fade over time, and all tattoos eventually do! Here are some other things to note before we get into the details of tattoo fading
- Every single tattoo you get will fade over time some tattoos will start fading after only a couple of years, while others will start fading in your older age.
- Tattoos done at a young age will start fading in your 40s and 50s, while the tattoos done later in life will take longer to start fading.
- Aging is one of the essential contributors to tattoo fading.
- Sun exposure over time contributes to tattoo fading as well.
- One can prolong the fading by considering some preventative measures and proper aftercare of the tattoo.
- Cheaper tattoos are more likely to start fading quickly unlike more expensive tattoos.
- Correcting tattoos when they start fading can be rather expensive.
So, yes, tattoo fading is inevitable and everyone with a tattoo will experience it sooner or later. Apart from aging, one of the main contributors to tattoo fading is sun exposure.
Since your skin is a protective layer that shields the body and the organs from the sun, so is it the first to be affected and damaged by it. Even though the skin does heal and manages to regenerate over time, the damage remains.
Laser Surgery Vs Surgical Removal
Once youve decided to remove your tattoo, youll want to seek medical advice. That means sitting down with a dermatologist or plastic surgeon who specialises in tattoo removal. And while some tattoo parlours might offer removal, we dont recommend taking this route. Its always best to leave dramatic procedures in the hands of a medical professional.
During your consultation, the doctor will examine your tattoo and suggest either laser removal or surgical removal. Heres what you can expect from either procedure:
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Verdict And Final Update
After all my experimentation, it was the laser that got the tattoo off as much as it has. Nothing else really worked. I am very amazed at the progress! Honestly, I can’t say anything bad about the results I’ve had so far with the laser.
I’ve decided to laser off the entire tree! This is a few days after getting the laser.
Home Tattoo Removal Methods That Don’t Work
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Early Results From Second Laser Session
This part of my barbed wire has lightened considerably and still has a long time to go to lighten up even more. I am very happy with the results after just two laser sessions.
I still need to do the bottom of my arm and for that, I bought some Emla, which is a numbing cream because I know that it’s going to be painful!
Does Tattoo Removal Hurt
Laser tattoo removal typically does involve some level of pain. That said, many say that it hurts less than they expected.
It’s a common belief that tattoo removal is excruciating, yet most patients say that the sensation of removal is comparable to having a tattoo applied. Common descriptions include the sensation of a rubber band snapping against the skin or bacon grease basically it’s uncomfortable but bearable.
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If The Tattoo Already Features Scarring Expect That To Remain
What many people don’t know is that any scarring that remains after a tattoo removal procedure is often left over from when the tattoo was originally applied by the tattoo artist.
When the proper laser protocols and patient aftercare are utilized, it’s very uncommon for a patient to scar from a Q-switched laser treatment. However, it is very common for a tattoo to feature pre-existing scarring from when it was applied.
When a Q-switched laser treats the skin, it targets and breaks down the tattoo pigment in the skin. If pre-existing scarring is present, it will break down this pigment within the scar tissue. Once the tattoo removal process is complete, the ink will have been eliminated from the location but any of the scarring from the original tattoo will likely still remain.
During the initial consultation while you are assessing the tattoo, touch it and see if pre-existing scarring is present. If so, mark it as such in the patient’s records and inform the patient that the laser will not eliminate scar tissue, just their ink.
A Q-switched laser is not the best device to use for scar revision and will not provide significant improvement to remaining scarring. Some skin specialists use fractional lasers to resurface scarred skin after the tattoo removal process.
Results Of Laser Tattoo Removal After Two Days
After one small laser treatment session, I think this portion of the barbed wire is practically gone. If it’s that easy to get rid of it, I’m ecstatic!
How does it feel? Like nothing really. It’s a small area, and I can’t say I have even noticed any pain. Easy!
I’m still trying to lighten the tree up as much as I can at this point. I did a round of salicylic acid which lightly scabbed up the portion of the tree that I worked on. I’m thinking about getting a portion of the tree removed by laser as well.
After 1 session of laser.
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Is It Ok To Rub A Peeling Tattoo
Healthy skin is clean skin, especially when it comes to skin going through the healing process. Wash your tattooed area out very gently with antibacterial soap, and then rinse, but don’t rub. Everything in this phase of the tattoo healing process should be done very gently, as you don’t want to force the scab off.
How Can I Remove My Permanent Tattoo Without Laser
Overall, to remove a tattoo without lasers, you can head to Tattoo Vanish they will numb your tattoo area, bring the ink to the surface of the skin, and apply their Ink-Eraser, all in under a half an hour! If you need a tattoo removed and dont want pain or mess, tattoo removal without lasers is your best bet.
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Other Home Tattoo Removal Method
One of the methods to remove tattoos at home that has been rumored working is the use of things such as apricot scrub, aloe vera, salt, and even sandpaper has appeared a number of times. These home methods are ones that people will look into as they are cheap to go through than using other simple methods but do these methods really work or are they just theories?
The Best Way To Fade A Tattoo
A study questioning the effectiveness of sun, lemon juice, or other natural home remedies showed that that these methods caused little to no lightening on tattooed rats. However, there are media reports of people who have tried these methods and saw results. But, while these methods might be successful in fading surface ink, deeper set ink will need to be faded professionally.
So what are the best professional treatments to lighten a tattoo? According to the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, methods like dermabrasion or salabrasion have shown effectiveness for tattoo fading. But these methods can be quite painful and may require a numbing agent.
If you are looking for a proven way to remove your tattoo, then seeing a professional tattoo removal center is your best option. These methods are proven to lighten and remove tattoos completely. Additionally, since the ink resides below the epidermis, natural or painless methods can create no change or cause an allergic reaction and, in some instances, scarring.
In most instances, someone looking to fade their tattoo is thinking in terms of getting a cover-up. Fading using home methods can take months to see a difference, but it can help to lighten DIY tattoos and black lines that can be harder to hide during a cover-up session. Your artist can often help you work with your new design and decide if the cover-up you are considering is even feasible in that area with fading or if the old tattoo will still be too visible.
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Concealing It With Make Up
For people who cannot make up their minds for surgical tattoo removals or naturally removal methods for fear of it being either expensive or painful, covering it up with a tattoo concealer can be the best way out. These are not like any normal concealer but are specially meant to camouflage tattoos.
Things You Must Know About Drink After Getting A Tattoo
Many people want to know if its okay to drink alcohol after getting a tattoo. The short answer is that you should wait at least 24 hours before consuming any alcoholic beverages. This gives your tattoo time to heal and prevents you from accidentally ruining your new ink.
If youre wondering whether its okay to have a drink after getting a tattoo, the answer is generally yes. Drinking alcohol after getting a tattoo can help to prevent infection and speed up the healing process. However, its important to avoid drinking to excess, as this can lead to dehydration and delay the healing process.
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Third Laser Session: This Time On The Tree
The pain I felt this time was nothing compared to my old barbed wire removal session! I was very pleased to say the least. I really had no idea how well it would lighten because it was a brand new tattoo, but I really wanted this part removed along with all the little flowers.
I’m going for a less busy look, but I might even be moving towards removing the entire tree now. I’m still not happy with it at all. The only part I like is a tiny little butterfly that I don’t feel the urge to remove. I’m glad I’m getting this far!
It’s usually every two weeks that I get a section done. The healing process is nothing to complain about, and this whole process is easy and quick with fast results.
After getting my tree lasered.
Can You Drink After Getting A Tattoo
There are a few things to consider before drinking alcohol after getting a tattoo.
First, it is important to understand how alcohol can affect the healing process. Alcohol can dehydrate the skin, which can lead to dryness and flaking. It can also increase the risk of infection and delay the healing process.
Additionally, alcohol can interfere with the bodys ability to absorb the ink from the tattoo, which can cause the tattoo to fade.
Therefore, it is generally advisable to avoid drinking alcohol for at least 24 hours after getting a tattoo. If you do choose to drink, it is important to stay hydrated and to avoid dehydration by drinking plenty of water. Additionally, it is important to clean the tattoo regularly and to avoid picking at the tattoo or scratching the area.
Can You Drink 24 Hours After Getting A Tattoo
Assuming you are asking if it is okay to drink alcohol 24 hours after getting a tattoo:
Most tattoo artists will recommend that you wait at least 24 hours before drinking alcohol. This is because alcohol can thin your blood and increase bleeding. When you get a tattoo, your skin is pierced multiple times with a needle. This can cause some bleeding and bruising. If you drink alcohol, it can thin your blood and make you bleed more. This can cause your tattoo to fade or become blurry.
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Does Red Tattoo Ink Fade Can You Tattoo Over Red Ink
Have you experienced or are planning to experience a red ink tattoo? There is a lot you must know other than the red tattoos beauty and design. Compared to other tattoos, red tattoos look brighter and gorgeous.
However, for all the good things, there is a price to pay. Red tattoo ink has its cons that you must know. We shall help you understand most details associated with red tattoo ink. Strategies can help you have a red tattoo safely and securely.
The only thing we cant explain about red tattoos is the reason why people are so fascinated by them. It is because different individuals have different reasons to go for tattoos. Red ink is also a choice they make as per their preference.
Apply Aloe Vera For Tattoo Removal Aftercare
As with laser surgery for tattoo removal, even with home remedies aftercare is important.8 Aloe vera gel can help soothe skin which may be irritated after using a natural scrub, peel, or lightening agent and help with healing. Enzymes like the bradykinase found in aloe vera can ease inflammation when used topically.9. It may even help with lightening the mark of the tattoo, given that it helps lighten things like age spots.10
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