Inside: Do Tattoos Fade? { How + Why? }

Tattoos are pretty permanent, but that doesn’t mean you never see a faded tattoo. There’s a lot to think about before getting inked, but just to add another consideration into the mix. It turns out some parts of the body are much more likely to see tattoos fade over the years than others.

So if you want yours to look just as sharp and bold in ten years as it did in the months after you first got it done, you might want to make sure you’re getting inked in the right place. Or taking care of your tattoo properly. So, do tattoos fade? Yes, here is why and how you can help prevent it!

Do Tattoos Fade

Why Do Tattoos Fade?

It’s important to address the days and weeks after getting a tattoo because more often than not this if the period when the problem started in the first place. There’s a very simple solution to this – follow your tattooist’s after-care instructions to the tee. They know what they are talking about, and given that you trusted them enough to ink your skin with a needle, afford them the same confidence when it comes to their explicit advice.

Why Tattoos Fade

The Sun

Excessive exposure to the sun without a strong UV-protectant will invariably take its toll on the integrity of the work. That’s right, in an ironic turn of events the sun will darken your skin but lighten the darkest part of your pigment. Before heading out to enjoy the great big ball of fire in the sky apply an extra coating of SPF 30+ (or higher, depending upon your sensitivity to UV rays) directly onto your tattoo.

Poor Overall Skincare

Most people pay close attention to skincare immediately after getting a tattoo by keeping it clean and applying a natural moisturizer as required. However, once the healing period has passed they begin to fall back into old habits. Skin (under and around the tattoo) becomes dry and flakey and eventually lightens as dead skin gives way to the lighter layers below. Don’t let this happen. Instead, treat every week as if it was the one immediately following your tattoo to the point that it becomes habitual and not a burden in any way. A few minutes of skincare per day can leave you with a great looking tattoo for decades to come.

Excessive Friction

If your tattoo is frequently exposed to persistent friction it is essentially being excessively over-exfoliated, which can make it fade over time. This is more common with athletes who participate in sports where their tattoo comes in constant and “violent” contact with padding, equipment, materials such as ground turf (etc.), and other competitors. For example, a surfer laying down in the prone position on top of a waxed-up surfboard while not wearing a wetsuit, rash guard, or even t-shirt for that matter will put an upper-abdomen tattoo through the wringer more than your average Jane or Joe.

Reasons That Tattoos Fade

Do Tattoos Fade? Fastest Fading Tattoo Locations

There are several different spots on your body that will fade faster than others. Like do finger tattoos or lip tattoos fade faster than others, the short answer is yes. Here is a list of the top 6 spots that fade quicker than others.

1. Inside the Palm of Your Hand: Due to washing your hands often and the skin on the inside of your hands sluff off easily.

2. Hand or Finger: Wear happens as we use our hands a lot. The skin is thick but there is little fat or muscle underneath, which can cause it to fade much easier.

3. Feet: The reason tattoos on your feet are more susceptible to fading is because we constantly have socks and shoes rubbing against them.

What are The Tattoos that fade fast

4. Elbow: Particularly those on the outside of the elbow. These tattoos will fade more quickly than most as we are constantly bending our arms. We often lean on our elbows at work, on desks or tables.

5. Armpit or Upper Inside of Arm: This is for the simple fact that you move your arm constantly. The friction on the inside of the upper arm/armpit area can cause the ink to fade a little

6. Lip: For the obvious reasons the lip is one of the top spots on the body to fade quickly.

Tattoo Inspiration Just for You

  • Embroidery Tattoos – If you love tattoos as well as embroidery, you are going to go wild for these embroidery tattoos! These designs are some of the coolest tattoo ideas around. They look like you have actual embroidery stitches in your skin! They do take some time for the tattoo artist to make them so detailed, but it’s worth every second! Don’t miss these awesome embroidery tattoo designs.
  • Beautiful Magnolia Flower Tattoo Ideas – Magnolia flower tattoos are downright gorgeous! Flowers symbolize many things in tattoos, and the Magnolia flower is no different. Magnolia’s represent your love of nature, persevering through hard times, and beauty. Magnolia tattoos look great in black, or they can have pops of color to make them stand out. Either way, they are elegant and are popular tattoo art. Take a look at these ideas, and you’ll see how stunning they are!
  • Prettiest Hummingbird Tattoo Ideas – A popular subject in the tattoo world is the Hummingbird. It is a thing of beauty that has unique shapes and amazing abilities. Capturing those qualities in a tattoo can be really rewarding. Have a look at our list of the Prettiest Hummingbird Tattoo Ideas.