Tattoos are like beautiful camouflage for things like scars and birthmarks. If something makes you feel a little self-conscious, you can put some killer art over it. You’ll turn something you perceived as a flaw into a masterpiece. That’s the magic of tattoos.
If you want to turn stretch marks into masterpieces, here’s what you need to know about tattoos and stretch marks.
What Is a Stretch Mark?
Your skin is full of collagen fibers that keep it taut but also make it stretchy. Events in your life can cause these bands of collagen to stretch. Your body is a pretty remarkable thing.
It can lose weight, it can gain weight, and some bodies can even make little humans. Things like pregnancy and weight fluctuation can push bands past their limits and cause them to snap.
The result is visible lines within your skin that may have a different color or texture — they kind of look like tiger stripes. These marks, called stretch marks, are evidence of your personal voyage. Almost everyone has stretch marks; they're nothing to be ashamed of.
Do Stretch Marks Go Away?
If you see stretch marks, that means your skin has permanently changed. They don't go away, despite what the claims on some bottles of expensive lotion may tell you.
There are invasive treatments you can get to attempt to reduce the appearance of stretch marks, but they'll always be there. You can’t rebuild or repair the collagen fibers once they've snapped.
Can You Tattoo Over Stretch Marks?
You can totally tattoo over stretch marks. It's very similar to tattooing over a scar. The skin's texture is different around a stretch mark. It will usually be raised a little higher than the rest of your skin or recessed a little lower.
Some stretch marks have a variety of textures where you'll get both. Many kinds of tattoos will work beautifully over stretch marks, but be mindful of tattoos with tiny thin line details.
The texture of a stretch mark might distort the way fine-line work appears. If you were doing something with thicker, sturdier lines or big blocks of color, it's very easy to disguise the texture of a stretch mark.
What About Severe Stretch Marks?
Tattooing over very severe stretch marks is a little bit different. It can be difficult to hide the texture and pattern of severe or widespread stretch marks on your skin. If your main reason for getting a tattoo over your stretch marks is to disguise them, you just have to be mindful of your chosen designs.
Your tattoo artist can look at your stretch marks like a Rorschach test. Some people look at an ink blot and see a butterfly. Your tattoo artist might look at your stretch marks and see a rolling sea.
If the idea of covering your stretch marks with a beautiful tattoo resonates more with you than covering your stretch marks with a specific design, your artist can get creative.
Make sure you're choosing an artist with experience tattooing over stretch marks, and never settle for an artist just because they say that they can tattoo over stretch marks. It's your body. It deserves love, and you must love the art on it.
Does It Hurt To Tattoo Over Stretch Marks?
Tattooing over stretch marks may hurt more than tattooing over skin without stretch marks. The texture of stretch marks may change your artist's approach. They may have to alter the needle depth and technique to properly settle the ink into your stretch marks.
The sudden changes in depth provoke a pain response, especially if your stretch marks are on a sensitive area like your hip.
It doesn't have to hurt if you don't want it to. There's no reason why you can't numb your skin before your tattoo appointment. Your artist wants you to be comfortable, and most importantly, you want to be comfortable. That’s the whole reason lidocaine exists.
Our tattoo numbing cream can take the edge off. If you apply a very thick layer of numbing cream over the area and cover it for about an hour before your tattoo appointment, you’ll likely get through the whole session numbed up. You'll still be able to feel what's going on, but it won't be nearly as uncomfortable.
If your tattoo is large or intricate, break it into two sessions. The effects of numbing cream last a few hours, and most artists don't recommend tattoo sessions longer than a couple of hours, anyway. Don't forget to numb up again when you come in for your next appointment.
The Verdict on Tattoos and Stretch Marks
Stretch marks are a perfectly normal part of life that everyone experiences to some degree. You don't have to be ashamed that your skin looks just like everyone else's. That said, if you want to put a really cool piece of art on the part of your body where you have stretch marks, go for it.
Just make sure your expectations align with what's possible and be mindful that some designs may still allow your stretch mark texture to show through.
If you don't want it to hurt, HUSH has your back. Or your belly. Or your thighs. We have pretty much any place you want to get a tattoo totally covered. Even if your artist doesn't allow plus ones, you should never go to your appointment without us.