Once regarded as the badge of the rebellious or the criminal, tattoos have now become ingrained into modern society and are commonly accepted in western culture as a form of body art.
This has made the option of using tattoo’s much more appealing to many people as a solution for hiding scars, birth marks and even freckles but can you tattoo over stretch marks and is it actually safe?
What are stretch marks?
If you’ve read this far, then you’re probably already aware that stretch marks are a series of long stripes or lines of discolouration in the skin. They are commonly caused as a result of the skin being quickly stretched through either pregnancy, puberty or rapid weight gain and are something which occurs naturally to the majority of people at some time during their life.
What many people are unaware of though is that these blemishes are caused by the middle layer of skin splitting which causes the outer layer of skin to be marked and so they’re actually a form of scarring.
What can be done?
From the many common myths surrounding stretch marks such as the inaccurately held belief that cocoa butter will prevent or can eliminate stretch marks (it won’t) there are still some perfectly good options available ranging from medically proven creams to laser therapy.
The increasing popularity of the tattoo also provides a more modern solution in western society and with around 40% of people born after 1980 already having a tattoo, there has been a significant shift in public perception making this choice more plausible.
Is it safe to tattoo over stretch marks?
However like all other scars tissue, the skin in areas of stretch marks is tougher and more rigid which as a result means that the ink will not be as easily accepted into the middle layer of skin.
To rewind for a second, a tattoo is created by injecting ink into the middle layer of skin and it is this layer of skin which is effected by the tearing which creates stretch marks. As these areas are more resistant to absorbing ink, lines will be less defined and colour will not show as boldly on stretch marks compared to the surrounding areas of skin.
For this reason you should always seek an experienced and expert artist who has a strong understanding of dermatology as they can advise on skin care and the effect that any future changes could have, as well as offering the best techniques and designs that will mask or shift the focus of attention away from the area.
You should always ask the artist for photos of any similar work they’ve previously done with pictures of both before and after to gain a better understanding of how you would like to disguise the marks and to ensure that they fully comprehend the complications that this type of tattoo will entail when being created.
I would also like to mention that whenever you consider getting any type of tattoo it should be treat as a big decision due to potential health risks of infections and blood borne disease which can be transmitted through bad practise.
Always use a trusted professional from a licensed parlour which adheres to the strict hygiene laws governing the industry, as unprofessional tattoo artists can cause damage to the skin resulting in scarring or worse.