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Do Tattoos Look Bad After Weight Loss?

Losing weight can be one of the most important moments in one’s life. Weight loss is difficult, but for those who persist, it can mean better health and overall improvement of the life quality. However, for those who got tattoos before weight loss, this change can not only affect the way they appear but also the way the tattoos appear.

In the following paragraphs, we’ll take a quick look at the way weight loss affects tattoos and whether they change or become worse. So, without further ado, let’s get started!

Weight Loss and Skin Changes – How It Affects Tattoos?

Weight Gain and Tattoo Changes

One of the major issues about weight loss is the way it affects the skin. During the weight gain, the skin stretches to accompany the stretching of the body, especially in the abdomen era, the arms and upper legs. Skin expansion can occur over time, so the person needs to be gaining weight for more than a year.

But, after the weight loss, the expanded and stretched skin can cause some further issues. Because there is no more fat to support skin expansion, the skin becomes loose. There is also excess skin because the skin has lost its ability to retract. This happens as a reaction to weight gain. During the weight gain, the skin loses collagen and elastin fibers, which would usually make it strong, elastic, and able to retract.

Also Read: Best Weight Gainers for Skinny Guys (to Be Bigger and Healthy)

Stretched Tattooed Skin

Because of such a drastic change to the skin, people with tattoos can experience some major tattoo changes. During the weight gain, and as the skin has stretched, the tattoo was placed onto an expanded part of the skin.

So, once one loses weight, the tattooed skin may lose its elasticity and there can be issues with the way the tattoo appears on stretched, loose skin. Unfortunately, the tattoo isn’t able to magically gain another form during weight loss, especially if it’s placed somewhere critical, like the abdomen or upper arms, for example.

Tattoo Fading

As the weight gain and weight loss changes are most visible on the skin, so are they visible on the tattoo. Drastic changes in the skin structure can cause premature tattoo fading. Some people have experienced tattoo fading as they were gaining weight, while others experienced this issue during a major weight loss.

As the skin expands and loses its elasticity, so does the tattoo expand and reach its final form which cannot be changed, unfortunately. There are examples where weight loss hasn’t affected the tattoo or has even made it more clear and bright. But, in the majority of cases, if the tattoo was expanding and fading during weight gain, it will remain so during weight loss.

The Biggest Tattoo Changes During Weight Loss

To make you more informed and to make the information more clear, here’s what you expect when it comes to weight loss and tattoo changes in summary;

  • The composition of the tattoos will change, whether it be the size of the tattoo, the details, or the color.
  • The positioning of the tattoo may change as a result of weight loss and excess skin.
  • If a tattoo was small during your weight gain, and you lose weight it may appear much bigger compared to your body parts where you’ve lost weight.
  • The tattoo may appear damaged and fading, especially if the damage and fading already started during the weight gain.
  • If your tattoo was highly detailed during your weight gain period, it may lose all the details during the weight loss.

Who Is Most Likely to Experience Drastic Tattoo Change After Weight Loss?

It is essential to mention that people who are not overweight or obese are less likely to experience drastic skin changes. Their skin is not as stretched, so it is more likely to retract after weight loss. So, if you decide to lose a few pounds, you don’t have to worry about your tattoos looking bad or changing your appearance.

However, some groups are more likely to experience drastic skin and tattoo changes, like;

  • People who are overweight or obese.
  • People who have tattoos in areas like abdomen, arms, upper legs or thighs, lower back, etc. These areas stretch the most during weight gain and have the most loose skin after weight loss.
  • People who lack collagen, proteins, and vitamins in their system; people who do not eat properly or don’t drink enough water.
  • Women who are overweight or obese have a more difficult time managing their muscle mass and skin elasticity (especially in the underarm and belly area), so they are more likely to experience drastic tattoo change compared to men.

Controlling Weight Loss and Tattoo Changes

Now, all of the aforementioned changes everyone with tattoos can experience during weight loss should not serve as an excuse to not lose weight. Sure, tattoos are a big part of one’s life and it would be devastating to see that something so healthy for you can ultimately lead to your tattoos looking terrible. However, there are many ways you can control the damage to the skin, or even prevent it.

Working Out and Building Muscles

One of the best ways to prevent or control damage to the tattoos is by lowering the ability of the skin to loosen and expand more during weight loss. You can achieve that through exercises and muscle building.

For your skin to remain tight and elastic, it is important to replace the fat in your body with muscles. You can try weightlifting, for example, to help the muscles expand and help the tattoos keep the shape they used to have during your weight gain phase.

We also recommend you try resistance training which is effective in both weight loss and increasing muscle mass. This type of training can make you look excellent by helping you lose weight and keeping your skin tight during the process.

Changing The Diet (Protein Intake)

For your workout regime to work, and for your skin to stay tight and strong, you must focus on a proper diet during weight loss. This means you need to take adequate proteins for collagen production, vitamin C and omega-3 fatty acids.

All of this will promote collagen production and collagen synthesis, which is essential for skin elasticity and strength. Not to mention that you need to drink enough water to promote skin hydration and overall appearance.

Consulting a Doctor

If you notice that exercise and diet changes are not working for you as expected, you might need to consult a doctor regarding body-contouring and weight loss control. Without professional help, you might cause more damage to your body, skin, and ultimately your tattoos. Here are some topics you should consider discussing with your doctor;

  • Talk about body-contouring procedures to remove excess skin and keep the tattoo intact.
  • Consider using some skin-firming collagen creams alongside working out and eating healthy, but consult your doctor prior to using any products.
  • Talk about infrared and radiofrequency massages for loose skin reduction, known as VelaShape.

Final Thoughts

For the final thoughts we just want to remind you of few things;

If you’re thinking about weight loss and the way it will affect your tattoos, try not to be discouraged or give up. Sure, the tattoos are important, but your health is more important. There are ways to manage excess skin, but your focus should always be on your health and what you can do to make yourself stronger and better in every sense.

Furthermore, if you’re not overweight or obese, but you want to lose some excess weight, chances are your tattoos won’t be affected by a minor change. Drastic tattoo changes only occur in serious weight loss situations.

For more information about your weight loss and how it may affect your skin (tattoos) make sure to consult with your doctor or a medical professional.

Also Read: Are Tattoos Bad for Your Liver (Ultimate Guide)?

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