What Happens To Tattoos When You Lose Weight? [2023]

Our bodies change over time due to aging, pregnancy, weight gain and loss, so as tattoos. A tattoo is penetrated ink inside your skin, and changes in body shape can alter its design position. However, these changes are only noticeable when you gain or lose a significant amount of weight. If you are inked and want to shed some pounds for a medical condition or shape your body, here we’ll explain what happens to tattoos when you lose weight!

A quick answer – you may or may not experience any change in your tattoos. It literally depends on your body, the amount of weight loss and the time period. If you lose a lot of weight fast (like 50 pounds in 2 months – which is unhealthy) you may end up with saggy skin and distorted tattoos. However, if you lose weight slowly and keep your skin moisturized and tight, your tattoos should not be affected.

what happens to tattoos when you lose weight

How Weight Loss Affects Tattoos

Anytime you lose a significant amount of weight in a short time, it will affect your skin – and that includes your tattoos. But, there are no promising changes that will occur for everyone. The results may vary from person to person.

You are likely to ruin your tattoo if you lose a significant amount of weight. The result will depend on the following factors:

  • The amount of weight loss
  • How fast did you lose weight
  • Placement of tattoos on your body parts

losing weight and tattoos

You may see the following changes in your tattoos after losing a lot of weight:

  • Stretching
  • Wrinkles
  • Faded
  • Or nothing – if you lose a few pounds gradually in a long run

When you are overweight, your skin stretches to accommodate your extra size. But when you drop pounds quickly, that excess skin doesn’t get enough time to snap back into place. As a result, your tattoos may appear loose or saggy. And, tattoos that were once located on areas with a lot of fatty tissue may become distorted or change their location.

For example, if you have a tattoo on a side of your waist, after losing a considerable amount of weight rapidly, the tattoo may change its place and shift towards the back or front area. The same goes with tattoos on thighs – a tattoo on the side of your thigh may become loose or shift to the front or back after losing a lot of weight fast!

In some cases, the ink may even start to spread, resulting in blurred lines or faded colors. However, if that happens, don’t hesitate to contact your artist for touch-ups.

do tattoos change when you lose weight

Note: we noticed that people who took care of their tattoos, their designs looked sharper and dense after the weight loss.


Body Parts Where Tattoos Are More Prone To Get Affected

Tattoos on the abdominal area are most prone to changes caused by weight loss in both men and women. As you know, this area is full of stretchable skin which helps women in accommodating a growing baby during pregnancy. On the other hand, men store most of their fat in the trunk area – including the belly of course! And, when you lose weight quickly, the skin here may get loose and your tattoos may look saggy or change their position.

stomach tattoos to cover loose skin

Other areas where you may experience changes in your tattoos are the thighs, upper arms, and buttocks.

There are high chances of ruining tattoos on these body parts especially if you lose a lot of pounds using a rapid weight loss plan.



How to Minimize the Effect of Weight Loss on Tattoos?

While you can’t completely stop the skin from stretching or getting loose after reducing weight, there are some things you can do to help minimize the effect of weight loss on your tattoos:


1. Lose Weight Slowly And Gradually

If you are overweight and want to lose weight for improving your health, make sure to do it slowly. A healthy weight loss is around 1-2 pounds per week. When you lose weight gradually, it gives your skin enough time to adjust and avoid any saggy or distorted appearance – and keep tattoos in their original shapes.


2. Use A Good Tattoo Moisturizer

what happens to your tattoo when you lose weightWhen you lose weight, it’s not just the skin on your stomach that gets affected. In fact, your entire body skin including your face becomes loose and dry. To keep your skin healthy (and help your tattoos look their best), use a good tattoo moisturizer regularly. We recommend using a product that contains shea butter, cocoa butter, or beeswax.

You can also use supplements to tighten loose skin permanently after weight loss.


3. Stay Hydrated

Drinking plenty of water is important for your overall health, but it’s also crucial for keeping your skin healthy and hydrated – which can help reduce the risk of saggy skin and deformed tattoos. Make sure to drink at least 8 glasses of water every day. You can also eat foods that are rich in water content, such as fruits and vegetables.


How To Fix A Tattoo If It Changes After Weight Loss

As we have seen above weight loss may or may not affect tattoos, however, it may change in some cases. If your tattoos do get affected by weight loss and you are not happy with the results, don’t worry – there are ways to fix them by consulting with your tattoo artist!

how to fix tattoos

1. Use a tattoo touch-up – If your tattoo looks faded or the colors have become dull after losing some kgs, you can get a tattoo touch-up to cover stretching and broken designs. This will help make your tattoo look brighter and sharper.

2. Get a tattoo cover-up – If you have lost around 40 to 50% of your body weight, your tattoos will end up de-shaped or ruined. If touch-ups won’t be able to cover them, ask your tattoo artist to get it covered. This involves getting a new tattoo over your existing one. Keep in mind that this is a permanent solution as well.

Women mostly worry about stretch marks and loose skin, and they prefer to get stomach tattoos to cover loose skin after weight loss.

3. Use tattoo concealer – A concealer can be a temporary solution for a short time if you don’t want to cover it permanently with a new tattoo.

4. Remove it – Admire your body and love it – in any case. However, if you cannot handle the new look of your tattoo after weight loss and have started to hate it – you can always get it removed and get peace of mind!


When You Should Get Tattoos – Before Or After Weight Loss

Tattoos represent your personality and getting a tattoo really depends on how comfortable you are with your current body and how confident you are about the future.

If you are planning on losing a lot of weight, it may be best to wait until after you’ve reached your goal weight to get inked. That way, you can avoid the possibility of your tattoos becoming distorted.

On the other hand, if you are comfortable with your current body and don’t plan on making any major changes, then there’s no need to wait. You can get a tattoo anytime you want!


Tattoos Before And After Weight Loss



Bottom Line

Losing weight will not always ruin your tattoos, but in some cases, it may change their appearance. If you are looking to lose weight, make sure to do it slowly and gradually to minimize the effect on your tattoos. Obese people who will be looking to cut down some kgs in the future, avoid getting tattoos on thighs, upper arms, and buttocks as they are more prone to deformation. However, if these parts are already inked, use a good tattoo moisturizer and drink plenty of water to minimize the effects of weight loss on tattoos.

And, if your tattoos do get affected by weight loss, there are ways to fix them – so don’t worry! Just consult with your tattoo artist and they will be able to fix them by little touching, covering it with new tattoos, or by removing it permanently.


Frequently Asked Questions: (FAQs)

Are tattoo artists concerned about your weight?

No, tattoo artists are not concerned about your weight. They are more concerned about the quality of the tattoo and how it will look on your skin. In fact, tattoo artists do prefer a filled body to draw their art.

However, some tattoo artists decline to work on overweight bodies people because obesity can cause a health risk.


Do I need to lose weight before a tattoo?

No, you don’t need to lose weight before a tattoo as long as you are not extremely overweight and have some medical condition because of obesity.


Do tattoos change shape when you lose weight?

Tattoos may change their shape when you lose weight, but this usually only happens if you lose a significant amount of weight quickly. If you are looking to lose weight, make sure to do it slowly and gradually to minimize the effect on your tattoos.


Do tattoos get smaller when you lose weight?

Tattoos usually don’t get smaller when you lose weight because the ink is injected into the middle layer of your skin, which is not affected by weight loss. However, if you lose a significant amount of weight quickly, your skin may shrink and cause the tattoo to appear smaller.



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