Getting a tattoo is likely to be something that you have thought long and hard about. It's a permanent mark and it should be something you are proud to have. At first, the color will be vibrant and intense. In an ideal world it would remain as good as new, but for many different reasons, tattoos will fade -- some faster than others.
The Differences Between Black and Color
Tattoos and their longevity will vary partly depending on whether the ink is black or color. This is something that you may not consider when deciding on a design, but it might explain why your tattoo has faded.
Black tattoos tend to contrast more highly against the skin, and so they often have more definition. Color tattoos are fantastic for blending different shades and creating certain effects or impact, but they also cost more and tend to lose their vibrancy quicker than black tattoos.
Exposure to Sunlight
Tattoos can fade as a result of exposure to sunlight. The more prolonged the exposure, the more your tattoo will fade, so it is really important to take care of your skin if you want your body art to last.
Follow the same skin care procedures you would normally take to protect your skin against the sun's harmful effects, but ensure that at the very least you take precautions in the area of your tattoo.
Wear a high-SPF sunscreen and reapply it regularly. Cover the area if possible and use Vitamin E cream daily, as it helps with skin regrowth and anti-aging.
What Else Could Be Causing My Tattoo to Fade?
A common reason for a tattoo to fade, especially in only certain patches, is if it is not properly protected and looked after during the healing process.
If the ink is of poor quality, the tattoo is homemade or it is not done by a qualified body artist, then it is quite likely that it will fade quickly and the outline may "leak" around the edges.
Follow the standard new tattoo care guidelines. Keep it covered for at least four hours when fresh. Avoid sports or other situations that could cause trauma to the area. Avoid sunbeds or bright sunlight and prolonged exposure to water until the tattoo is fully healed.
To keep your tattoo from fading for as long as possible, try to wear clothes that do not rub the area too much, and keep it moisturized at all times.
Bringing the Tattoo's Color Back to Life
Many tattoo artists will offer to retouch your tattoo for free, so keep their contact details; taking them up on that offer will probably be worth it at some point. Otherwise, you may have to pay for color touch-ups, although it shouldn't be anywhere near as expensive as the original.
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Ilona Burton is a young writer from Manchester, United Kingdom. She has written for "The Independent," "Drapers Magazine" and "Marie Claire," and worked as a researcher for the BBC. Holding a Bachelor of Arts in film and television, Burton is pursuing a postgraduate diploma in journalism.