Things That Fade Tattoo Ink

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A fresh tattoo is vibrant and shiny, but will fade over time without proper care. Tattoos have become very popular within the last 10 years, but some people regret getting them. According to Dr. Amy Derick of Derick Dermatology, tattoos will fade over time because the pigment gets broken into smaller pieces and the pieces are taken away by the immune system through the lymph nodes. However, tattoos can fade faster with exposure to environmental elements and by not taking care of your skin. This leads to the ink fading fast and the tattoo becoming boring.

Ultraviolet Rays

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Tattoos need extra protection from the UV rays of the sun. The sun will burn the skin and cause the tattoo to fade. Use a lotion with a high SPF before going outside, which will prevent it from looking old. You definitely don’t want to expose a new tattoo to the sun. The sun can cause damage to it during the healing process as well. It may cause the scabs to fall off early and result in scarring. During the first few weeks, a new tattoo should be kept covered from the sun with clothing, a dry bandage or cloth. After it has healed, you want to apply sunblock before going outside.

Artificial Tanning

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Artificial tanning will darken the design and cause the tattoo to peel off the skin. If you are planning to use a tanning solution like Mystic Tan, then you want to cover the tattoo with Vaseline, A&D ointment or petroleum jelly. Remove the Vaseline about a half an hour after applying the solution. This approach will allow the rest of the body to tan while keeping the tattoo fresh and bright.


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Avoid taking a long bath or swimming within the first two weeks of getting a tattoo. It will take time for the ink to heal into the skin. Soaking a tattoo in water will pull out the ink and cause fading. In the healing process, a tattoo forms a protective layer and water can cause it to loosen and blur the design. Give the protective layer a chance to set before soaking in water. After a couple of days, you can start back swimming. Bodies of water are filled with germs and can cause infection in open wounds. Swimming pools contain chlorine, which can cause fading as well.

Bad Skin Care

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A skin care regimen will help the skin to stay younger and healthier. A tattoo on healthy skin will appear brighter over time. If you get any harsh chemicals such as gasoline, diesel or cleaning products on the tattoo or around the area, then you want to immediately wash them off the skin. The chemicals will cause damage when allowed to sit on the skin. Also, use a good moisturizer to keep the skin from becoming dry and looking dull.