Do Tattoos Fade Over Time?

APRIL 11, 2022

Is tattoo fading a thing?

Yes, your tattoo can fade over time. There are two main culprits when it comes to how quickly your tattoos fade: ageing and sun damage.

It doesn’t matter how careful you are, your tattoo will fade. However, there are some easy things you can do to try and avoid faded tattoos and help keep your tattoo looking fresh for longer. Making sure you use an experienced tattoo artist and proper aftercare of the tattooed skin during the healing process can help increase your tattoo's longevity and prevent tattoos from fading.

If you’re hoping that an unwanted permanent tattoo will eventually fade completely, then that probably won't be the case. While your changing skin will affect the shape and colour of your tattoo over time, although this can be less likely with black and grey tattoos, it will rarely completely disappear.

To completely remove your tattoo in the fastest time possible, it’s best to consider laser treatment. At NAAMA, we use a unique laser technology called LightSense™, which gently removes your tattoo using the most advanced system in the world. It’s less painful, leaves little to no scarring or damage and provides incredible results.

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Image showing time with faded tattoo underneath
Image showing time with faded tattoo underneath

Why do tattoos fade?

1. Ageing

The most obvious factor that will affect your tattoo fading is your age. This is because your skin has lived through sun exposure, friction etc. and while it can regenerate, your skin can’t regenerate the tattoo ink and pattern of your tattooo. As you age, your body will also experience stretching for example from weight loss, weight gain and pregnancy, which changes the structure of the skin. Smoking and alcohol will also prematurely age your skin, which can blur the lines of your tattoo and fade the colour.

Tattoos can fade faster without proper skin care

Our low-energy laser significantly reduces any chance of blistering, scarring or lasting damage, which means less downtime between treatments and fast tattoo removal results.

Laser tattoo removal can work on faded or fresh tattoos

2. Sun damage

We always recommend staying out of the sun after laser tattoo removal, and it’s the same when you first have your tattoo. That’s because the sun’s UV rays can cause damage to the delicate layers of your skin, which impact its ability to heal and stay healthy. You can’t avoid the sun forever and you probably want to show off your artwork, but you can protect your skin and tattoo by using an SPF with a high UVA and keeping it covered in intense, direct sunlight. Anything that affects or damages your skin will make your tattoo fade quicker. Some things are preventable, while other factors are just a part of life. When it comes to where tattoos fade most quickly, it’s always the areas of skin that get the most exposure, such as hands, feet and shoulders.

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Laser treatment can remove faded tattoo ink particles
Laser treatment can remove faded tattoo ink particles

Other influences that will fade your tattoo

If you’re worried about how quickly your tattoo will fade, you should also consider:

  • Your skincare regime

  • How hydrated your skin is

  • The quality of ink used on your tattoo

  • The colours that you choose in your tattoo (dark inks last longer)

If you’re interested in removing a fading tattoo or covering it up with fresh artwork, one of our expert team can give you a free callback to explain how laser tattoo removal works and whether it’s right for you.

There is one sure-fire way to completely remove a tattoo.

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