Can a Tattoo Smudge? What is Tattoo Blowout?

What is a tattoo blowout?

Can a Tattoo Smudge?

You are excited that you just got a new tattoo a few days ago, but you have noticed something's wrong: the ink has gone outside the lines of your tattoo, making it look unattractive and a bit annoying. If you are not familiar with tattoos yet, you might panic, wondering what's going on. It may look like your tattoo ink is bleeding outward from the image itself, resulting in a smudged appearance of the ink. Here is a quick guide about tattoo blowouts or smudging of tattoos and tips on how to fix or prevent such from happening.

Is It Normal for Tattoos to Smudge?

For most first-timers, the typical inquiry is: Can a tattoo smudge? The answer is yes, tattoos can smudge, and it may be due to various causes. On the other hand, smudged-looking tattoos are not very common, and you may minimize your chances of getting one by following a few easy procedures and taking specific precautions. Choosing an expert and experienced artist should be your top priority when looking for a tattoo shop.

Cleaning a smudged tattoo does not just involve soap and water – it needs professional assistance, such as a tattoo artist or a dermatologist. The skin may have absorbed the ink due to wrong aftercare practices or wrong tattooing procedures.

What is a Tattoo Blowout?

If you noticed that your ink looks like it has "exploded," you are probably dealing with a tattoo blowout. Fortunately, a tattoo blowout is not a severe issue that can endanger your health. However, it can have a significant influence on the appearance of your tattoo. According to other people's experiences with their tattoos, blowouts are not that common, but tattoo artists say that is normal.

A tattoo blowout may happen when the ink is injected too deeply into the skin's layer, particularly beyond the dermis. It may have been injected in the fat layer of the skin, where the ink has higher tendencies to move, resulting in a distorted image of the tattoo color or design.

Why a Tattoo Blowout Happens

There are various reasons why a tattoo blowout happens.

To elaborate, here are some factors identified that cause tattoo smudging and blowout of tattoos:

  • You did not follow the tattoo artist's instructions about tattoo aftercare, such as cleansing with mild soap and moisturizing.
  • You pick or peel your scabs, or you scratch your skin when it feels itchy instead of applying a tattoo ointment.
  • You sleep on top of your tattoo, intentionally or unintentionally.
  • You submerge the tattooed part underwater, may it be in a swimming pool, bathtub, or beach.
  • You touch your tattoos too often. And the worst part is, you touch it with your dirty hands.
  • The tattoo artist is not experienced, or the ink that they used is of low quality.
  • The tattoo was drawn on thin skin, where there is not much separation of skin layers, making it more difficult to inject on the dermis.

What is a tattoo blowout?

Fixing a Tattoo Blowout

Tattoo blowouts seldom go away on their own. If the problem is small, you are a bit lucky since it may go away or diminish within a year. However, the majority of tattoo blowouts require expert repair. Healing tattoos naturally shed ink, and peeling skin can hide a blowout for a few weeks. Once the blowout has seeped through your skin, you will be able to notice it right away. The general knowledge is tattoo blowout can be remedied by adding more ink. But make sure you consult with someone who has done tattoo cover-ups or repairs before. Here are the three ways on how to fix a tattoo blowout:

  • Professional Correction

Indeed, a professional or skilled artist can repair tattoo blowouts. You may ask for a cover-up tattoo or have your tattoo artist fix any smudged lines or inking. These two options are excellent and cost-effective tattoo blowout alternatives. However, two factors to bear in mind: First and foremost, ensure that you deal with a qualified tattoo artist. You do not want your tattoo to fade anymore and look worse. Second, wait for your skin to be tattooed again. Your skin may still be healing from the last tattoo, and you do not want to risk causing further complications or any skin problems caused by repetitive tattooing. 

  • Laser Removal

The cost of laser treatment is higher than professional correction. But, if you do not want to go through another tattooing session, this may be the better option for you. Most blowouts can be effectively removed with laser therapy. Also, consider that the size of your tattoo will determine the number of laser treatment sessions required. 

  • Surgery

Dermabrasion is a surgical procedure of removing tattoos that involves the deliberate removal of the outer layers of the skin using a medical grinding instrument. The goal is to remove the tattoo by removing the layers of skin that hold the ink particles. However, we would not advise taking this option unless you are eager to get rid of your tattoo. Even so, this approach may lead to a lot of scarring. It may not be too awful if you only have a small tattoo, but the damage to your skin will be more evident with larger tattoos.

How to Prevent Tattoo Blowout

As the saying goes," Prevention is better than cure." And yes, it can be applied to tattoos, too. There are three different ways to fix or "cure" a tattoo blowout, but it is more satisfying not to experience the blowout itself. With just two simple steps, you can prevent a tattoo blowout from occurring.

First, choose a trusted tattoo artist. It's better if the shop is online and has positive customer reviews and feedback. Look at their previous work and make sure its in line with what you're hoping to have created!

Second, do research. Information about tattoos is readily available on the internet, from design options to aftercare tips. Look for designs and ink colors that suit you. Complex and detailed designs are more prone to tattoo blowouts, but you may still opt for realistic images if you are confident that the tattoo artist can pull off the job flawlessly. Talk to your artist about where your tattoo should be located since tattooing on thicker skins can help prevent blowouts more than thin areas.

What is a tattoo blowout?

Make Your Tattoo Last

Tattoo aftercare is just as vital as the application of the tattoo itself. The basics of tattoo aftercare are cleansing, moisturizing, and applying sun protection. Before signing up for a tattoo sesh, your artist should discuss all tattoo-related information with you. We hope you don't experience tattoo smudging or tattoo blowout, but if you do this guide should hopefully help!