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Gaining or losing weight – The Tattooed Way

Gaining or losing weight

Many are worried about their tattoos when it comes to gaining or losing weight. Due to foreseen or unforeseen circumstances it can always happen some weight may be gained or lost. Think for example of a pregnancy, muscle development or operations such as stomach correction.

In the end the most important thing is how quick and in what circumstances you are gaining or losing weight.


I will start with weight loss. If customers ask for my advice on future tattoos, I always distinguish 2 types of weight loss. First, the gradual and controlled weight loss. I am talking about following an adjusted diet together with a fitness program to lose the desired weight (depending on how much weight should be lost) over some weeks, months or years. If everything is done properly, the skin will have had the necessary time to adjust to the new body volume and new muscle formation will ensure that the skin also adjusts elastically. With such weight loss the skin of the tattoo will also have time to adapt and there will therefore be little to no change visible to the tattoo.

Secondly, I mention the rapid, uncontrolled weight loss. I am talking about weight loss in, for example, operations such as stomach corrections or diseases that cause rapid weight loss. In these cases, again depending on how much weight is lost, the skin will not have time to recover and loose skin can develop that can only be repaired surgically. Certainly with such surgical procedures, it is possible that your tattoo will be distorted afterwards.

There are also two more deciding factors that determine whether or not your tattoo will be ruined, especially with the rapid weight loss, namely the place and the type of tattoo. Certainly the placement of the tattoo will determine whether there is a high chance of deformation after weight loss. Places such as the abdominal area, inside of the upper arms and inside of the upper legs are sensitive for development of loose skin and thus possible changement of the tattoo. Places such as forearms, upper back, lower legs and feet will mostly suffer much less of loose skin. Finally, the type of tattoo also determines the end result. Tattoos with many fine lines that are close to each other, for example, will change view more quickly than tattoos with thick lines and solid colors.

On the other hand, of course, there is also weight gain. Even if we don’t want it to happen, it may happen to many of us at some point in life. Just as with weight loss, your weight can increase in two ways, slow or fast. With the slow increase of weight your skin has time to expand. Rarely something really remarkable will change to your tattoo, even if in the end you’ve lost a lot.

With the rapid increase of weight, however, there may be some changes to your tattoo. Here I am talking about pregnancy for example. Here, too, placement is of course an important factor, tattoos on the abdominal region will obviously be more sensitive to changement than tattoos in other places. A rapid increase in weight not only ensures that the skin does not have enough time to regenerate causing the tattoo to fade, there is also a possibility to develop stretch marks. If a stretch marks is settled right through a tattoo, it will possibly damage the tattoo. In case of pregnancy it will only be possible to say what the damage is and what can be repaired and what not, after the pregnancy. Such situations can be somewhat prevented by lubricating these regions with bio-oil or vitamin-rich oils, preventing the weight gain as far as possible and hydrating enough. Of course, every body is different and one person will develop stretch marks easier than the other.

Of course it is easy to say that you only have to get a tattoo in awkward places after excluding future pregnancies or other weight gains, in reality it isn’t always possible to predict what the future will bring.

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