What Happens to Tattoos When You Gain Muscle? Should I be Worried?
What happens to tattoos when you gain muscle?
When people gain muscle, it becomes more visible under the skin. And when they lose fat, you can see their muscles better. The same thing happens to tattoos too. People who have tattoos will notice that these become more prominent or obvious if they work out a lot. Tattoos are built by organic pigments made from carbon and iron salts, which bind with powder proteins in a mixture of water and alcohol, injected into the skin where the pigment disperses throughout the tissue.
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This ink breaks down very slowly over time through many different factors, such as removal by lasers or macrophages eating them up. Still, when there’s increased blood flow because someone has worked out intensely, this speeds up how quickly your body digests that ink. The high blood flow causes the ink to go into your lymph nodes faster than usual, so it also speeds up the rate of tattoo removal.
On average, it takes three months for smaller tattoos to disappear when people are working out intensely, but if someone is not exercising at all, the tattoo is more likely to stick around longer. This motivates people who have just gotten inked and want to get ripped fast!
However, keep in mind that even if you exercise only now and then, the tattoo will not stay on your body forever; it will slowly fade away or be swallowed by white blood cells (macrophages). While there has been no conclusive evidence that exercising increases how quickly a tattoo fades, this is likely the case based on the evidence presented above.
Do tattoos look better with muscles?
Tattoos are permanent, and when weight lifting or bodybuilding, you achieve muscle gain. This means that your skin stretches. This can cause the tattoo to stretch and move with your skin, known as tattoo blowout. Tattoo ink is suspended in the body by inserting pigments into or under the skin. As muscles grow through strenuous workouts, they can pull these pigments closer together and make them less distinguishable from each other. These colors tend to be pulled closer together when building muscle mass; therefore, “bleeding” of the colors will occur (turning into ugly brown blotches). Also, body movement during exercise and physical work can break up some of the ink, allowing the colors to blend unevenly into one another.
Tattoos become blurry on the upper arm, even with moderate muscle growth, because with your skin stretching, the ink can spread out and blend unevenly.
If you want to have body art on your biceps, then it is recommended that you not build muscle too quickly or train them very hard as this will cause the colors to bleed/blur together, so wait until after you’ve had a chance to do some size training. Use caution when exercising as blood flow within blood vessels from the muscles may also carry ink from within those muscles causing it to blur.
To prevent your tattoos from blurring while building up your arms, ensure you stretch your skin before lifting heavy weights and follow a strict workout routine where possible. A good tip for protecting tattoos is tattoos are best applied with a light touch of the hand rather than going full force with a machine which can cause the ink to bleed and spread. Make sure you use a soft hand to prevent your tattoo from blurring as you build muscle.
Do bicep tattoos stretch?
There are some considerations here:
First, tattoos ARE susceptible to stretching because of how they’re made. Tattoos use a permanent ink suspended in a carrier solution just like paint is suspended in water. The process involves puncturing your skin several times with hundreds of tiny needles and pushing the dye into your skin via pressure from these needles- this means it gets pushed under the skin but not deep enough to require medical attention.
When weight training, muscles undergo physical changes such as growth; this interferes with the proper placement of the dye. If you think about where bicep muscle bellies sit beneath your skin versus your arm or shoulder or chest muscles- you see that they’re in slightly different places. It’s important to note that swelling in your body parts will change the look of your tattoo, and it is doubtful that a tattoo artist can do anything about it.
The best way to avoid this problem altogether is to prevent body changes and weight fluctuation, prevent weight gain and weight loss, and keep your body weight and fat low when you get the tattoo done- if you have more fat, the skin and muscles will be softer. Hence, it’s easier for them to move around and stretch on you, reducing your ink quality. Your muscle tone and weight change make a difference.
Second, there is no such thing as “redoing” a tattoo, at least not in an affordable manner. When we get tattoos, we often sign contracts with our artist stating something along the lines of “artwork cannot be duplicated by another party.” You’d also need to find a tattooing artist that would be willing to take on this project even if it were possible.
Third, the only way to fix a stretched tattoo is to re-tattoo over what was there before, so you have a new design in the same spot. This is often the case with stretch marks and pregnancy. You may have to go through the process of pain, scabs, and healing again. You also need to take care of sun damage and heavy sweating, all the precautions to ensure your tattoo turns out well.
It’s not uncommon for someone with tattoos to have them touched up every few years or so. Still, different tattoos attract different rates of fading and ink retention, so it’s hard to predict how long any tattoo will look fresh before touch-ups are necessary. The size of your biceps will keep changing as your body grows, so maybe save this for after you complete your first bulk cycle with significant muscle growth. A lot of people grow out their sleeves more than once!
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