The beauty industry has evolved so much it now offers non-invasive solutions to virtually any insecurity.
One of those is a cosmetic stretch marks tattoo. Stretch marks are a very common skin condition, yet many people feel insecure about them. Although we at PMUHub are all about bringing out your natural beauty instead of hiding it, if you want to get rid of stretch marks, there’s now the option of camouflaging them with semi-permanent stretch marks tattoo.
Keep reading to find out all about stretch marks tattooing, how it works, how long it lasts, and why you should think twice about getting it.
Are Stretch Marks Tattoos Effective?
Getting a stretch marks tattoo is perhaps the only way to hide the discoloration of stretch marks.
The marks of various colors that emerge on the skin can be successfully blended with the rest of the skin surface by coloring them in with tattooing. This sounds like a simple enough solution, but in practice, there are downsides to this method you should be aware of.
Image source: Instagram @boleynstudio
What Are Stretch Marks?
Stretch marks are an extremely common, completely benign skin condition that affects up to 90% of the female population, and many men.
They’re a form of permanent scarring that happens when skin is overstretched. They most often occur during puberty, but they can also emerge later in life.
The most common causes of stretch marks are:
- Significant and rapid weight gain or loss
- Rapid muscle growth
- Growth spurt
They can be pink, red, brown, black, silver, white, or purple. Most emerge as dark and fade into a shade somewhat lighter than your skin, while others stay reddish.
Can Stretch Marks Be Prevented?
The emergence of some stretch marks can be prevented, but others are inevitable.
Obviously, eating healthy and staying in shape will prevent rapid weight gain which causes stretch marks. If you’re going through puberty or pregnancy, there are numerous creams and oil blends that claim to diminish stretch marks that emerge as a result.
What Is a Stretch Marks Tattoo?
In short, it’s a tattoo for your stretch marks.
Cosmetic tattooing has been developed as a spin-off on traditional tattooing, but it’s not permanent. Unlike decorative tattoos, stretch marks tattoo is a form of micropigmentation and it’s supposed to blend in so naturally, it’s basically invisible.
So the color eventually fades. The speed at which it fades depends on whether what’s implemented is ink or mineral pigments that the body can break down and absorb.
Image source: Instagram @twenty2_institute_srbija
Can Any Type of Stretch Marks Be Tattooed?
Only completely healed stretch marks that have faded into a shade lighter than your skin tone can be camouflaged with a stretch marks tattoo. Newly formed red or purplish marks are difficult to cover up, and the tissue is too sensitive to be tattooed. It needs time to heal, otherwise, your system will work harder to get rid of the ink.
So most technicians don’t perform stretch marks tattooing on scarring less than 2 years old.
How Is Stretch Marks Tattoo Done?
Cosmetic tattooing is done in pretty much the same way as decorative tattooing, only it’s not meant to last a lifetime. A tattoo machine is used to implement color into the skin, but the substance can either be permanent ink, or semi-permanent pigments.
In either case, the skin is broken and the color is deposited into it. Scar tissue cannot break down the substance as quickly as undamaged skin, so the results last 3-5 years for mineral pigments, and about 7 years or longer for permanent ink.
The crucial step is color matching. Stretch marks suitable for tattooing have to be lighter than the rest of the skin so that they can be darkened to blend in. Wrong color choice will thus make the situation worse as the marks will be more visible rather than diminished.
That’s why you should always go to an experienced micropigmentation specialist and not just any tattoo artist.
Image source: Instagram @studioconceal
How Much Does Stretch Marks Tattoo Cost?
Stretch marks tattoo is usually charged per session, which starts at around $300, but this price varies from artist to artist.
Most clients need several sessions, as scar tissue doesn’t take in ink easily, so the final cost can be thousands of dollars. The price also depends on the surface treated.
It’s best to book consults and let the tech assess the situation.
What Are the Downsides of the Stretch Marks Tattoo?
A stretch marks tattoo is a great solution in theory, but in practice, it has many downsides.
Since the marks are tattooed to match your skin tone, as soon as you get even a slight tan, the stretch marks tattoo becomes visible. The ink or pigment color can also turn with time, as it fades and reacts with your system.
The stretch marks tattoo looks great in the beginning, but in the long run, tattooed stretch marks often become more visible than the natural marks themselves. That’s why it’s quite a controversial treatment and you should think about it carefully before booking an appointment.
Are There Alternatives for Diminishing Stretch Marks?
As we’ve already mentioned, stretch marks are a type of scarring, so they’re permanent and there’s basically no way to get rid of them. However, there are ways to make them less noticeable or less severe, without the downsides that stretch marks tattoo carries.
Bear in mind, all these require multiple sessions.
Chemical peels are a form of exfoliation that removes the surface layer of the skin, revealing new cells underneath. They’re a popular way of improving the appearance of any type of scarring by smoothing out the texture of the skin, but their effectiveness is limited with stretch marks. They might make the marks less 3D but can’t change their color.
Another type of exfoliation, but this one is mechanical. Again, the surface layer of the skin is removed, and again, it can help the situation, but not by much.
A more efficient, but also a more aggressive method of improving the skin texture. Microneedling causes microdamage to the skin, stimulating the production of collagen, and inducing a recovery cycle from which it emerges tighter and refreshed. In many cases, special serums are deposited into the microincisions that enhance the effects. It can smooth out stretch marks to a certain extent, but it can’t help with the discoloration.
Image source: Instagram @luminessstudio
Laser beams penetrate the skin and stimulate collagen production, which tightens the skin and improves its structure. The treatment breaks down scar tissue and accelerates cell turnover, so this method helps with both texture and color.
NOTE: All the methods above are far more efficient for treating newly formed stretch marks. The older the scars are, the less these methods can help.
Can Stretch Marks Tattoo Be Combined with Other Methods?
Yes, and in fact, it usually is.
Since color implementation can’t fix the texture of the skin and raised stretch marks can’t be flattened this way, stretch marks tattoo is usually combined with microneedling, so that both aspects of the issue are diminished.
PMUHub strongly advises you to think carefully before getting a stretch marks tattoo.
Unless you are willing to stay out of the sun at all costs for years, stretch marks tattoo can do more damage than good. There are alternative treatments that can improve the situation without the downsides.
Cover image source: Freepik