Tattoos, when on someone else’s body and in proper shape, may fascinate you. However, when it comes to getting inked, several questions may arise, such as whether they will retain their original shape or change over time. Similarly, if they stretch, you might wonder what the tattoo removal options are that one can utilize to make the stretched tattoo fade away. Here is a comprehensive guideline that you should read before getting inked to understand whether tattoos always stretch or remain proportional.

Why do tattoos stretch?

Tattoos do not always stretch, but their appearance can be affected by various factors over time. Moreover, these appearance changes do not affect everyone who gets tattoos, as it’s possible for a tattoo to remain proportionate for the rest of one’s life if they don’t encounter the following scenarios. 

Weight Gain or Loss

Changes in body weight, especially significant or rapid ones, can cause the skin to stretch or shrink. This can affect the appearance of a tattoo, causing it to distort or blur.


Some parts of the body are more prone to changes than others. Tattoos on parts of the body that frequently stretch and contract, like near joints or on areas like the belly, are more likely to distort over time. 


As we age, our skin naturally loses elasticity. This can cause tattoos to appear more blurred or stretched out over time. Also, aging skin tends to wrinkle and sag, which can distort the image of the tattoo.


The skin stretches significantly during pregnancy, especially around the abdomen, breasts, and hips. This can cause tattoos in these areas to stretch and distort. Post-pregnancy, the skin may or may not return to its original form, and the tattoo may remain distorted.

Muscle Gain

For those who actively build muscle mass, especially bodybuilders, the skin can stretch to accommodate larger muscles. This can cause a tattoo to stretch and distort, particularly if the tattoo is in an area where significant muscle gain occurs, such as the arms, chest, or legs.

Sun Exposure

Excessive exposure to the sun can damage the skin and cause tattoos to fade and blur over time. It’s recommended to use a high-SPF sunscreen on tattooed skin when in the sun to help maintain the tattoo’s appearance.

Poor Aftercare

A tattoo is a wound, and like any other wound, how it is cared for will affect how it heals. Poor aftercare can lead to infection, scarring, and other complications that can affect the tattoo’s appearance.

What to do to prevent tattoo stretching?

Not every tattoo will stretch or distort over time. Similarly, not every tattoo will remain in its original shape for decades. A tattoo can stretch or distort due to several factors, such as weight gain or loss, muscle gain, pregnancy, or aging. Here are some tips on how to prevent tattoo stretching:

Extreme weight fluctuations can cause your skin to stretch, which can affect the appearance of your tattoo. Maintaining a healthy weight can help to prevent this.

Tattoos placed on body parts that are less likely to change with weight or muscle gain (like your back, shoulder, or forearm) are less likely to stretch.

If you are considering getting a tattoo and you also want to bulk up your muscles, get the tattoo after you’ve achieved your desired muscle mass.

Keeping your skin moisturized can maintain its elasticity and help prevent stretch marks that can distort a tattoo. Good hydration and a healthy diet can also contribute to skin health.

Excessive sun exposure can fade a tattoo over time and may also contribute to skin aging and stretching. Use high-SPF sunscreen on your tattooed skin whenever you’re outside.

For women considering getting a tattoo on their abdomen, it may be wise to reconsider due to the potential for stretching during pregnancy. If you already have a tattoo and become pregnant, applying creams and oils that aid in maintaining skin elasticity may help, but the effects can vary significantly from person to person.

Smaller tattoos or those with a lot of fine detail are more likely to be noticeably affected by stretching. Larger designs with bolder lines and less intricate detail are less likely to show distortion.

Where to get a tattoo so it won’t stretch? 

A qualified and professional tattoo artist can help you understand how different factors might affect the long-term appearance of a tattoo. Moreover, there are numerous options for you if you want to get your tattoo done in the Gulf countries. Euromed Clinic, Laser Skin Care, and Dubai Cosmetic Surgery Clinic are some of the clinics that have hired the services of the best tattoo artists in Dubai. 

Bottom Line

It’s important to note that each person’s skin is different, and there are a lot of factors that can affect how a tattoo ages. Moreover, the clinic you choose for your tattoo should have a credible reputation, satisfied customers, and overall positive ratings.

Euromed Clinic Dubai is one of those places famous for aesthetics and cosmetic procedures. If you want to get your tattoo in Dubai in the presence of highly-experienced tattoo artists in Dubai, fill out and submit the following form or call us at +971 4 394 5422