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Tattoo Blowout: How to Fix It (& Prevent It From Happening in the First Place)

Maybe you’ve just got a beautiful new tattoo, and something just isn’t right…the ink doesn’t look quite as sharp as it should, and it seems to be spilling over the lines. Or maybe it’s looking a bit blurry. You may be experiencing a tattoo blowout, which can impact the aesthetics of your ink.

What Causes Tattoo Blowouts?

A tattoo blowout occurs when the artist tattoos too deeply in the skin, causing the ink to move around in the fat layer. This movement of ink ultimately changes the way the tattoo looks and can cause a blurred or less defined, blown out tattoo.

There is no health risk with experiencing a tattoo blowout, but there is a significant aesthetic risk to the overall look of the tattoo, creating a smudged appearance.

You will notice a blowout within the first few days of getting your new tattoo. Cases vary depending on the individual, with some being more extreme than others.

Signs of a Blown Tattoo

It’s important to identify and keep a lookout for some key signs of a blown-out tattoo. The first item to lookout for is how your artist tattoos. A blowout will occur when an artist’s tattoos too deeply in the skin and pushes down too hard when applying the ink.

If you feel the use of excessive pressure or pain please communicate this to your artist. Describe the feeling your experiencing and allow your artist to mitigate whether or not this is a normal part of the tattooing experience.

Try taking breaks during the session and taking note of the pressure you may feel from the tattoo gun to avoid a blown-out tattoo.

When getting tattooed, you may feel increased pressure from the tattoo gun. A blowout is the tattoo artist's mistake, so make sure when choosing an artist, they have experience and increased attention to detail. A careless or inexperienced artist could result in an undesirable tattoo.

How to Treat a Blown Out Tattoo 

There are several ways to treat a blown-out tattoo:

Additional tattooing

The simplest way to treat a tattoo blowout is additional tattooing. This would be considered a blowout cover-up, which could be managed with the addition of some details, changes in size, and additional line work.

Keep in mind, you must wait for the original tattoo to fully heal, which will take about 2 months, before continuing with a cover-up. Be sure to take extra good care of your healing tattoo before the cover-up. We recommend a superior, all-natural aftercare routine for advanced healing.

A product, such as Mad Rabbit Soothing Gel, that will hydrate and nourish your new ink is preferred. With the advanced formula, your tattoo will heal rapidly and effectively with the power of plant collagen and vitamin c. With your newly healed tattoo, you may then proceed with a cover-up.

Surgical tattoo removal

If additional tattooing is not an option, and you’re looking for a new start, surgical removal is a more involved choice. During this procedure, the surgeon will remove the tattooed skin and stitch the remaining skin back together, so you have a perfectly new canvas.

Keep in mind, as with any surgery, there are risks. There is also the risk of a small scar from the procedure. So, if you’re looking for a less involved cover-up or remedy to the blowout, then laser therapy may be a good option.

 

Laser tattoo removal

The laser used is a q-switch laser, which essentially breaks up the particles and pigments of the ink color. This helps your body absorb the small diluted particles of ink and reduce the overall tattoos visibility over several sessions.

During this process of laser therapy, it’s important to take extra good care of your skin and avoid any unnecessary sun exposure. Using an advanced SPF is best, such as the Defend SPF 30 Tattoo Sunscreen. The SPF is specifically formulated to nourish and protect tattoos, with ingredients such as aloe vera, argan oil, and vitamin c to name a few.

The laser therapy will require multiple sessions, so ensuring your skin stays protected throughout this process is key for the best results.

 

Prevent a Blowout Before it Happens to You 

You may be wondering how can a tattoo blowout be prevented? The first and most important element is choosing a qualified and experienced artist. Tattoo blowouts occur as a tattoo complication and are a mistake that can occur when an artist is careless or lacks experience.

Ask to see your artist's previous work and ask about their style of tattooing. Conduct some prior research on the shop and artist, such as reading customer reviews. This can give you an idea of other clients tattooing experience in a honest forum.

In addition, consider the placement and the level of detail you’re looking to achieve with your tattoo. Ensure you refrain from scratching or irritating the tattoo during and after the session. And finally, seek an experienced artist for the best results.


Tattoo blowout is an unfortunate and preventable mistake that can occur while getting a tattoo. If the artist is rushed, careless, or tattooing too deeply into the skin, the ink will begin to move around creating a blurred or hazy effect.


There are several ways to manage this and identify if you’ve experienced tattoo blowout. You can also fix the blown out tattoo with additional tattooing, laser treatment, or in the most extreme case, surgery. The key in preventing tattoo blowout is to choose an experienced artist with a high level of attention to detail for the best tattooing experience and results.


If you’re looking for more information on how to research artists and designs, check out our blog on the best research to do before getting a tattoo. Or maybe you’re wondering about the best next steps for a new tattoo? We’ve got you covered. Check out our blog on the First 48 Hours with a Tattoo, for more information!

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