What Is a Tattoo Blowout?

What Is a Tattoo Blowout?

Tattoo blowouts are an unfortunate reality for many tattooers. They occur when the ink is pushed into the skin too deeply or unevenly, which causes the lines of a tattoo to blur and spread out. This can result in an overall change to the design of the tattoo, making it look distorted and unrecognizable. Fortunately, there are some ways to prevent and fix tattoo blowouts, so you can keep your tattoos looking their best.

What Is a Tattoo Blowout?

A tattoo blowout is a common issue that can occur during the tattooing process. It happens when the artist injects too much ink into the skin, causing it to spread out unevenly and blur the lines of a design. This can result in an overall change to the appearance of the tattoo, making it look distorted and unrecognizable. It’s important to note that not all tattoos are prone to blowouts, and there are some measures you can take to help prevent them. [2]

What Does It Looks Like?

A tattoo blowout is when the ink spreads too far beyond its intended area, resulting in an unrecognizable blur. It also happens when the artist applies too much pressure to your skin while tattooing or uses a needle that’s too big for the design. The results are usually uneven lines and patches of blurred ink. If you’ve ever seen an old tattoo with blurry or distorted lines, chances are it’s a blowout. [1] 

What Does It Looks Like?

What Causes It?

Needles Inserted Too Deep or At the Wrong Angle

Tattoo blowouts can be caused by a few different factors. The first is when needles are inserted too deep or at the wrong angle into the skin. This causes too much pigment to be pushed into the surrounding tissue, which creates an undesired blurry or smudged effect known as a “blowout”. It is important for your tattoo artist to get the depth and angle of the needles just right, as this will help prevent the occurrence of a tattoo blowout. [2]

The Tattoo Is Being Drawn on Very Thin Skin

Another common cause for a tattoo blowout is when the tattoo is being drawn on very thin skin. When this happens, there isn’t enough support from the tissue to contain the pigment which can lead to it seeping into surrounding areas. To avoid this problem, make sure you talk with your artist about where you would like your tattoo placed and the thickness of your skin in that area. [2]

The Tattoo Artist Is Stretching and Pulling at The Skin Too Much

Lastly, a tattoo blowout can be caused when the tattoo artist is stretching and pulling at the skin too much during the tattooing process. This can cause pigment to disperse into undesired areas and create a blurry or smudged look. To avoid this from happening, make sure your artist understands your vision for the tattoo design and that they are using the right amount of pressure on your skin. [2]

Body Parts Prone to Tattoo Blowouts

The areas of the body that are most prone to tattoo blowouts are:

  • The back;
  • The chest;
  • The arms;
  • The forearm;
  • The legs;
  • Feet and ankles;
  • Hands, fingers, and wrists;

These parts of the body tend to be more susceptible to tattoo blowouts due to their proximity to the surface of the skin. Areas like these will stretch and move more than other parts of the body when you make certain motions, which can affect the shape and placement of your tattoo. However, any area that has had a tattoo could end up with a blowout. [2]

The Tattoo Artist Is Stretching and Pulling at The Skin Too Much

Is Tattoo Blowout Common?

Tattoo blowouts are not as common these days, but they do still happen. The most frequent cause of a tattoo blowout is usually due to an inexperienced tattoo artist using too much pressure when applying the ink or lining up the design onto the skin. Using too much pressure can push the ink out beyond where it’s supposed to be, resulting in the blurry and smudged effect associated with a tattoo blowout.

Another common cause of tattoo blowouts is when the artist doesn’t use enough pigment in the ink or doesn’t apply it properly. This means that over time, as your skin regenerates and sheds off layers, the color will start to fade and spread out. This can result in a tattoo blowout, where the color is no longer contained within its original shape. [3]

Is Tattoo Blowout Bad?

Tattoo blowouts can be bad if not corrected quickly. A tattoo blowout is a condition in which ink bleeds beyond the edges of a design, resulting in blurred or distorted lines. This type of mistake is usually caused by an inexperienced artist using too much pressure when applying the ink. A tattoo blowout can also be caused by an artist who doesn’t understand proper tattooing techniques or doesn’t have the right equipment for the job. [3]

Is a Tattoo Blowout the Artist’s Fault?

Often times clients may wonder if a tattoo blowout is the fault of the artist. The answer depends on what caused the problem.

In some cases, artists can make mistakes that can lead to a tattoo blowout. This could include not properly sterilizing equipment or using an ink color that isn’t appropriate for a particular skin tone. This could also be a result of an artist not using the right technique when applying the ink, which can lead to uneven lines or blurred details. [4]

How to Fix It?

Correct with More Tattooing

The best way to fix a tattoo blowout is to correct the area with more tattooing. This may sound counterintuitive, but it works because you’re able to add more pigment and even out any issues that have been caused by the blowout. It’s important to be careful when doing this as too much additional ink can make the area look worse. You may need to visit a professional tattoo artist who can assess the issue and provide guidance on how to best correct it. [1]

Tattooing Over The Blowout

If the area of your tattoo affected by the blowout is small and not too badly distorted, you may be able to cover it up with more tattooing. This can work if you’re still happy with the overall design and simply need to fix a part of it, as long as it’s done correctly. A professional tattoo artist will be able to advise you on the best course of action and can help you choose a design that complements the existing tattoo. [4]

Correct with A Laser

Using a laser to correct tattoo blowouts is also an option, though it can be expensive and may not always work. The process involves breaking down the ink particles with a laser in order to lighten them and make them more even. It’s important that you research your options carefully as lasers differ in their abilities and some may be better suited to correcting a tattoo blowout than others. [1]

Is Tattoo Blowout Bad?

Surgical tattoo removal

In extreme cases, it may be necessary to remove the entire tattoo. This can be done through a surgical procedure known as dermabrasion, which involves using a specially designed device to gently scrape away the top layers of skin. The skin is then replaced with a new layer that doesn’t contain any pigment. While this method is highly effective, it can be costly and may not always yield the desired results. [1]

How to Prevent It?

Consider Placement

One of the most important things you can do to prevent a tattoo blowout is to carefully consider where you get your tattoo. Areas with thin or loose skin are more prone to blowouts, so it’s best to avoid areas like this. You should also make sure that your artist is experienced in placing tattoos in the area you’re considering. [1]

Choose the Proper Body Placement

Another way to reduce your chances of a blowout is to choose the proper body placement. Avoid areas where your skin is loose and floppy or where there is excessive movement, as this can cause the ink to spread too far in any direction, leading to a blowout. If you must get a tattoo in an area like this, be sure to discuss any potential risks with your artist beforehand. [4]

Do Not Scratch the Tattooed Area

Tattoo blowouts can be caused by scratching the tattooed area, which can cause the ink to spread out from its original design. If you get a new tattoo, it’s important to keep your hands off of it and avoid any unnecessary touching or scratching. Not only will this help prevent blowouts, but it will also help your tattoo to heal quicker and look better in the long run. [4]

Choose the Right Artist

The last and perhaps most important way to prevent a tattoo blowout is to choose the right artist. Look for an experienced professional who has experience in the style and size of tattoo you’re looking for. Ask to see their portfolio, get references from past clients, or even ask around at your local tattoo shop. Spending some time researching will help ensure that you’re getting the best possible tattoo experience. [4]

Remember, a good artist will take the time to answer all of your questions and go over the details of your design. They should also be willing to make adjustments if necessary to prevent any potential blowouts or complications with your tattoo in the future. [1]

Is a Tattoo Blowout Dangerous?

A tattoo blowout is not usually considered to be a dangerous situation, but it can cause discomfort and have negative effects on the appearance of your tattoo. For instance, the ink may spread outside of the outline, resulting in blurred lines or smudging. The area affected by the blowout may also become irritated and infected if not properly cared for. [3] 

When to Talk with A Pro?

If you’re thinking about getting a tattoo, it is important to speak with an experienced professional before committing to any design. Tattoo blowouts are more common than you think and can be avoided with the right artist for your particular style and skin. Talking with a pro about your ideas beforehand will help ensure that your tattoo looks its best and lasts as long as possible.

If you’re concerned that a tattoo blowout may occur, it is recommended to consult with an experienced artist who is familiar with your skin type and the particular design you are looking for. [1]

Tattoo Healing Signs

Bleeding, Swelling, and Inflammation.

When a tattoo is first applied, it’s normal to have some minor bleeding and swelling which should start to subside after the initial healing period of 4-7 days. After this time, you may also notice that your tattoo looks inflamed or redder than usual; this is due to the body’s natural healing process as it repairs the skin. The ideal healing time for a tattoo is 2-3 weeks, which should lead to less redness and swelling. [4]

Itching, Scabbing, and Tenderness

As your tattoo begins to heal, you may experience some itching or burning sensations. This is normal and should subside after a few days. Scabbing is also common; this occurs as the body sheds away the outer layer of skin that was damaged during the tattooing process. It’s important not to pick at any scabs that may form, as this can damage the tattoo and cause scarring.

You may also find that your tattoo is sore or tender to the touch during the healing process; if this is the case, you should try to keep it away from water and other irritants which could further aggravate it. [4]

Drying Out

Once the healing process is complete, you may find that your tattoo looks and feels dry or tight. This is due to the fact that it has lost a lot of its natural moisture in order to heal itself. To help keep your tattoo looking its best, you should apply a moisturizing lotion to keep it hydrated throughout the day; this will also make it easier to maintain over time. [4]

Is a Tattoo Blowout Dangerous?

How Long Will The Tattoo Healing Take?

The length of time it takes to heal a tattoo blowout varies, but generally speaking, you can expect the healing process to take anywhere between two and four weeks. During the healing process, your tattoo artist may suggest that you use a thin layer of ointment or cream over the area to maintain moisturization and help avoid any scabbing. Additionally, you should avoid exposing the area to direct sunlight and swimming or soaking it in water until it has had time to heal. [4]

Can I Mistake Healing For A Tattoo Blowout?

It can be easy to mistake the healing process for a tattoo blowout. When tattoos are fresh, they often look blurred and have uneven areas. This is normal with any new tattoo as the ink settles into your skin over time. You may also experience redness, swelling, tenderness, or scabbing in the area of your new tattoo.

However, a tattoo blowout is different in that it causes the ink to spread beyond its intended lines. This can result in an area of your tattoo that looks blurred or smudged. It’s important to note that a tattoo blowout will not heal on its own like regular swelling or scabbing–it needs to be corrected by a professional tattoo artist. [4]


Does a tattoo blowout go away?

The short answer is yes, a tattoo blowout does go away eventually. It usually takes several months for the lines to become less visible and for the pigmentation to fade. In some cases, it may take up to a year before the unwanted ink completely disappears from your skin.

Is a little tattoo blowout normal?

A little blowout is not uncommon in the process of getting a tattoo. It’s typically caused by incorrect needle depth or angle, and can often be fixed by your artist with additional touch-ups or shading work.

How do you prevent tattoo blowouts?

The best way to prevent a tattoo blowout is to do your research beforehand and find an experienced artist who uses the right equipment and techniques. You should also make sure that the stencil or drawing used for your tattoo is accurate and clean, with well-defined lines that match up correctly when traced onto your skin. Finally, talk to your artist about the depth and angle of their needle. The deeper the needle, the more likely a blowout is to occur.

How do you know if you have a blowout tattoo?

Generally, you’ll know if you have a blowout tattoo if the lines look blurry or distorted compared to the original design. The skin may be noticeably lighter or darker than expected in certain areas due to incorrect needle depth or angle. In addition, there may be an uneven amount of ink that has been dispersed throughout the affected area.

How do you know if you have a blowout tattoo?

What areas are prone to tattoo blowouts?

Areas of the skin with thin layers of tissue, like the wrist and ribs, are more prone to blowouts since they can be harder for a tattoo artist to control. This is because the needle may penetrate too deeply or at an incorrect angle, resulting in a blowout.

Do all fine-line tattoos blow out?

No, not all fine-line tattoos will blow out. If an experienced artist is using the correct equipment and techniques, a fine line can be done without any issues. However, it’s important to remember that even with the most experienced artist and best technique, there is still a chance that a tattoo blowout may occur.

Is tattoo blowout inevitable?

No, a tattoo blowout is not inevitable. It can be prevented with the right artist and techniques, as well as proper aftercare. If you’re worried about a potential blowout, it’s always best to research your artist thoroughly and make sure they have experience doing what you’re looking for and that they use the appropriate equipment. Additionally, following your artist’s aftercare instructions and regularly moisturizing can help to ensure that the lines of your tattoo stay crisp.

Do thin-line tattoos age well?

Yes, thin-line tattoos can age very well. The key is to find an experienced artist and make sure that the lines drawn on your skin are accurate and crisp. Additionally, following aftercare instructions and regularly moisturizing will help to keep your tattoo looking fresh for years to come.

Useful Video: Can You Fix Tattoo Blowout?


At the end of the day, a tattoo blowout is something that can happen. It’s important to be aware of your artist’s skill level, to choose the right design for your specific skin type, and to make sure you follow proper aftercare instructions in order to avoid any complications. If you do find yourself with a tattoo blowout, however, you don’t have to live with it forever. There are many safe and effective treatments available that can help correct and improve the appearance of your tattoo. So if you ever find yourself dealing with a tattoo blowout, remember that there is hope and that there are plenty of resources available to help you get back to your beautiful, unblemished ink.

We hope this article has been informative and helpful in understanding what a tattoo blowout is, how it happens, and what to do if you find yourself dealing with one. If you have any further questions or would like to learn more about other tattoo-related topics, feel free to reach out to us. We’d love to hear from you!


  1. https://www.healthline.com/health/body-modification/tattoo-blowout#takeaway
  2. https://authoritytattoo.com/tattoo-blowout/
  3. https://tattooing101.com/learn/guides/tattoo-blowout/
  4. https://www.savedtattoo.com/tattoo-blowout-or-still-healing/