Why Is My Tattoo Fading to White? Uncovering the Causes of Tattoo Discoloration

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Are you wondering why your new tattoo is fading to white? If so, you’re not alone. Many people are noticing that their tattoos are turning white and are wondering what is causing this. Fortunately, there are several potential causes for why your tattoo is fading to white, and this article will provide the answers. Read on to learn more about why your tattoo is white and how to prevent further fading.


What Causes Tattoos to Fade to White?

What Causes Tattoos To Fade To White?

Sun Exposure

One of the most common causes of tattoos fading to white is sun exposure. Prolonged and unprotected exposure to UV rays can cause the colors in a tattoo to fade, resulting in a white appearance.

Poor Aftercare

Tattoos require good aftercare in order to remain vibrant and protected from fading. If aftercare instructions are not followed, such as leaving the tattoo to air dry or not moisturizing it properly, this can cause the colors to fade and the tattoo to eventually turn white.

Low Quality Ink

Low quality ink can also contribute to tattoos fading to white. Low quality inks are not as vibrant and tend to break down faster than quality inks, leading to fading and eventually turning white.

Incorrect Positioning of Tattoo

Tattoos that are not positioned correctly on the body can also lead to fading. Areas of the body that are more exposed to friction, like the hips and ankles, are more prone to fading and can cause the colors in the tattoo to turn white over time.

Poor Immune System

The immune system plays an important role in the health of tattoos, and if it is weakened, it can lead to tattoos fading to white. A weakened immune system can cause the body to reject the ink, resulting in fading and eventual discoloration.

How to Prevent Tattoos from Fading to White

Sun Protection

Tattoos are exposed to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays, which can cause the colors to fade to white over time. To prevent this, it is important to apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher every day.


It is important to follow the aftercare instructions given by the tattoo artist. This will help the tattoo heal properly and maintain its color. Aftercare instructions may include cleaning the tattoo with a mild soap and water, applying a thin layer of lotion and avoiding direct sunlight.

Quality Ink

Using quality ink can help prevent tattoos from fading. Quality inks are designed to last longer and resist fading better than generic inks.

Correct Positioning

Tattoos that are placed in areas of the body that are exposed to the sun, such as the arms and legs, may be more prone to fading over time. To reduce the risk of fading, tattoos should be placed in areas of the body that are not exposed to the sun.

Boosting Immune System

A healthy immune system can help prevent tattoos from fading. Eating a balanced diet, getting adequate sleep and exercising regularly can help boost the immune system and maintain the color of the tattoo.

Frequently Asked Questions

How soon after getting a new tattoo can I expect it to start fading?

  • Immediately: In the first few weeks of having a new tattoo, it is normal to experience minor fading. This is because the top layer of skin is still healing, and this can cause the ink to fade.
  • Months: After the initial healing process, it is expected for a tattoo to start fading within months. The rate of fading depends on what type of ink was used and how often the tattoo is exposed to sunlight.
  • Years: Over time, tattoos continue to fade, and this can take years. This is especially true if the tattoo is exposed to UV light, which causes the colors to fade faster.

It is important to note that different types of ink will fade at different rates. So, it is best to consult with your tattoo artist about what type of ink will work best for your particular tattoo. Additionally, taking care of your tattoo and protecting it from the sun will help to slow down the fading process.

Is there anything I can do to help prevent my tattoo from fading?

SUN PROTECTION: Wear sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. Long-sleeved shirts, hats, and sunglasses can also help protect tattoos from sun exposure, which can cause fading.
MOISTURIZING: Keeping tattoos moisturized is essential for preventing fading. Choose a moisturizing cream specifically designed for tattoos and apply it regularly.
AVOIDING IRRITANTS: Avoid swimming in chlorinated pools, hot tubs, and the ocean, as these can all irritate the skin and cause fading.
CLEANING: Clean your tattoo regularly with a mild soap and lukewarm water. This will help remove any dirt or bacteria that can cause fading.

What Causes My New Tattoo to Fade to White?

Tattoo fading to white is a common occurrence, usually due to the use of poor quality ink and/or improper tattooing techniques. Sun exposure, swimming, and not following aftercare instructions can also contribute to a tattoo fading to white. Poor quality inks can contain impurities that break down the pigments of the ink and cause it to fade. Improper tattooing techniques can cause the ink to be too shallowly placed in the skin, leading to premature fading. Sun exposure, swimming, and not following aftercare instructions can also cause tattoos to fade prematurely.

Will Different Colors Fade at Different Rates?

Yes, different colors can fade at different rates. Depending on the color, some may hold on to their pigment longer than others. Darker colors such as black, blue, and green tend to hold onto their hue better than lighter colors like yellow, pink, and orange. Even within the same color, different pigments and shades can fade at different rates. To maintain the color of your tattoo, look for an ink brand that is specifically designed to resist fading.

Are there any medical conditions that could be causing my tattoo to fade?

Fading tattoos can be caused by certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, anemia, lupus, and psoriasis. These conditions can cause the immune system to attack the pigment particles of the tattoo, resulting in a faded tattoo. It is important to consult with a doctor to ensure any health conditions are being managed properly to prevent further fading.


Tattoos can fade to white due to a variety of factors, including sun exposure, age, low-quality ink, and improper aftercare. To ensure that your tattoo stays vibrant and clear, use high-quality ink, protect it from the sun, and follow your tattoo artist’s aftercare instructions.


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