Um, Why Is My Tattoo Turning Green? It's More Common Than You Think

There are so many reasons to get a tattoo. It can help define your individual nature, be a memorial to someone you've lost, and, let's be honest, can make you look super-cool. On the other hand, there are also a few reasons not to get the tattoo you've had in mind. For instance, your body art can eventually turn green. Yes, that's right, green. While it's not exactly ideal, it is more common than you might have assumed. That's because it occurs with perhaps the most popular color of ink that's used for tattoos. Jon Jon of Triple Diamond Tattoo told Bustle, "This only happens with black inks."

"It's simply the black ink being both absorbed by the body and fading over time, so there's less densely packed deposits of ink," Adal Ray of Majestic Tattoo NYC explained. How exactly this happens depends on various factors, such as the specific ink used for your tattoo. Jon Jon noted, "Every black ink is made differently, by different manufacturers with different base colors. There are blue blacks, gray blacks, black blacks, all types, and they will all age differently. Age of the tattoo, sun exposure, location, and ink brand all are factors in this."

Although you might be a little worried about what this means for the tattoos you already have or want to get, there are fortunately some ways to prevent — or at least delay — your tattoo from turning green.

Protect your tattoo to prevent color changes

In the same way that your skin will change over time, the same will happen to your tattoos. Of course, there are certain steps that you can take to keep them looking good for as long as possible. This includes preventing them from turning green.

First, if you haven't gotten the tattoo yet, then you might want to put a little extra thought into the placement. Although some areas of the body are rather protected, there are other spots where the tattoos won't age as well because they're more vulnerable. This is due to the fact that your clothes might be more likely to rub against the skin and cause the tattooed skin cells — and, in turn, the pigmented ink — to fall away, according to Custom Tattoo Design. If your tattoos are also in an exposed place on your body, you'll want to use a fair share of sunscreen or simply keep the ink covered when you're outside as the sun can cause your tattoos to fade and the color to gradually change.

While offering your tattoos this important TLC, you may indeed be able to hold on to the original color for quite a long time. However, if your tattoo does start to turn green, it's not the end of the world. A talented tattoo artist can swoop in to save the day and bring your tattoo back to life.

You can fix a tattoo that's gone green

If you take care of your tattoos, you can expect them to look fabulous for years to come. We're talking about a full decade or two if you're lucky, according to Authority Tattoo. Yet, there's no doubt that eventually, the permanent ink will succumb to time and change even if you've done whatever you can to keep them in ideal shape. Granted, that doesn't mean you have to simply accept having weirdly green body art for the rest of your life. Instead, you can have them fixed.

Along with dealing with any issues around the color, a tattoo artist will be able to redefine the images in your art by redoing any lines that have become blurry and redoing any shading that's faded away. While they may not be able to make your tattoo look exactly the way it did when it was first done, it will likely look much better than it would without a good touch-up.

Of course, in the same way you should always research the artist you choose to create your tattoos, you'll also want to look into the pro who might fix up your ink. After all, not all artists are willing or able to take on touch-ups, and you definitely want to work with someone who's experienced at dealing with aged tattoos that may be faded and blurry, or not to mention green.