Do Bicep Tattoos Stretch If You Gain Muscle? Here’s What to Know

Are you worried your newfound love for weightlifting will stretch your bicep tattoo? Does this mean you should avoid gaining muscle? Not at all!

In the past few years, more people have become interested in getting tattoos as a way to show their uniqueness. This is particularly true for the fitness and sports industry. Bicep and sleeve tattoos are very popular among people interested in fitness; however, you could be concerned about your bicep tattoos stretching if you build muscle.

A bicep tattoo can stretch or develop deformities due to a few different circumstances. Increases in muscle mass shouldn’t cause a bicep tattoo to stretch if it is done gradually over time. As your skin stretches, the tattoo’s size may enlarge; however, it should still stay proportionate.

Other than muscle growth, numerous other things could make a bicep tattoo stretch. It is possible to stop your bicep tattoo from expanding as you develop your muscles- in fact, there are quite a few things that can help.

Why do Tattoos Stretch?

There’s no guarantee that tattoos will stretch, but they can.

A tattoo will stretch along with the skin it is on if the skin stretches. The appearance of the tattoo can be affected by factors such as how much the skin stretches and how fast it stretches.

Your skin (and the tattoo along with it) can stretch for a few reasons, read on to find out more.

What Does a Stretched Tattoo Look Like?

The tattoo’s pattern will often remain proportionate as it moves with the skin. This implies that even if you build muscle, it should basically look the same. If anything is going to change your bicep ink, it’s stretch marks, not gaining muscle.

What Causes Bicep Tattoos to Stretch?

A bicep tattoo shouldn’t stretch if you build muscle gradually, but it might if there are any rapid alterations. A bicep tattoo will expand if you suddenly gain muscle or weight, for example. Similarly, if your bicep size suddenly grows, your skin will expand, and your tattoo will move with it.

The skin will still have time to stretch while maintaining its suppleness if you gradually build muscle or weight in your bicep. Your bicep’s skin functions somewhat like a balloon. The material of the balloon is still elastic and can expand in size if you gradually inflate it. Imagine, nevertheless, that you suddenly fill the balloon with air. The material won’t stay flexible in this situation, and the balloon will eventually pop.

If your balloon has any writing on it, it will progressively get bigger along with the balloon. However, the writing will also smear if the balloon pops. Therefore, even though the skin won’t break if the size of your bicep changes rapidly, stretch marks may still appear.

Unfortunately, if you abruptly develop muscular mass or weight, you can expect to get stretch marks on your biceps. Stretch marks alter the way tattoos look by changing their contour or even causing ink to bleed.

Additionally, some people develop stretch marks more easily than others. If this is the case, you may want to think again about getting a bicep tattoo or give serious thought to where you’re going to put your bicep tattoo.

Luckily, there are certain techniques to stop the tattoos and skin on your biceps from stretching if you put on weight.

How to Fix a Stretched Bicep Tattoo

It is advised to schedule a consultation with a tattoo artist to repair your tattoo if stretch marks have developed on your bicep or if your skin stretched out rapidly and you notice that it is impacting how your tattoo looks.

Your tattoo can typically be touched up by your tattoo artist. They will correct any lines or sections that appear distorted and fill in gaps in the ink that might have developed. The tattooist might also advise you to get a cover-up if the bicep tattoo is seriously distorted or if there are excessive stretch marks in the tattoo region.

If you do this, the existing tattoo is covered with a fresh one to conceal any stretch marks or deformities that have developed. Nevertheless, a cover-up tattoo is often very pricey. In addition, the cover-up might have the same issues if you regain muscle rapidly in the future.

As a result, it is advisable to take the necessary precautions to make sure your bicep tattoo doesn’t expand or change shape as you gain muscles. You must take care of a cover-up or touch-up tattoo to make sure it stays in excellent condition.

How Can You Prevent Your Bicep Tattoo from Stretching?

You might have guessed it from reading the paragraphs above, but the first tip for preventing your bicep tattoo from losing its shape or stretching if you build muscle is to take it slow.

Your bicep tattoo shouldn’t be affected in any manner as long as the skin has time to stretch while still being elastic. The easiest technique to avoid stretch marks is to add muscle to your biceps gradually or at a normal rate. Stretch marks can significantly damage or change a tattoo. Therefore, you should do everything in your power to prevent them.

You can take extra steps to prevent stretch marks from developing and keep your bicep tattoo in perfect condition in addition to building muscle at an average rate. The easiest way to achieve this is to apply tissue oil or frequently moisturize any parts of the body where your skin might stretch.

Tattoos and Stretch Marks

Stretch marks can be avoided by regularly applying tissue oil to your biceps, which will help keep the skin elastic. Additionally, it will prevent the tattoo from stretching, changing shape, or fading.

Your skin has to stay elastic while your muscles develop in order for the skin to be able to contract again without getting saggy. Skin that loses its elasticity often results in saggy skin, which is why many individuals who lose a lot of weight have to deal with sagging or loose skin.

While you might not want to lose the muscle in your biceps that you have added, keeping your skin supple is a fantastic approach to make sure that your skin and any tattoos on it stay in good condition as your body evolves.

The skin is kept supple by mineral oils, tissue oil, and premium moisturizers. It can then adjust to any increases in muscle or weight in your biceps.

Furthermore, the trick is to start applying tissue oil as soon as you start gaining muscle as this will lessen the chance of stretch marks developing. It will be more difficult to remove stretch marks with tissue oil if you wait until they already appear on your biceps.

If you wait too long to apply tissue oil, you’ll develop stretch marks on your bicep which will deform your tattoo. However, if this is the case, you can still fix the tattoo.

The Final Verdict

Your bicep tattoo shouldn’t stretch if your muscles build slowly and if you can keep your skin elastic during the process. Stretch marks, however, might affect a bicep tattoo because they are a result of rapid muscular growth. To avoid stretch marks and ensure the best possible appearance of your tattoo, use tissue oil.

Additionally, you can get your bicep tattoo touched up or get a cover-up done at a tattoo shop if it has stretched out or has lost its shape. If you take appropriate care of your bicep tattoo, it shouldn’t stretch and will continue to look great. The point is that you shouldn’t be afraid to get a bicep tattoo out of concern that it will stretch as your muscles develop!

Sources: 

  1. Palma L, et al. (2015). Dietary water affects human skin hydration and biomechanics.
    ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4529263
  2. Yazdanparast T, et al. (2019). Cigarettes smoking and skin: A comparison study of the biophysical properties of skin in smokers and non-smokers.
    ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7230126