Tattoo Blowout Vs Normal Healing

  • Written By Dan Hunter on May 29, 2023
    Last Updated: May 29, 2023

After investing time and enduring pain for your new tattoo, it’s natural to anticipate its perfection. However, your tattoo may initially appear blurry or smudged, which can understandably induce panic. Rest assured, this isn’t necessarily cause for alarm, as it could be a part of the normal healing process rather than a dreaded tattoo blowout.

What Is a Tattoo Blowout?

A tattoo blowout is usually caused by incorrect technique during the procedure. It could be that the ink was applied too deep into the skin or too close to the surface. It could also be that the ink was applied at the wrong angle. When a tattoo blowout has been caused, ink can spread unevenly outside the original lines of the tattoo and giving it a smudged appearance.

However, you will need to wait until the tattoo has completely healed before deciding what can be done to fix the issue. It could be that your tattoo artist arranges a cover up or adds more shading to the tattoo to hide the blowout.

Tattoo Blowout or Healing: How to Tell the Difference

As your skin heals, bruising can appear around the area. This bruising is normal, but it can look very similar to a blowout until the area completely recovers.

Unfortunately, apart from going back to your tattoo artist, the only way to differentiate between bruising and a blowout is by waiting to see what happens to your tattoo.

If your skin is bruised due to the tattooing process, the discoloring will get better, and you will see the colors of the bruise fading after a few days. With a tattoo blowout, however, the ink will usually continue to spread beneath the surface, and you will be able to tell at this point what your circumstances are.

Why Does a Tattoo Blowout Happen?

Your skin is made up of many layers, and the way to get a perfect tattoo is to understand just how deep into the skin the ink needs to go. This is one of the reasons you need to ensure your tattoo artist is highly skilled at their job and knows what they’re doing.

A blowout commonly occurs when getting a tattoo on thinner skin and the ink is applied too deeply. The ink then bleeds into the space around the tattoo lines. It can work the same way when tattooing thicker skin or inserting the needles at the wrong angle.

A skilled and experienced tattoo artist will know the exact amount of pressure and angle to be used on different areas of the body.

Can a Blowout Be Fixed?

You will need to wait until the tattooed skin is completely healed before deciding what to do about the blowout. Waiting a while will allow you to see how bad it is and will dictate what solutions can be used to correct the problem.

A blowout can’t be fixed as such, but there are things that can be done to make it look better. 

If it’s a minor blowout, a tattoo artist may be able to add shading to the area to hide it. They may also be able to cover up the blowout by adding to the tattoo.

If the blowout is severe, the artist may decide it’s best to redo the entire tattoo, and as a last resort, you might decide to get laser surgery to remove the tattoo completely. This will take several sittings and can be costly.

Can a Tattoo Blowout Be Prevented?

There is never a guarantee that you won’t get a tattoo blowout. However, there are ways to prevent it.

You should only let a highly skilled and experienced tattoo artist work on your tattoo. Never take the risk of letting someone with little experience tattoo your body.

When the tattoo is healing, you should be careful not to stretch or pull the skin. This can encourage the ink to spread before it has set, causing a minor blowout in the process.


A healing tattoo might not be aesthetically pleasing, often appearing dry and scabbing with some possible bruising. However, if you notice what seems to be spreading ink beneath your skin, it’s important to reach out to your tattoo artist. They are best equipped to provide advice on preventative measures to halt further progression and guide you on potential solutions after it’s fully healed.

Remember, panicking won’t help if a tattoo blowout occurs; the process is irreversible once initiated. Your best course of action is patience, allowing the tattoo to heal, and subsequently assessing the extent of the blowout to see what can be done about it.

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