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Tattoo to cover stretch marks?

(23 Posts)
LittleOyster Wed 22-Feb-17 13:45:47

I got really, really bad stretch marks during my pregnancy with DD (4 yrs).

It's such a shame as, although I always disliked many parts of my body, I did have a lovely smooth flat tummy. It's still pretty slim and toned, but horribly marked and furrowed.

I'm going to spend the next 12 months dermarollering/oiling them, etc, but I realise that although this may affect a marginal improvement, my stretch marks are here to stay.

So I have started to think about getting a decorative tattoo to cover them. (I am not remotely alternative in my look, actually I'm really quite conservative, but hey - fuck it grin).

Has anyone done this? Did it work and were you pleased with the results? I don't want to make a bad mess worse!!

BusterGonad Wed 22-Feb-17 15:07:32

Apparently you can get stretch marks tattooed so the streaks blend in with your skin tone!

LittleOyster Wed 22-Feb-17 15:23:13

Ooh, thanks Buster, didn't realise that. I'll investigate.

KingJoffreysRestingCuntface Wed 22-Feb-17 15:26:03

I've had 13 year old stretch marks tattooed over.

Just a warning, it does hurt. Not trying to put you off, just want to prepare you.

But, yes. They can be tattooed and take the ink as well as normal skin.

specialsubject Wed 22-Feb-17 16:24:28

Oil and rollers will do nothing, packaging carefully worded to lie. Will either go naturally or not.

VivienneWestwoodsKnickers Wed 22-Feb-17 16:26:07

Home derma rolling? Any good for faces etc?

LittleOyster Wed 22-Feb-17 20:56:50

That's really interesting to know Joffreys - thanks. Would you mind saying if the stretch marks you had tattooed were as a result of pregnancy? I ask because my pregnancy ones are way, way worse than the ones I got in puberty.

Vivienne, I believe some people do dermaroller their faces and are pleased with results. Trinny Woodal advocates it on her YouTube channel.

notMarlene Wed 22-Feb-17 21:21:14

Are you absolutely certain that you don't want to have any more children? That's a pretty vital consideration.

I've been tattooed over pregnancy stretch marks and crepiness, the results are brilliant. Totally worth it. Tattooing has a firming effect too, I'm sure of it. Noticed it with my bingo wings too.

Tattooing is always painful, the stomach is a tender spot place and stretch marks are always more painful than undamaged skin. It really hurts. OTOH compared to pregnancy and birth it's just a relaxing afternoon.

Damaged skin is technically challenging though, It needs a competent, experienced tattooist. There are an awful lot of very bad tattooists about.

Chippednailvarnishing Wed 22-Feb-17 21:29:04

I've been thinking about this! How did you find a good tattooist not?

LittleOyster Wed 22-Feb-17 21:42:50

Yes, definitely won't be reproducing again, so a tattoo's unlikely to get messed up unless I just happen to put on a load of weight.

It's really interesting and encouraging to hear about your experiences, Marlene. I guess the needles stimulate some extra collagen production then?

Would you mind saying roughly how expensive this kind of thing is, in your experience?

notMarlene Wed 22-Feb-17 22:33:42

A reasonable range of weight gain / loss really doesn't negatively effect the look of a properly done tattoo at all. A good tattooist will take the changing nature of the human body fully into account in the design and placement, given half a chance. It's the speed of change with pregnancy and risk of csection that'd be the problems, rather than the actual change in size.
Sorry that my question was so awfully insensitively phrased. Could have kicked myself after I posted that

I'd expect to pay 100 - 120 euros an hour. AFAIK uk rates are comparable. Some very well known artists will charge more, but that doesn't really mean anything in terms of added quality at all. So, yeah, it's not cheap. That said, all the work I've had done has been to badly damaged skin. I look on it as a sort of cosmetic surgery, almost. Comparing things from that angle the pricing and pain levels seem quite reasonable really gin

Chipped - Some good luck and research. Tonnes of research. I started by looking on pinterest a lot, then walking into a decent seeming, localish tattoo place and asking (what turned out to be) daft questions. Got some odd looks but some very good advice too, so I followed all that up and took it from there really.

So, why tattoos look like tattoos IYSWIM, black lining and all. is important to know. Why some age well and others don't. A bit of tattoo art history and general looking at loads of tattoos. Then you realise that the quality of most of the tattoos about IRL and in the media is utterly abysmal.

Once you've gravitated to a style or two then the job is to be able to reliably differentiate between a good portfolio and a sub standard one. Then to filter down to a few people to get in touch with. I was able to find someone within easy traveling distance, but I'd certainly have traveled much further if needs be.

Margot Mifflin’s “Bodies of Subversion: A Secret History of Women and Tattoo,” is a great book.

KingJoffreysRestingCuntface Thu 23-Feb-17 06:17:49

Oh, yes.

Pregnancy stretch marks. Really bad ones. But they were old, DS is 13. I don't know if the age of the stretch marks makes a difference.

LittleOyster Thu 23-Feb-17 10:48:26

Thanks, Marlene, for such an informative answer. No worries about the future pregnancies thing: it's not a sensitive topic for me. smile Did you go somewhere in the south of England? That's where I live, and I'm wondering if I should ask the name of your tattooist?!

Thanks also, Joffreys. My understanding is that, once they've had a few years to settle down, it makes no difference how old they are. Are you pleased with the results?

LittleOyster Thu 23-Feb-17 10:48:36

Thanks, Marlene, for such an informative answer. No worries about the future pregnancies thing: it's not a sensitive topic for me. smile Did you go somewhere in the south of England? That's where I live, and I'm wondering if I should ask the name of your tattooist?!

Thanks also, Joffreys. My understanding is that, once they've had a few years to settle down, it makes no difference how old they are. Are you pleased with the results?

notMarlene Thu 23-Feb-17 10:56:09

I'm not in the UK but I could probably reccomend a few people down south. Depends what sort of style you have in mind!

KingJoffreysRestingCuntface Thu 23-Feb-17 12:21:43


It's a tattoo of a Skylanders with DS's writing above it. It's freaking epic!

But, yes. Looks as good as my other tattoos.

LittleOyster Thu 23-Feb-17 15:09:06

That sounds great, Joffreys, what a lovely idea, to reference DS.

I'm afraid I don't really have much idea of what would look good, Marlene. Until recently, I had never considered getting a tattoo. I think I'd probably like something very simple, like a band of roses. I'm wary of getting something too trendy that'll date quickly.

I've been trying to get ideas by googling 'tattoo to cover stretch marks', but most of the images are of tiny 20 year old who look as they probably only had a few to cover.

I think I need to do as you suggest, Marlene and give it some serious attention. May start with that book you suggested.

LittleOyster Thu 23-Feb-17 15:12:03

Ps. Meant to ask: how long did you research/consider for before you took the plunge and got it done?

Chippednailvarnishing Thu 23-Feb-17 20:11:54

Ahh, I think I got my wires crossed. I thought you were wanting this type of tattoo !

notMarlene Thu 23-Feb-17 20:13:27

I started off with covering extensive scarring on my arm, so really quite a public area. Vaugely considered having that tattooed on and off for ages (years). When I finally decided to go for it I probably researched for 3-4 months before I made an appointment. Then there was a 3 month waiting list to wait through. Joy. Used that time to obsess a bit more and sort out my reference material. It was well worth it, I'm so happy with how it's all turned out.

Stomach tattoo I considered for almost 30 seconds. Saw a drawing my tattooist posted on Instagram one day and knew what I wanted to do straight away.

notMarlene Thu 23-Feb-17 20:35:04

Yeah. Unfortunately That sort of thing is a bit shite in the long term, chipped. Pretty much a recipe for disappointment.

A persons exact skin colour isn't stable in the short, medium or long term. blood flow levels, sun exposure and ageing change it, obviously.

Ink isn't entirely stable within the skin - it spreads and fades with time. Like a very, very slow water colour painting really. Pale coloured inks fade pretty quickly compared to stronger colours and black. They're prone to changing subtly within the first year or so in the skin too.

None of those things are a problem within traditional tattooing 'cause they take qualities of the skin, the ink and the effects of the passage of time into account.

LittleOyster Fri 24-Feb-17 11:07:38

That's interesting, Marlene. Sounds as though I have a fair bit of thinking still to do.

Here are some pictures of the kind of thing I was thinking of.

notMarlene Fri 24-Feb-17 22:25:40

Really long again, sorry. I do tend to go on about it all, given half an excuse blush

Roses are always a great subject for a tattoo, lovely! You've got 3 pretty different styles there but I get the placement you're after. You really don't need heavy or blocky coverage for stretch marks, the tattooing distracts from them entirely even with light / partial coverage in some areas.

So, erm. Yeah.

Tattoo #1 is an a cover-up in progress, probably about 1/2 way done. You can see the old tattoo through the line work - under the butterfly and lily on the left and under the butterfly on the right too. Actually it's showing through the finished colour work as well, which is a shame. The line work looks solid enough (although the picture is showing very small here) but the shading and use of colour in the flowers is a bit of a disaster.

The general style they seem to be aiming for is quite modern - this sort of thing. This, in a related but more abstract style, is bigger but has some lovely movement. It's clearly not flowers but you can see how the flow and shape of the piece work with the body rather than jarring against it. So, despite being bigger it's much 'lighter' on the body than the example.

#2 is a cover-up of an older tattoo too. It's an adequate tattoo, not excellent but pretty much OK. Maybe apprentice level, although they'd usually stick to smaller work and not do cover-ups. Colour saturation could be better. It'd look a lot better if it'd been given room to breath IYSWIM, it's very squished up and blocky. Probably got more to do with the client's choice than the tattooist though, to be fair. I'd not let they person who did it tattoo me though.

Is very much traditional in essence - as in it's a tattoo that looks like a tattoo IYSWIM. this sort of thing. here too. "Traditional" is a pretty broad church in tattooing. The basic style of tattoo is traditional for a lot of good reasons though.

this is maybe between #1 & #2 in terms of style but lighter and with more movement again.

#3 is unfinished and really nasty work. Done-In-A-Filthy-Kitchen-Without-Gloves level. Can it be roses? I think lotus flowers? Water lilies? Maybe even Japanese style peonies actually, looking at the straggly bits that might be intended to be "waves". It's less squished and blocky than the first two though. I just cant make a stab at what sort of style it's after being. Lightly shaded, illustrative stuff can be lovely though. here too. It's a style that should age nicely.

You absolutely don't need to find an example of the exact tattoo you want. Absolutely not. 'Just' a clear idea of the subject(s) and placement and a competent tattooist you feel comfortable with and can trust. Oh yeah, and to be prepared to listen to them and take their advice. Key that.

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