Have you gotten a new tattoo in the past few days and are now concerned about its color? Sometimes tattoos done with black ink appear to be blue while they are healing – but is it normal for a new tattoo to look blue? Now, what do you do?
Most of the time, when a new tattoo with black ink is healing, it will look blue while the skin over the ink heals. The tattoo will heal and be completely black again if this is the case. You will need to talk to your artist if the ink remains blue after healing, as this is not normal.
As alarming as it may be to have your beautiful new “love, live, laugh” tattoo all of a sudden be blue one morning, there is no need to panic just yet since there any many reasons this could be happening. Let us look at what you can do if this happens.
Is It Normal For A New Tattoo To Look Blue?
As weird as it may seem to have your brand new tattoo that was done with black ink now look blue as it heals, it is completely normal.
As your tattoo heals, new layers of skin form over the ink, and at the same time, your tattoo may start to scab a little.
This problem is almost exclusive to people with lighter skin tones instead of darker skin tones because it is the new layer of light skin that covers the ink during healing that gives the black ink its blue appearance.
But that means that you can take a deep breath again, because thankfully, not only is it completely normal for your black tattoo to look blue when healing, it is also temporary.
Your new tattoo will go back to looking fresh and black after it has finished healing, and you can go back to showing it off to the world.
People with a darker skin tone may experience a very similar thing while their tattoo with black ink heals, but it will usually appear grey instead of blue. However, this is the exact same situation, so once again, it is completely temporary.
Why Is My New Tattoo Blue?
Okay, so your new tattoo looks blue, now what?
The first thing you will have to do is wait it out, unfortunately. Since there is a very high chance that your tattoo only looks blue because of the healing process taking place, the best thing to do would be to first wait out the healing process.
If three or four weeks have passed since you have gotten your tattoo, and the healing is finished, and your tattoo still looks blue, that is when you can start looking at what step to take next, as now you will need to correct the color.
The first step to take now is to find out what might have caused your tattoo ink to look blue; here are a few examples of why this may have happened:
Your tattoo artist may have used cheap, low-quality ink when working on your tattoo. Cheap inks have been known to fade quickly, and this means that while your tattoo was healing, the scabbing process may have been enough for the black ink to fade into a blue.
The ink that the artist was using may have even been a very dark blue instead of a black, and as it healed and lightened up, its true colors came through.
Before getting a tattoo, no matter where you go to get it done, always be sure that your artist is using good quality ink, or you will be disappointed in the vibrancy and quality of your tattoo in the months and years to come.
Infection In Your Tattoo
Your tattoo may have become infected while it was healing. If your tattoo becomes infected while it is healing, this will often lead to a loss of ink and detail.
When your tattoo becomes infected, your body treats it as it would any infected area of skin – push the toxins/infection out.
This means that if your tattoo had an infection in it during the healing process, it most likely lost a lot of ink as the body worked on healing the area of infection and thus pushed out the ink as well as the bacteria, germs, and puss in an effort to “clean” out the area.
If this was the case, your tattoo will look blue and possibly very faded due to so much of the ink that gave it its detail and color now being gone.
Poor aftercare of your tattoo will almost always lead to a faded tattoo. If you do not give attention to a wound, it will generally either get worse or heal badly – well, since your tattoo is just one big open wound, you can expect the same result.
If you did not take proper aftercare of your tattoo while it was healing, there is a very high chance that your tattoo will not look as great as it should have.
The reason for this can be due to things such as bad scarring – your tattoo may look blue now because where your skin was trying to heal itself, without any assistance, it ended up scarring.
This will have caused a thick layer of skin over your tattoo, causing any ink there to look far less vibrant than it would have had your skin healed properly with only a thin layer of skin over the ink.
Sun Exposure During Healing
If your new tattoo was exposed to direct sunlight, without any sunscreen on it, while it was busy healing, the UV rays of the sun might have broken down some of the pigment of the ink in your tattoo.
The sun can be very damaging to a tattoo if there is no protection on it, especially if it is a new tattoo and the skin has not healed properly yet, because there will be nothing protecting the ink from being broken down.
What Can I Do About My Tattoo Looking Blue?
Okay, so my tattoo is blue due to damage and not just because it is healing, now what can I do?
The best possible thing you can do for your tattoo that has gone blue due to poor quality ink or negligence is to go back to your tattoo artist.
Your tattoo artist will be able to assess the level of damage done to the tattoo and will be able to help you think of the solution to this problem.
Depending on how bad the damage is and how large your tattoo is, your artist may be able to retouch your tattoo, going over it again with a good quality black tattoo ink, and correct the color in your blue tattoo.
If your artist feels this is not a good solution for whatever reason, you may need to have your blue tattoo covered up. You would then choose a new design with your tattoo artist, and they will cover up your blue tattoo with black ink and possibly even some color.
As a final resort, you may choose to have the tattoo removed with tattoo laser removal surgery – this will usually only be for extreme cases where there is nothing that a tattoo artist can do to help.
Some of my favourite designs, tattoo books and aftercare products, selected for you
Thank you for reading my article, I hope that you have found it helpful. If you would have trouble finding ideas for your tattoo, wonder what is meaning of design that you have found or what to buy for aftercare, to make sure that your tattoo will be healing quickly and easily, here are some of my favorite products in one place, hope that this will also help.
Deasign and tattoo ideas
For some ideas you can have a look at those 3 books with hundreds of designs that I use with my Clients, they are available on Amazon for Kindle or in classic, paper version (links below):
- Great Book of Tattoo Designs, Revised Edition: More than 500 Body Art Designs (Fox Chapel Publishing) Fantasy, Celtic, Floral, Wildlife, and Symbol Designs for the Skin by Lora Irish,
- The Big Book of Small Tattoos – Vol.1: 400 small original tattoos for women and men by Roberto Gemori,
- Tiny Tattoos: Over 1,000 Small Inspirational Artworks by Rebecca Vincent.
If you would like to read more about the meaning of different tattoo styles and designs before you will decide what you would like to have, I can recommend a book that was really useful for me when I was starting my tattoo adventure – it’s “Conscious Ink: The Hidden Meaning of Tattoos” by Lisa Barretta (through the link you can find it on Amazon for around $10).
The skin at the tattoo site often dries out. To prevent it and speed up healing for my Clients, I usually recommend one of those tattoo aftercare balms (you can find them on Amazon):
Looking for more info about tattoos? I might have them covered!
I have written almost 100 articles about tattooing – with details about each body part, problems that you might have with your tattoo, designs, styles, aftercare, and much more.
Have a look at the search option and see if you can find what you need here.
A lot of the time, your new tattoo looking blue is actually not a big deal and is actually very normal. Patience is key when assessing if your tattoo is just healing or if there is something bigger going on.
As you wait to see what the situation with your particular tattoo is, though, be sure to take excellent care of your tattoo. Wash it twice a day with gentle, antibacterial soap, and use the aftercare lotion or balm that your tattoo artist has suggested that you use, just as they have instructed you to use it, and do this diligently. This will make very sure that there is no damage, or further damage, done to your tattoo as you wait.
More often than not, it is simply your tattoo healing, but in case it is not, it is good practice to always take care of your tattoo diligently as it heals – blue or not.