Tattooing Mature Skin
For the most part, tattooing mature skin is not much different from tattooing younger skin. There are some subtle, yet very crucial, differences though that an experienced and skilled artist should be able to navigate. Also keep in mind that as with any body-modification procedure, tattooing can come with some potential risks and contraindications (especially for those with certain medical conditions) that the tattoo artist and the client should be aware of.
Thin and Fragile Skin: As we age, our skin becomes thinner and more fragile, which can make it more susceptible to tearing during the tattooing process. It is important to be cautious and use a lighter hand when tattooing older skin to avoid causing any damage and to avoid driving pigment too deep into the skin which can result in unsightly blow-outs and ink that spreads. Keep in mind, even a skilled artist’s work on loose and/or wrinkled skin can result in ink that spreads–especially over time as your skin continues to age and lose elasticity.
Skin Sensitivity: Mature skin can be more sensitive and prone to irritation, which can increase the risk of an allergic reaction or infection. Tattoo artists should always use high-quality, sterile equipment and follow strict hygiene practices to reduce the risk of infection. Clients need to be diligent with aftercare—improper aftercare and not adhering to the restrictions your tattoo artist outlines for you is the top cause of infections. You have an open wound on your body, and you must treat it that way.
Medical Conditions: As we age, we can develop medical conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, or autoimmune disorders that can affect our body’s healing process. It is important to discuss any medical conditions or medications with a healthcare provider before getting a tattoo, and inform your tattoo artist before the appointment as well.
Skin Conditions: Mature skin may also be more prone to skin conditions such as eczema or psoriasis, which can be worsened by the tattooing process. It is important to avoid tattooing over areas with active skin conditions or open wounds.
Slower Healing: As mentioned earlier, the healing process and aftercare is the riskiest point for infection or irritation of the tattoo. Mature skin may take longer to heal, which leaves the wound vulnerable to infection. It is important to follow proper aftercare instructions and keep the tattoo clean and moisturized during the healing process, even if it takes longer than you may expect.
Tattooing mature skin can be done safely, with beautiful results, but it is important to be aware of the potential risks and contraindications. It is essential to discuss any concerns with a healthcare provider and choose a reputable tattoo artist who follows strict hygiene practices. You should also make sure that you fully understand and adhere to the aftercare instructions provided by the artist for optimal healing and color retention.