Tattoos are increasingly popular, and many of us already have one or two. The decision to get a tattoo can be a big one and many of us spend a lot of time planning their next work of art. Unfortunately, tattoos may look great at first, but over time they may become worn and distorted. Often times, people don’t think about this when they pick a design, and the results are some hilarious tattoo fails. From faded art to distorted creations, keep scrolling to see these surprising images of how tattoos have worn over time.
The Not So Constant Tattoo
Finger tattoos are very appealing. They tend to look dainty and can easily be hidden if they are done on the inside of the fingers. However, any tattoo artist will confirm that fingers tend to be one of the areas that experience a lot of friction.
They constantly rub up against one another and other surfaces. This leads to skin shedding, which means any tattoos that were done there will fade a lot more quickly. These tattoos were photographed after six months, and the tattoos already need to be touched up.
The Case Of The Fading Finger Tattoo
Fine line tattoos and especially fine print tattoos are very in fashion right now. Celebrities like model Kaia Gerber and Kylie Jenner are huge fans of this minimalist look. This person decided to emulate them and get some words that are important to her tattooed on the inside of her finger.
The words, “Mischief managed” only lasted about six months and are the perfect example of why you should opt-out of ever getting a finger tattoo. There is no point spending money getting that area of your body tattooed if it is not going to last for at least a couple of years.
Fading Into The Past
Every tattoo has a special meaning to whoever has decided to get it. This little purple skull or alien or both must have something spacey attached to it. Perhaps this person dreams of interstellar travel and running into some purple extraterrestrials.
Color tattoos are tricky to get though, and maintaining the color is even harder. This tattoo is 14 years old now, and you can see that all of the purple has faded away. This has left the outline of the alien, but any color tattoo will need to be refilled after a few years. As far as aging tattoos go, this one can easily be retouched.
It seems the problem with most elaborate tattoos today is the shading. Because the ink is drawn onto the skin by multiple needles very lightly, over time the shading fades away.
This happens quite quickly and after a year, elaborate drawings and faces look terrible. Take this tattoo for instance. The baby once looked exactly like the real deal, but today not so much
The Ultimate Fan
Some people find bands that truly resonate with them. Maybe their music has helped them through a rough patch, or they just really like a certain band. For this person, that bad was Fall Out Boy. We’re not sure what part of their music resonated with them, but something must have because they decided to get the name of the band permanently placed on their body for the foreseeable future.
Darker colors tend to last longer than lighter ones, you just need to be sure to put sunscreen on them with a high SPF. This blue has faded a fair bit, but getting it all shaded in will be sure to sting a bit.
The All-Seeing Eye
One of the most popular tattoos is the all-seeing eye or the evil eye. This very basic tattoo was tattooed on the pad of this person’s finger, and it began to fade within a matter of weeks.
It is challenging to maintain these tattoos, especially in this area. We all use our hands constantly, whether it is tapping on a keyboard or using a smartphone. Luckily, the area where this tattoo is rarely seen, which means fading is less of an issue.
Do you remember the move, Neverending Story? Well, this person must have been a huge fan because they decided to get a rather large tattoo of the Auryn on their back.
While it looked great at first in just months things changed. Here is the thing about tattoos, over time the finer details tend to disappear, especially if you cheap out on the tattoo artist.
This once-mighty pegasus was supposed to have bursts of bright colors but over time this watercolor effect has faded considerably. While the blues have lasted a little longer, the other colors have faded almost completely.
The once bold black lines of the pegasus are now faded and blue from all the exposure to the sun. Now instead of a mighty stead, this back tattoo has become a hot mess. It might be time for a much-needed touch-up!
A Fine Line Planet
Fine line tattoos are easier to do in black ink, and that will last longer than colored ink. This fine line planet, which looks like it belongs in the Star Wars universe, has some steady line work.
Over time the ink did not spread and instead began to fade to grey. This happens to some tattoos when the lines begin to fall out. This can be fixed by a tattoo artist simply tattooing over the existing lines.
The Force Is Not With This One
Okay so this tattoo must have been quite a talking piece, after all having a lightsaber tattooed on your finger is pretty cool.
Trouble is the hands are not a great place for tattoos and soon this lightsaber will be gone completely. That’s pretty sad actually.
All Covered Up
Tattoos are subject to wear and tear, and one of the things that fade them the most is the sun. The penetrating rays can fade the ink in no time, and turn crisp black lines to blurred grey ones. This woman got an elaborate tattoo done the day before she broke her arm.
She assumed that the cast would protect the tattoo, but it actually worked to fade it during the six weeks she had it on. This is probably due to her arm sweating and rubbing against the cast.
The Rare Hairy Shark
Sharks are known for being the kings of the ocean. They swim around and brandish their menacing teeth at any fish who happen to swim their way during feeding time. A shark tattoo can be pretty imposing if it is done right.
This tattoo was done well, but as the hair on this person’s body grew in and covered the shark, it definitely did not look quite as good. Sometimes tattoos look better in areas that aren’t quite so hairy, like the upper arm.
Put A Bird On It
The television show Portlandia coined the phrase, “put a bird on it,” and this person decided to listen to it and get a nice sparrow tattooed on them. The darker line work was done well, but the shading on most of the body was very light.
After 4 years, there is not much left to be seen of this tattoo, and that is an indicator that it might not have been done very well. Lines fall out, but the whole tattoo shouldn’t fade into nothingness.
From Angie to Marilyn
This person originally got a picture of Angelina Jolie dressed as Marilyn Monroe’s iconic white dress. However after 4 years and plenty of wear and tear and sun damage it now looks more like Marilyn Monroe.
All the shaded details have rubbed off and poor Angelina is almost unrecognizable. It must be annoying to constantly have people comment on your Marilyn tattoo when it is really Angelina.
A Celtic Design
There are a lot of beautiful Celtic designs out there. This one was done very well. The linework is even and straight. All of the intricate knots can be seen, but over the next few years the ink began to bleed out. This is a common occurrence, and it tends to occur on tattoos with thick lines.
Sometimes if a tattoo needle punctures the skin too deeply, the ink can blow out, which can create this bleeded looking effect as well. The owner of this tattoo no longer loves it and is getting it removed by laser.
Faded From Memory
This person got this Tasmanian devil tattoo straight out of high school. After 10 years it was pretty badly faded, but after 15 it had almost disappeared.
The combination of a bad tattoo artist, weak color inks and lots of sun exposure meant that this tattoo didnt stand a chance. We guess if they leave it, it will just completely disappear. Poor Taz!
A Little Gecko
Most people complain that their tattoos faded too quickly, this person had the opposite complaint. Instead of a little gecko that faded away, this one darkened significantly over time.
There is a special aftercare product called Tattoo Goo, that some artists recommend to their clients. It makes the tattoo last a lot longer, and sometimes it causes the ink to bleed out. That is what happened to this one.
The Optical Illusion
At this point, you can see that getting tattoos on the palms of your hands or your fingers is not the best location. No matter how well you take care of them, they will fade very quickly.
It’s a lot of pain and money to go through for a tattoo that is not going to look very good after a month. This optical illusion tattoo is really cool, but as soon as this person started touching things and washing their hands, it began to fade.
Some of the tattoos that people decide on make people wonder why they got the tattoo in the first place. Upon close inspection, this looks like it could be a lipstick, or a very poorly tattooed lighter.
It looks like something that was not done by a professional, and that might be why the tattoo faded after a few weeks. It can barely be seen now, and honestly, that is probably for the best as it is not the nicest one we have seen.
The Sky’s The Limit
Okay, so it is pretty obvious from this tattoo that red shading just does not last. This once awesome skydiving tattoo is now looking a little sad.
After just 8 years this skydiving tattoo has completely changed and now it needs an urgent injection of color. It is also obvious that a lot of the finer details and lines have disappeared.
Fruit is quite popular, as everyone has a favorite one. Peaches, in particular, are the state fruit of Georgia, which is why this woman decided to get it tattooed on her heel.
She wanted a constant reminder of where she had come from, which is a nice sentiment. The only problem was that she had it done on her ankle. Like hands, ankles and feet see a lot of action. The movement from her sock and shoes caused the tattoo to rub off.
Feet Are A No Go
Feet truly are one of the worst places to get tattoos, even if they look really cool. Lots of people like to hide their tattoos, and that’s why feet are popular. All it takes are a pair of socks or some thick strapped sandals, and the tattoo is hidden.
However, those shoes are really going to rub at the tattoo. These hearts and a star tried to last, but simply couldn’t. No amount of cream can keep a foot tattoo in place.
It’s All In The Details
Memorial tattoos have a special meaning for the people who get them. That’s why its really sad when then tattoos become faded and distorted with time.
This person got a tattoo of their father to remember him once he had passed. But just a year later and dear old dad’s face had lost its detail and charm. According to this person they had to get several touchups to keep the tattoo looking good.
It seems even celebrity tattoos fade over time. Former Spice Girl Victoria Beckham was spotted out with her wrist tattoo looking very light. While some have argued that she may be in the process of having her tattoo removed, the area doesn’t show any of the tell-tale signs of laser removal.
While this is one of the first tattoos the pop star ever got, it is possible that her ink may just need a touch-up!
It’s Come Undone
Bows can make for adorable, dainty little tattoos. They can be placed around an upper thigh or like this person tattooed around one of their fingers. Like all finger tattoos, this one began to unravel within a week of being done.
The shading done inside the bow even faded, which is a bit odd since this bow was placed on top of the finger. It doesn’t see quite as much action as the underside of a hand, but it does get a lot of sun which is bad for it.
A lot of people have mottos they like to live by, like “Live, laugh, love.” This person’s was, “Do what makes you happy.” We guess they thought getting that saying tattooed on their fingers would make them happy, but as the words quickly faded into a whole lot of nothing, we bet they were anything but happy.
It’s one thing to get words done as a tattoo, and another to have just a few random words that look like gibberish left.
Color tattoos just don’t look very good after a few years. No matter what, they always have to be refilled as color ink just does not have the same staying power as black ink. This desert sunset started out looking very beautiful.
There was a lot of color variation, but over time the desert seemed to fade away, as did the cacti. If anything, this tattoo just looks like Mother Nature decided to reclaim the desert, just as she does in real life.
A Not So Fiery Lotus
Darker colors like blues, tend to stay in the skin while reds and yellows tend to fade very quickly. This double lotus hand tattoo was very vivid when it was first done, but now you will see that something is missing.
The fire on the right side hand is gone, and only the black outline remains. Luckily, for this person, the black linework has aged very well and can easily be refilled to restore it to its former glory.
Another great spot to get a tattoo is behind the ear. More often than not, the hair will hide it from the sun or from any prying eyes that shouldn’t see it. This little fish tattoo appears to be swimming up this woman’s hairline, but over the last decade, the vibrant oranges have faded to a yellow.
She’s ready to head to her trusted tattoo artist and get those colors shaded back in. The updated version will be just as beautiful as the original.