Tattoo Lines Thicker After Healing: How To Fix It?

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Getting a tattoo is always going to involve some element of risk. Having a tattoo that didn’t turn out the way you want it really sucks. If you’re reading this article, then maybe your tattoo lines are thicker after healing than you would like.

If you’re in this situation, the first thing you need to do is to understand what thick tattoo lines are and what causes them.

When tattoo lines become distorted while healing it’s usually caused by something called “tattoo blowout”. This happens when the ink is injected too deep in the skin. Tattoos with blowout can look blurry or stretched.

In this article we’ll go over the root causes of thick tattoo lines and what your options are for fixing them. By the end of the article you will have a good idea how tattoo blowout can be dealt with.

Why Are My Tattoo Lines Thicker?

It’s important to figure out the root cause that resulted in the thick tattoo lines. If you’re aware of how it happened, you can prevent it from happening in future tattoos. Since tattoos are considered permanent, prevention is the key here. If you have thick tattoo lines, don’t worry there’s hope!

Generally, thicker tattoo lines are the result of an inexperienced tattoo artist. This is called tattoo blowout, and is the result of the artist using poor technique. Tattoo blowout is caused by the artist using too much pressure while they tattoo your skin. The ink ends up getting injected too deep into the skin and might even be deposited into the subcutaneous fat layer. If this happens it will spread within the skin. The end result is tattoo blowout which distorts and blurs the tattoo.

In order to prevent getting tattoo blowout in the future, it’s crucial to vet the tattoo artist thoroughly. Every tattoo artist should have a portfolio on social media. Also ask to see their portfolio when you visit their shop. Lastly, make sure to search their name on Google to check for reviews of their work.

Related: How to find a good tattoo artist

Another cause of thick tattoo lines is a problem with the design. The design is probably the most important aspect of getting a tattoo. Your tattoo artist will assist you in the size and placement of your tattoo design. However, a good design is dependent on the skill of the specific artist.

The most important thing to remember about the tattoo design is that it must have the correct ratios. Any skilled tattoo artist will be familiar with the correct ratios that are necessary to translate the tattoo design onto the skin.

However, if the design is outsourced it may not translate onto the skin as well if the designer is not experienced enough.

There are situations where the tattoo artist will tell you that the lines in a tattoo design will have to be bigger. Usually, the tattoo artist will print out a couple different sizes of the design that you can choose from.

They will usually advise you about the pros and cons regarding the different sizes. If they don’t do this, the tattoo might not look the same once on the skin, because there’s a limit to how fine the lines can be. The end result in this situation is a blurry tattoo.

The placement of the tattoo is also very important. Getting a tattoo on a body part with thin skin (like behind the ear), will not only hurt more, but also increase the risk of the tattoo not healing properly. An experienced tattoo artist will warn you about all this before getting the tattoo.

How to Fix Thick Tattoo Lines

When it comes to fixing thick tattoo lines you pretty much have two options.

Tattoo Coverup

Tattoo coverups are something that is becoming more and more popular. If you have some tattoo blowout, or just want to fix a bad tattoo design that wasn’t your fault, getting a tattoo coverup might be the right move.

After doing your due diligence vetting many tattoo artists, book a consult with the one you like the most. They should be able to answer all your questions. If the tattoo that you want to coverup was recent, you will have to wait for up to 2 months before getting a coverup. This is so that it can properly heal.

One thing to keep in mind is that white tattoo ink can’t coverup black ink. You also can’t remove thickness from a tattoo that didn’t correctly heal. Just like the name states, tattoo coverup covers up the first design with a new or different design. In order to keep the original design you’ll have to go with another option.

Laser Removal

If you’d rather just completely remove the tattoo, then laser removal might be the best option. Laser removal can get expensive, and it usually won’t be covered by insurance as it’s considered a cosmetic procedure.

How effective laser tattoo removal is depends on how bad the blowout is in the first place. Consulting with a laser tattoo specialist will tell you what to expect from this option.

If you do go for complete removal, then you can always consider getting the tattoo redone (with a more reputable artist of course!).

How Thick Should Tattoo Lines Be?

There is no standard thickness for tattoo lines. The thickness of tattoo lines completely depends on the design and the placement of the specific tattoo. An experienced tattoo artist will be able to guide you regarding the thickness of your tattoo lines.

Can Tattoos Be Thinned Out?

No, tattoos can’t be thinned out. The only two options are to get a tattoo coverup or laser removal.

What Causes Thick Tattoo Lines?

The main cause of thick tattoo lines is from the artist using too much pressure and injecting the ink too deeply in the skin. This results in what is known as “tattoo blowout” and causes the lines to appear thick and blurry.


Generally, thick tattoo lines are the cause of an inexperienced tattoo artist. Either they applied too much pressure while doing the tattoo and caused blowout, or they didn’t advise you properly regarding a design that might not work.

No matter what the cause was, the only two solutions are coverup or laser removal.

Have a bad experience with tattoo blowout? Tell us about it in the comments below.