Why Do Tattoos Turn Green Over Time?

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why do tattoos turn green

Regardless of your choice of tattooing designs, it is ensured that you will have to go through your tattoo turning green during healing. This is because tattoos are not part of our natural body functioning systems, but when we ink our body with tattoo ink in the skin, the life cycle of skin tissues impacts the design of tattoos in the long run. So people usually ask, why do tattoos turn green over time? But the question has been addressed professionally by many tattooing experts. Today, we have collected the advice and suggestions for you to imply, so let’s get straight into it. 

It’s pretty understood that tattoos are permanent, but they remain as fresh as the first day only in ideal case scenarios. Normally, people neglect aftercare and other disciplines of tattooing, which leads to fading of tattoo designs on their bodies. Temporary tattoos are erased from the skin way faster than permanent tattoos. But these life-longing tattoos also leave your skin after a certain time if you don’t take them seriously and take proper precautions. Tattoo turning green is getting common these days due to various factors and situations of individuals.

Why Do Tattoos Turn Green Over Time:

We know your first guess will be that the tattooing ink changes color after spending a long time on our skin, but this is not scientifically correct. The main reason tattoos turn green after time is that a portion of tattooing ink is absorbed in our bodies, and some of it is removed during the constant regeneration of our skin. Hence, the concentration of tattooing ink in the tattoos designed skin gets lesser and lesser with time. All of these factors ultimately combine to turn the fresh black tattoo into a faded, dull, and green tattoo. But don’t worry, as this phenomenon of tattoos is not inevitable.  

A fresh, dark, and black tattoo turning into a green one is not a task of a few days. Researchers have found that green tattoos turn into this visual perception by taking years and sometimes even decades. So, if you were inked last week, don’t stress about your tattoo getting green in another week or two. It would take many years of ignorance and insincerity for a person to make their tattoo turn faded and green. If you take proper precautionary measures and work on the aftercare of the tattoo, it will stay healthy and well-looking for a longer period. 

Related: Benefits Of Green Soap For Tattoos Healing

Composition Of A Tattooing Ink:

To understand why tattoos turn green, we will also have to pay attention to the fact that what is the actual composition of normal black tattoo ink. It seems pretty, one color is the black tattooed ink, but in reality, it is multicolored. Black tattooing ink combines various colors to form a darker black shade for skin tattoos. With a long time and lack of attention to aftercare, tattoos lose their purely black color and start appearing as green or faded black. You can also resolve this issue by using high-quality tattooing instead of low-graded inks and getting your tattoo inked by a skilled professional instead of an amateur. 

Things That Cause Tattoos Turning Green:

It shouldn’t be a surprise that we do many things conspicuously, and some subconscious habits play a role during a normal-looking tattoo into a faded green one. It would help if you avoided these situations and factors to save yourself from getting a dull tattoo. We won’t have to spend hours researching this knowledge because we have already gathered the related information for you. 

Following are some things that cause tattoos turning green:

  • If you work or play in intense sunlight, there would be a large impact on ultraviolet rays on your skin, which can cause your tattoos to turn green and fade over time. Additionally, UV rays are not beneficial for skin in general; let strange synthetic tattooing ink in your body be impacted by intense UV light. 
  • People get a tattoo in their teens and early adulthood; they even take people aftercare for a few months, but once some years pass by, people forget to look after their tattoos. This eventually causes constant regulation of skin to fade away the tattoo and tattooed skin to appear green. 
  • Professional tattooing artists prefer using high-quality inks because they tend to stay intact in the skin for longer. If your tattooing artist used low-graded tattooing ink, there is a high possibility that the tattoo will turn green in several months or a year. 

Things That Can Avoid Tattoos Turning Green:

Mentioning the things that turn tattoos green is half information from you as by reading it, you only know what you should do. But for proper tattooing experience, you should also know what you should be doing right. This brings us to the list of things encouraged by professionals to slow the fading of a tattoo. 

Following are some things that can avoid tattoos from turning green:

  • You should first avoid getting a tattoo on a body region where it’s evident that a lot of moisture, intense sunlight, and other environmental factors would play a role. This includes a tattooed person’s face, neck, hands, and feet. So, try to get a tattoo on generally covered body parts, so they don’t turn green in a year. 
  • We will have to use proper aftercare products on the tattoo during healing and moisturizers on the skin afterward. If you have to go into intense sunlight with a tattoo on your hands or neck, apply sunscreen and other protective products to avoid the tattoos turning green over time. 
  • Finally, avoid experimenting with your tattoo and try Visiting the tattooing artist regularly. It keeps the health of the tattoo maintained and avoids any unwanted consequences in the near future. Your professional tattooing artist will surely recognize any changes in your tattoo if you consult them. 

Why do tattoos turn green after some time?

The concentration and density of the tattooed ink on the skin fade over time, leading to the tattoos turning green. This phenomenon is prevented by consulting professionals and following their prescribed aftercare. 

How much time is required for a tattoo to turn green?

It usually takes years and even decades for a normal-looking tattoo to turn green. This happens by neglecting aftercare, intense environmental conditions, and the unregulated lifestyle of the tattooed person. 

Which tattoo ink color stays intact on the skin for the longest time?

Permanent tattooing ink is generally very difficult to remove from the skin, but green, blue and black are the colors of inks that stay intact for the longest time. Conversely, mellow colors like pink, light blue, and peach are removed easily from the colored tattoo design. 

Why does citric acid turn the tattoos green?

The natural citric acid found in many fruits, like lemons and oranges, can cause your tattoo to fade and appear green. The reason for that phenomenon is that citric acid in some fruits bleaches the tattooed skin, eliminating some tattoos from the skin. This ultimately causes the tattoo to turn slightly green after several attempts. 

How hydrogen peroxide turns the tattoos green?

Hydrogen peroxide is not recommended for tattoo removal as it has many adverse effects on human skin. Instead, consulting a professional tattoo artist to get laser tattoo removal surgery is much advised. But if you lack the budget, hydrogen peroxide can turn your tattoo green and eventually fade the tattoo. 


So now you know exactly why do tattoos turn green over time, and the main reason is the lack of attention to aftercare and natural skin regeneration. You can avoid fading tattoos by using the steps and tricks provided earlier to avoid getting a tattoo turning green. If your tattoo was designed a few months back, and it’s getting green and faded, consult your tattooing expert for the best preventive measures. Avoid using any harmful chemicals to stop and increase fading of tattoos.

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