All tattoos fade and blur over time. It is an unfortunate fact of life, and just part of the medium which is putting ink in the skin. The amount of fade and/or blur can be mitigated somewhat by keeping your skin healthy; moisturising often and drinking plenty of water, avoiding or limiting sun exposure, and using sun block or zinc when necessary. But even the most expertly applied tattoo will eventually succumb to the elements of sun, water and the ageing process.
During the tattoo process, an ink soaked needle penetrates the skin. The ink is not injected, as the needle has a solid core. The needle punctures the skin, and when the needle is pulled out, the hole left behind “sucks” the ink within the hole. Once it heals, the ink stays in the skin because the ink particles are too big to be removed by your white blood cells. When a tattoo is exposed to UV rays, the ink particles get broken down into smaller particles. This means that your white blood cells can come along, surround the particles and cart them off to be expelled. As you skin grows, renews and ages the ink particles get shifted around inside your skin, ever so slightly. The loss of particles is what causes the fading, and the shifting is what causes the blur. Even if you are not a sun lover, any incidental exposure to UV rays your tattoo gets will effect it over time.
This is why tattoos with bold, dark lines and solid colours tend to work well; there are a lot of ink particles within the skin, so some loss and shifting doesn’t affect the overall aesthetic of the tattoo as much. Tattoos with fine lines, and small details, such as micro-lettering, or soft shading such as water colour or colour portraits won’t last a lifetime and may even need re-touching several times. Fading is fairly easy to touch up, whereas blur is more difficult as you can only add more ink to the tattoo to cover it up. The result will be a bolder, darker and bigger tattoo that the original.
At the end of the day, it is your body and your choice with what you want to get tattooed. All of our artists at Authentink Studio strive to create long lasting, beautiful tattoos. There are definitely ways to achieve the look you want, if you have your heart set on water colour, there are ways to do it so it will last longer. But there is a reason that Traditional Japanese Flower Tattoos and American Traditional Tattoos are so prevalent. When done well, they will last forever. They are classic and timeless.
Speaking to a tattoo artists Sydney about your ideas is always the best place to start.