Do Tattoos Make Muscles Look Bigger?(Facts)

Do Tattoos Make Muscles Look Bigger?

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Do Tattoos Make Muscles Look Bigger?

Ever since ancient times, tattoos have been a way to express one’s self. A tattoo is an artistic expression of who you are and what you stand for.

One can place tattoos on any part of the body with skin, with most people getting them on their arms or legs.

The Japanese word for this type of art is Irezumi (and it so happens to be my favorite type). One thing I never knew about tattoos, though, was how they affect your muscles.

No! Tattoos make muscles look smaller, the skin will react by creating more collagen to heal itself faster, making it difficult for muscle fibers to contract around the ink application area which results in weaker muscles over time.

Tattoos make muscles look smaller. This is because tattoo covers the muscle, making it look smaller.

Tattoos reduce the visibility of muscles due to their color contrast with skin tone.

If someone has large biceps and tattoos them with a black band, when flexing, their muscles will appear to be smaller than they are.

A tribal tattoo might cover most of the arm and make it seem like there is no muscle or very little visible muscle due to the contrast between dark/black tattoos and light skin.

If someone were to get a small tattoo in an area where their muscles show through their skin (like on top of one’s shoulder), that would reduce any muscle’s visibility in that area.

However, if they were to get a larger tattoo in such an area.

It would probably make their shoulders seem wider because the addition of color made them less see-through, thus making them look even more muscular.

When it comes to tattoos, having one small enough not to cover too much skin and covering a muscle will make it seem smaller.

Do Tattoos Make Muscles Look Bigger?

Still, large tattoos can cover so much muscle on larger visible muscles (like the biceps or shoulders) that they would probably appear to be non-existent.

As for more people thinking of tattoos as making muscles more pronounced.

Perhaps this is because of how often modern society sees body art portrayed in ads or other media depicting such topics as fitness, vanity, etc.

Having tattoo designs that are too dark and too large may reduce one’s capacity for muscle definition and;

Therefore, might make their muscles look slightly smaller than if they had no tattoos. Tattoos on areas with little fat or subcutaneous tissue may be more visible through the skin.

There is also some evidence that tattoos may act as homing devices for lymphocytes, subcapsular sinus macrophages, and other immune system elements.

So tattooed individuals might display higher levels of inflammatory cytokines.

This increases the rate at which their muscles tear during sports activities–so much so that it could cause them to develop muscle problems over time.

However, this would only apply to athletes who are already very muscular or bodybuilders. Tattoos do not make one’s muscles look smaller overall.

There are too many factors involved with how they can affect one’s appearance, depending on the location of their tattoo and what size/design they have.

Do Chest Tats Make Your Pecs Look Smaller?

Yes. Indeed, tattoos on the chest often make pecs look smaller. I will explain why and give you some tips to make your pecs look larger while still showing off your ink.

First, let’s go over the idea of what exactly makes a muscle look more or less full (voluminous). It has to do with how much of the muscle is skin-covered.

Think about it: when your body fat goes down, you can see more of your triceps and biceps muscles than before. This is because they’re closer to the surface.

A similar thing happens with pecs and other muscles of the torso. If there’s not much fat covering them up, you can see most of their shape, so they look larger.

If you have a very muscular chest with thick pecs, having chest tats may make your pecs appear smaller because there will be less skin covering them up.

Conversely, if your chest is relatively flat and small, having chest tats may make your pecs appear larger. This is because one can see more of them from each angle.

An exception to this rule is when a male gets nipple piercings through his areolas.

In this case, tattooing around the piercing or adding some designs over the top will usually make the area appear slightly bigger than it would without any ink.

So, if you have a lot of chest hair or a very hairy chest, then you’ll probably want to shave your hair. Before getting a chest tattoo, the ink will stand out more against your skin tone.

If you think shaving is too much work, then either don’t get tats on your pecs or consider having laser removal surgery later down the road.

Should I Get Tattoos If I’m Skinny?

Yes. Tattoos look great on everyone and every body type. Skinny people should not concern themselves about how much their skin can “stretch” or how easily tattoos heal.

Being skinny does not mean that a person cannot get tattoos and have them looking good.

If anything, smaller framed people should think about getting larger pieces to ensure they don’t get lost in the folds of extra fat.

My favorite thing about the idea that certain types of bodies are better at tattooing than others is that it implies there is such a thing as bad tattooing.

Which isn’t true; I’ve met some crappy tattooers and seen some horrible tattoos but never because somebody was too small or big, too old or young, too white or not white enough.

Do Tattoos Look Weird If You Gain Muscle?

Yes. Very much so. Tattoos are permanent, meaning that once it’s there, it’s there forever.

If you gain or lose weight, the tattoo will stretch with your skin and end up distorting the artwork. This is one of the reasons why tattoos are generally avoided during pregnancy.

The second reason is that pregnant women should not use any chemicals on their skin;

Or expose themselves to extreme temperatures for 9 months since they can cause congenital disabilities.

I’d avoid gaining too much weight unless you plan to get a new tattoo at some point; they can be quite expensive($500-2500) depending on what kind of design you want.

Do Tattoos Cover Up Cellulite?

No. Tattoos do not cover up cellulite. The tattooed area might look smoother than the rest of your body, but that is because tattoos distort light and shadows. Tattoos cannot hide cellulite.

If you still aren’t convinced, take a photo (or multiple) of yourself right now and look at it in natural lighting (no tanning beds or bright lights).

You might surprise yourself to see how much cellulite there is. If you’re concerned about looking lumpy and bumpy, ask your dermatologist about liposuction options.

Liposuction can remove cellulite from any part of your body permanently.

Do Tattoos Make You Look Hotter?

Yes. You will appear ten times hotter with an awesome tattoo that suits your personality and preferences.

It has to be unique, something that no other woman can hold a candle to (pun intended). Your tattoo should set you apart from the rest of the pack and make you look hotter.

Get a tattoo that is unique to your personality. Something that will reflect your true self and what makes you, YOU.

Get something meaningful or just for fun so it’ll be something only you would have. The positioning of your tattoo can also decide how hot you look with it.

It looks more feminine and cuter if it’s below the waist, on an un-tanned part of the body (e.g., hands, fingers, back).

Do Tattoos Make Muscles Look Bigger?

However, if it’s above the waist or on a tanned part of the body (e.g., chest, collarbone, etc.), it might look bolder and sexier. It all depends on where exactly do you want to have it.

Do Tattoos Stretch If You Put On Weight?

No. Some people say that getting bigger permanently will cause your tattoo to stretch too and fade away as a result.

They say that if you weigh yourself down with all that extra fat, then your tattoo will skew the scales and stretch the skin it’s on, which will cause some of its lines to become blurry-looking.

There is no scientific backing for these claims. Tattoos don’t blur or stretch due to fluctuations in weight caused by gaining or losing pounds.

This is because it’s not the weight of our bodies that makes tattoos look different over time; it’s how much you move around, exercise and sweat after getting tatted up.

Do Tattoos Shrink Over Time?

No. Tattoos don’t shrink over time. They appear to grow. The reason is that they expand and retract in the same way that humans do:

When you’re cold, your muscles tighten, and our skin shrinks slightly. When you’re hot, it loosens up again.

Under normal conditions, this won’t be noticeable, but when you’ve got a tattoo all stretched out and surrounded by scabs or scar tissue. Well, things aren’t quite so normal anymore.

This can cause minor inconveniences such as peeling skin and discomfort in areas with extra-sensitive nerve endings like hands, feet, or nipples.

– Not to mention major problems if infected or inflamed. Skin infections are never good news, so it’s something very serious when they happen on top of a recent tattoo.

Should I Gain Weight Before Getting A Tattoo?

Yes. Tattoo artists recommend that you gain weight before getting a tattoo. However, it is essential to note that this means gaining weight in the form of muscle mass.

Do not attempt to “put on some weight” or cheat your way into looking bigger by eating junk food and sleeping all day.

This will only cause problems for your skin later on down the line.

The reasoning behind this includes both physical and mental aspects. To start with the most apparent reason, you will have ink put under your skin- permanently.

This process requires puncturing of the dermis, which is where fat cells are. Additionally, there are concerns about having excess body fat during recovery.

It makes it more difficult for the wounds to heal correctly–you risk infection and all kinds of other terrible things.

On the mental side, gaining weight can help you feel more confident about yourself by changing your body composition and giving you a better self-image.

It might sound counterintuitive, but if you get a tattoo not feeling comfortable with how you look.

You risk having an unprofessional experience because of adverse emotional effects on the process.

You want to be as prepared as possible for whatever components your tattoo session requires: what will happen during the appointment and after it’s over and done with.

If you worry about how the work will look once it heals (and this comes up often).

Keep in mind that tattoos don’t begin to take on their final appearance until around three months after the session.

Do Thigh Tattoos Stretch?

Yes. Thigh tattoos stretch like any other tattoo. Thigh tattoos require more consideration when planning to ensure that they will not be misshapen under normal conditions.

It is important to fully consider all aspects of your tattoo before getting it permanently inscribed on your body.

This includes ensuring that access to medical treatment for infections or other serious skin problems is available before getting a thigh tattoo.

Thigh tattoos are often larger than typical designs and thus may have a greater risk of these types of skin problems affecting them.

If you want a thigh tattoo but have concerns about whether or not the design will remain accurate over time.

Take steps beforehand so you can have peace of mind that your design will be true-to-life for the long term.

If you worry about your thigh tattoo design changing, the first thing to consider is your skin type.

If you have naturally dry skin, it may be advisable to put off getting a thigh tattoo until your skin has adjusted to normal levels of humidity and get rid of any excess dead, flaky skin.

If you already have tattoos on other parts of your body, this can also give clues as to how well you will fare with extended periods between visits for retouching.

Some people’s skin is simply better suited than others for taking care of large tattoos over an extended period.

Of course, there are always exceptions to these “rules.”

For example, if someone gets very regular tanning treatments, they may be less likely to incur changes in the appearance of their thigh tattoos.

If you are still uncertain about whether or not your design will look excellent and accurate over time;

And choose to get a large tattoo anyway (especially if it’s not an important symbol like a family crest),

Make sure you can go back for multiple touch-ups over several years to keep it looking fresh.

Thigh tattoos stretch, just like any other design. Just take extra care when planning your piece to have access to medical treatment should it become necessary.

Plan so that should something unforeseen happen.

You can have peace of mind knowing that your tattoo could be easily taken care of while avoiding having problems with serious skin infections due to unsterile equipment.


Tattoos are permanent, so they have the potential to make you look good or bad, depending on how your body changes.

If you’re skinny and don’t want tattoos that will shrink over time with weight gain, then it’s best to wait until after you’ve reached a healthy weight before getting inked.

On the other hand, if gaining muscle is an issue for you, but only one side of your chest has tats (your right).

Then there may be some room for improvement by adding more ink on the left pec area.


I'm Vincent, a registered skincare specialist and an award-winning tattoo artist. I've been in the industry for over 10 years and have worked with some of the best tattoo artists in my field. I've loved everything to do with tattoos and arts in general, as well as exercise and wellness! This site is a place for me to share some of the expertise knowledge I have, as well as keep up-to-date with current research and studies. Tattoos are a huge passion of mine, I faced many questions from customers about different products, and there was hardly any help on the internet. I decided to start a blog and help other people!

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