How to Stop A Black Tattoo from Turning Green(Guide)

How to Stop A Black Tattoo from Turning Green

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India ink was used for tattoos earlier in the days since they looked black, whereas they were dark blue or dark green.

However, as time passes and the skin ages, the pigment breaks down. Thereby the initial black appearance it first had when the tattoo was made wears off, leaving a green tattoo color.

Your black tattoo turning into a slight green color after some time is normal and should not raise the alarm.Probably decades later, as the skin ages, when the pigmentation breaks down.

However, you should not give it much thought as there are ways you can use to control the rate at which this happens, or better still, prevent the occurrence altogether.

One of the effective ways to control your black tattoo from turning green is by ensuring you are always using sunscreen whenever you are exposed to the sun.

Exposure to the sun is the leading reason why your tattoo may be fading and turning green.

When you have got your tattoo freshly done and still in the healing stage.

It’s recommended that you should avoid sun exposure as much as you can, more so if the tattoo is in visible places.

The place where you choose to locate your tattoo also plays a crucial role in your tattoo’s survival. Some arts or areas of the body experience more friction than others.

These parts are likely to make the skin shed off skills cells more often than the other areas.

This could be disadvantageous to your tattoo is done on one of the areas as the tattoo will wear off easily and prematurely.

So, if you plan in getting a tattoo for the first time or for the next time, then you should consider having it done on areas of the body which have less friction to ensure it lasts.

In addition, India ink was used decades ago for tattooing and is the main reason why some of the tattoos have turned green or blue over time.

This is because the ink had dark green or dark blue pigments, and with time, they have worn off.

However, there are newly introduced tattoo inks in the market of the tattoo industry, which do not contain the same ingredients as the India inks.

They are also of high quality, and their ingredients are more stable compared to those of India inks.

Tattoo done with the currently introduced ink will last longer and maintain its quality for a longer duration.

Once your fresh tattoo has healed, you can prevent it from turning green using adequate aftercare techniques.

Things To Avoid At An Early Stage To Prevent My Tattoo From Turning Green?

Taking care of your tattoo at an earlier stage, mostly after it’s done, is not a challenging task to accomplish.

However, when little to no keen attention is paid, you may end up doing this in very many inappropriate ways, which will in turn not preserve them, but ruin them.

Normally, after a tattoo is done, it takes approximately three to four weeks before it heals completely.

However, the tattoo is completely healed. Here are some tips you should follow to ensure your tattoo is preserved.   

Water contact

When it comes to avoiding water contact, this does not mean you say bye to showering for the entire three weeks your tattoo needs to heal.

You should, however, always keep in mind the amount of moisture getting into contact with the fresh ink.

It’s totally fine to wash your tattoo and shower as long you ensure it doesn’t stay submerged for not more than a few seconds.

As long as your ink is still fresh, you should avoid swimming for that duration when it’s still in the healing process.

You should also avoid swimming in any water mass, whether treated swimming pools or natural water bodies.

Also, there are different amoebas and bacteria in the lakes and oceans which may get into contact with the freshly done tattoo and cause an infection.

You should try to avoid jeopardizing your tattoo in any way while it’s still fresh and still healing.

Direct Sunlight

When your tattoo is exposed to direct sunlight, a significant amount of damage can be done to it. The ink formation will be altered.

Also, as a result of the exposure, your tattoo can be bleached and fade over time.

When the healing process comes along, and the scabs have fallen off, before going out into the sun, always add sunscreen to your tattoos.

How to Stop A Black Tattoo from Turning Green

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Unwrapping the tattoo soon

Whenever freshly done tattoos are wrapped, they are done so for a reason.

The wrapping is to seal it off from bacteria, which could cause infection when they get into contact with the fresh wound.

You would not want to expose your tattoo to any potential threat of infection, more so given that there is probably a large number of puncture marks.

It’s advisable to heed your artist’s advice regarding how long the tattoo should remain wrapped.

The standard amount of time is often 2 hours. However, some artists may prefer the freshly done tattoo to remain wrapped for longer periods.

Rewrapping the tattoo

There is  absolutely no reasons why you should ever consider rewrapping your tattoo since, once the wrapping has been taken off, the tattoo is ready to ‘relax.’

You want your tattoo to remain mostly dry at this stage, and adding plastic to it will trap it in heat and produce too much moisture.

Too much moisture in the region can contribute to the growth of bacteria, and since your tattoo is probably still fresh, that will be the last thing you would want.

Picking your scabs

You should avoid picking scabs regardless of the wound you have, but more specifically, avoid picking scabs that are at your tattoo.

The inked area will form some light scabbing as part of the healing process, and you need to let them be.

For a few days as it sheds, the scabbed pieces will fall off on their own, so prepare to see little black bits everywhere.

Picking them off will not speed up the healing process and may end up completely prolonging the process.

Excessive Sweating

If you are often involved in activities that lead to a lot of sweating, then once you get your tattoo done.

You should refrain from such activities, at least for the first few weeks, often two to three weeks, as your tattoo heals.

The seat also counts as moisture, and again, any form of excess moisture is not suitable for a healing tattoo.

It’s normal to sweat at some point as a human, but always avoid activities that may trigger profuse sweating.

Use of medicated ointments

Some of the ointments which may seem logical to use are Neosporin and poly.

However, it’s advised that you should avoid applying them on your freshly done tattoo as the may enhance the rate at which your tattoo heals.

For some reason, you may be deceived that a fast healing tattoo is a good thing.

But you should not ignore the fact that the zinc component which is available in the ointments will also take out the tattoo ink from your skin in the process and leave it on the surface of the skin.

Once this is done, your tattoo will eventually fade rapidly. Therefore, medicated ointments are not the way to go when dealing with fresh tattoos.

Scented Soaps

When cleaning your tattoo, keep off scented soaps. The freshly done tattoo can easily be irritated by the soap’s fragrance.  

Unscented anti-bacterial soaps are a great choice to consider for the first few weeks when you want to clean the tattoo.


This mostly will be dependent on where you get your tattoo done, and it does not also apply to everyone.

If your tattoo has been done in areas that require shaving after some time, such as legs, face, scalp, and armpits.

Then you should avoid shaving these areas until the tattoo has adequately healed.

This, therefore, means you are not to shave for almost a month. Thus necessary arrangements are to be made prior if you plan to remain smooth and hair-free during that time.

Shaving areas with fresh tattoos is not advised since the sharp razor may scrap the fresh wound or cause fresh injury to the scabs which were in the healing process.

After three or four weeks have elapsed, the tattoo wound will have fully recovered; hence you can go ahead and shave the unwanted hair you may have ignored during that period.

Avoid tight clothing

After your tattoo is done, you should avoid putting on any tight clothing over it. Your tattoo should be able to get some air once the process is complete.

Unfortunately, this can’t happen if you put on tight clothing over it. Furthermore, sweat may also likely form between the tattooed area and the cloth, depending on the material.

Instead, you can put on flowy clothes for the first couple of weeks as your tattoo is in the healing process.

You may also consider using cotton fabrics that are breathable hence more ideal and preferred.

Avoid scratching

When your tattoos are healing, they are often quite itchy, which may prompt you to scratch.

However, you have to control this urge and avoid scratching. Scratching the healing wound may be satisfying at the moment.

but this is one act you should refrain from doing no matter how tempting it is.

You could scratch the scabs which have not yet appropriately healed thereby interfering with the healing process.

Furthermore, there may be available bacteria beneath your nails, which may get into contact with the healing wound and result in infection.

Black Tattoo from Turning Green

Over moisturizing

It’s often crucial to ensure your tattoo is moisturized as it heals. However, you should not overdo this.

Moisturizing it a few times a day is ideal for the healing process; however, if you do it more than a few times, it could be too much.

Too much moisture on the tattoo can encourage the growth of bacteria and cause infection.

How Do I Prevent My Tattoo From Fading And Turning Green?

Most people who get their tattoos done often think aftercare is all that matters.

Well, aftercare is quite important, but this is not all that matters when it comes to your tattoo fading.

Your tattoo could be affected by both activities carried out before and after your tattoo is done.

For proper care of the tattoo, you should consider three stages; pre-tattoo, tattoo aftercare, and tattoo care.

Pre-tattoo; One of the most crucial factors, yet mostly ignored by many, is settling for the right tattoo.

The longer your tattoo will stay without fading is determined by the type of tattoo you want, the artist doing your tattoo, and where your tattoo is done.

Black and grey are the hardest shades for tattoos. They are thick and bold, and they last longer than the colors in their presentation.

The most vivid colors, on the other hand, such as hot pink, purple, light green, appear to fade quicker. Darker colors, including deep reds, are more resistant to fading.

The shades are the shortest-lived ones in watercolor tattoos. The tradeoff is that they have bright colors and very striking designs.

Aquarelle tattoos remain very common, despite fading relatively quickly. They need regular touch-ups to keep them looking their best.

Although they are beautiful designs, they are hardly the tattoo form of choice for you if your purpose is longevity.

Don’t let this affect  you from getting the color tattoo you always wanted. The prevention of tattoo fading has several more facets.

And touch-ups are an option at all times. Remember, tattoos are permanent, so the ones you want are worth having.

Tattoo ink quality is just as critical as the color used. It’s likely that poorer quality ink would not last as long. This is also a health issue, in addition to a fading worry.

Tattoo inks are unregulated by the government, and having heavy metals is not unusual for them. To identify potentially dangerous ingredients, reference the Cosmetic Hotlist.

The easiest way to ensure high-quality inks is by going to reputable tattoo shops. The quality of their equipment is kept to a higher level by these stores and artists.

Better inks are used by the best tattoo artists, and their reputations are based on the tattoo. Their image is influenced by your well being & happiness with your new tattoo.

The location of the tattoo has a significant effect on how you wear your tattoo over time.

We addressed the location of the tattoo that hurt most and least. But what about how fading affects location? The more pressure, the more wear is a fundamental law.

Tattoos on the inside of your thighs, for instance, fade more easily than others. Rub your thighs against each other as you move, bringing your tattoo down over time.

Combine this with tight trousers, and it’s the ideal fading tattoo storm.

The safest placements to stop tattoo fading are where the body does not brush against itself or where tight clothing does not constrain it.

Ongoing care

How do you keep the skin looking beautiful and young? You’re moisturizing! For your tattoo, the same applies.

For longer, a well-moisturized tattoo remains lighter and bolder. Most of us are still moisturizing our hands and ears, so including the tattoos is hardly a burden as well.

To keep your tattoo safe and dynamic, use unscented soaps and moisturizers.

Specifically, there are things for moisturizing your tattoos. Most safe, non-abrasive moisturizers, however, are adequate.

Shield your tattoos from harmful UV rays from the sun. Although sunscreen of at least 15 SPF is recommended by the FDA, it’s better to use 30 or higher to cover your tattoo.

For a new tattoo particularly. The more direct exposure to sunlight can be avoided, and the less tattoo fading can occur.

That being said, you don’t have to miss out on activities with sunshine. Only make sure you practice smart protection for the heat.

Preventing the fading of tattoos is all well and good. But what if your tattoo has already started to fade? Good news: it’s not too late for that.

With a tattoo touch up, there is always an opportunity to return your tattoo to its former glory. Touch-ups are sold by most Toronto & Vancouver tattoo stores.

This choice, as with most items, is costly than preventive steps. But it’s still not as pricey as the original tattoo.

The artist traces the current paint, not creating a whole new piece. To do the touch-up, it’s best to have the original artist return.

If that is not a choice, it’s better to show the original sketches and early photographs of the tattoo to your tattoo artist.

What Should I Do If My Black Tattoo Starts Turning Green?

Avoid sun exposure:One of the main reasons for your tattoo to fade is exposing it to the sun.

If you spend more  of your time outdoors while exposed to the sun, ensure you apply sunscreen before stepping out and getting exposed to the sun.

Moreover, if your tattoo is freshly done and is still in the healing process, you should heed this precaution as much as possible.

Mind where your tattoo is placed

It’s with no doubt that some parts of our bodies experience more friction than others. When tattoos are placed on these parts, then they will wear off quickly and fade prematurely.

Also, when weight is gained, some parts of the body may grow significantly bigger than the others, thus interfering with the tattoo.

This can distort the shape of the tattoo or make it fade with time. If it was done with ink that had dark green pigmentation, then you will notice the tattoo turning green as it fades.

Pay keen attention to the healing process and aftercare of your tattoo

Most tattoo artists, after completing their job, often advise their clients accordingly on how to go about taking care of their tattoo at the initial stages, mostly before the healing process is complete.

These instructions are always meant for the best of your tattoo. They are to prevent the tattoos from fading soon or from getting infected.

Heed to these instructions to get the best out of the tattoo experience. Sometimes, there may be a fault with the tattoo artist, but most of the time.

The tattoo is jeopardized due to your negligence and failure to take necessary precautions for the proper healing of the tattoo.

If you don’t talk about precautions or things to do as your tattoo artist told you to do.

This also plays a very significant role in tattoo fading, including all points, avoiding water, sun-rays, friction with tight clothing or wearing loose clothes, applying ointments, etc.

It can affect the fading points of your tattoo.

If you pull scabs or tattoo skin early, dry the skin of your tattoo, and do not take care of tattooed skin, then the healing process will be interfered with as well.


Generally, your tattoo is bound to change at some point over time. It may even end up turning green as it fades off.

You should, however, know that this is quite normal, especially to ageing skin. When the skin ages, the skin cells fall off, and in so doing, the tattoo pigmentation is compromised.

A tattoo done on young skin will look better than how it will be in some decades to come.

Also, you can avoid the turning green effects of your tattoo by choosing it to be done in completely black ink or grey.

Any ink with green pigmentation will make your tattoo turn green over time.


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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