Tattoo Stretching


The body is a constantly changing thing. We grow taller, gain weight, put on muscle, and stretch out our skin. Because of the ever-changing canvas that is our body, many questions have questions about tattoos stretching. It’s one of the most asked questions we get asked as a Toronto tattoo shop. So we’ve decided to answer the burning question, do tattoo stretch?

Do Tattoos Stretch?

The simple answer to this question is yes. The answer to the follow-up question, why is that it depends. Tattoos are inked into the skin and as the skin stretches so does the ink. This can cause stretch marks or make the design look distorted. The good news is that most tattoos don’t stretch, even as the body changes. Location makes a big impact on if a tattoo stretches. Tattoos on the wrists, hands, feet, ankles, or neck don’t tend to be affected. Stomach, arm, legs and breasts are more prone to stretching though. The larger the tattoo the less likely the stretching is noticed but with smaller tattoos, the changes can be extremely visible.

Causes of Stretching

There are a few things that cause the skin and tattoos to stretch. Some of them can be avoided but others are a natural occurrence. Here are a few of the most common causes.

Muscle Building

Working out and gaining muscle is a big trend today. However, this can affect your tattoos to be careful. Building muscle slowly usually won’t affect a tattoo but rapid gaining or losing or muscle mass will likely cause a tattoo to stretch.


Just like with muscle, quickly gaining or losing weight will cause your skin to stretch. This will impact the tattoo if it’s in certain locations. The skin could sag or create stretch marks, which can affect the design. If you’re trying to change your weight do it slowly. It’s not only healthier but it won’t change your tattoo as much.


As a baby grows inside of a woman her body goes through extraordinary changes to accommodate it. Part of this is the stomach stretching and growing. A tattoo in this location can be affected looking distorted or stretched out. Stretch marks may also be lasting markers on her body due to pregnancy. These can impact a tattoo design but the good new is usually they don’t, at least not for long.


It’s perfectly natural for skin to become less taut as we age. This is what causes the skin to wrinkle and sag. Unfortunately, this also impacts tattoos on the body. There’s not much that can be done about this but many people say their tattoos still look good even as they get older.

How To Prevent Stretching

Sometimes stretching can’t be prevented but gaining or losing weight or muscle slowly is the best way to try to combat this. Your skin is pretty resilient though, so don’t worry too much about tattoo stretching. If you have any questions or concerns contact us or visit our downtown tattoo shop.




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