5 Things to Consider When Getting a Freckle Tattoo

Feb 26, 2017

For a large part of beauty history, women have tried to hide or cover up the slightest imperfection to achieve a completely flawless complexion. But a recent beauty trend actually involves highlighting the beauty in marks on your skin. Now, women are starting to have freckles tattooed into their skin.

Cosmetic tattoos are not exactly a new thing in the beauty world. Other examples of cosmetic tattoos are permanent eyebrows, eyeliner, and makeup. Over the years, the process has become very refined and now it results in a very natural look.

“Freckling” is when a cosmetic tattoo artist uses semi-permanent ink across the tops of the cheeks and the nose to give you the perfect number of freckles you want. Once they are completely healed, they will look like they were softly drawn on with a pencil. Right after the treatment, the color will be stronger, brighter, and quite possibly darker than the desired color. Do not worry if it is too dark at first.

The color’s intensity will diminish during healing which takes anywhere from 4 to 14 days. After the healing process is over, the freckle tattoos will be the desired color. If the color is not quite right, you can have an appointment 6-8 weeks after the original treatment to adjust the color. Color retention will vary from person to person, skin type, and skin tone. The original pigment intensity and how well you have cared for the tattoo will also determine color retention.

1 Is it different from a body tattoo?

There are three main differences between a body tattoo and a cosmetic tattoo. Both are still tattoos, meaning that pigment is inserted into the skin. The first difference is the machine that is used. The digital or rotary machines for cosmetic tattoos are smaller, lighter, and less powerful than the coil machine used for body tattoos.

Secondly, cosmetic tattoos do not usually go as deep into the skin as a body tattoo. The third difference is that cosmetic tattoos are generally done with semi-permanent ink and not permanent ink.

2 Does it hurt?

Just like body tattoos, there will be some pain. The skin on the face is very thin and is loaded with nerve endings. Some cosmetic tattoo artists use a topical solution before tattooing that will temporarily deaden the nerves to reduce pain. Topical anesthetics may be applied and these are effective. You can also take pain relief medicine or antihistamines before the appointment as well.

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3 What will I look like after getting it done?

Immediately after the cosmetic tattoo is finished, there may be swelling, redness, and tenderness on and around the area. The colors will be darker for up to two weeks during healing. In most cases, you will lose up to 40% of the color intensity during healing. The swelling and tenderness will be minimal and most often goes away within 24 hours.

You should follow all aftercare instructions to increase the longevity of your cosmetic tattoo. Freckle tattoos are strongly affected by UVA, UVB, the sun, tanning beds, exfoliation, and anti-aging skin treatments. If freckle tattoos are excessively exposed to the sun, the brown color m ay fade into red or a shadowy orange color.

4 Are there any risks?

There are risks involved with getting a cosmetic tattoo, including freckle tattoos.

  • Infection – Equipment and needles that are not sterile can transmit infection diseases. Some of these diseases can be cured with antibiotics and some do not have a cure. Equipment and tattooing needles that are not sterilized can transmit HIV, staph infections, hepatitis, and other bacteria. If you get a tattoo from a shop that is not regulated by your state or at a shop that uses unsterile equipment, you may be unable to be a blood or plasma donor for 12 months. Infections can also sometimes come from contaminated ink even if the artist follows hygienic procedures.
  • Allergic reactions – You can develop an allergic reaction to the pigment. If this happens, the pigment can be hard to remove. Some people have had reactions to tattoos that they have had for years.
  • Granulomas – These are nodules that can form around anything that the body perceives as foreign, including tattoo pigment. The nodules are usually masses of tissue that are larger than one centimeter in diameter, solid, and raises up from the skin. They can also be bright red.
  • Complications with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) – Some people that have tattoos and cosmetic tattoos experience swelling or burning in the tattooed areas while they underwent an MRI. Even though these occurrences seem to be rare and do not have any long-lasting effects, it should still be taken into consideration. Tattoo pigment, especially around the eyes, can sometimes reduce the quality of the MRI image.

5 Are there any problems with freckle tattoos?

A common problem with tattoos is dissatisfaction. Removing cosmetic tattoos can be extremely difficult. Even though the freckle tattoos may be exactly what you want at first, they only last up to three years. They can also dramatically fade before then depending on sun exposure and how well you take care of it.

If the cosmetic tattoo artist injects the pigments too deeply, the pigments may migrate beyond the original injection sites which will make them appear blurry or ashy. Since these tattoos only last about three years, you will need to periodically have touch-ups done if you want them to stay perfect. This can get pretty costly.

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Freckle tattoos are hard to cover up for any plans that mean you will be out in the sun. You should always wear sunscreen to protect the tattoos and to prevent them from fading or discoloring. There are some makeup products and moisturizers that are SPF 15 that may help preserve your tattoo.