Blackout: Tattoo trend turns body parts with solid blocks of black paint
Tattoos and their different styles continue to spread throughout the world: pointillism, watercolor, blackwork, fineline, and even cross stitch designs, there are options for all tastes. But the complexity and scope of this new visual ink trend has attracted the attention of many and growing.
“Blackout” tattoos have recently gained attention online as an extreme way to cover up old tattoos. The technique requires an incredible amount of patience and dedication.
The technique gained notice recently when artist Chester Lee of Oracle Tattoo shop in Singapore posted a photo of an intense black out piece featuring a delicate, scalloped edge.
Why Blackout Tattoos Are Actually a Really Bad Idea
Tattoos are having a moment right now—especially tiny ones in easy-to-hide places. So, of course, there’s an up-and-coming trend that’s a sort of backlash to those little, delicate tattoo designs. It comes in the form of #blackouttattoos, which are solid (and, yes, black) tattoos designed to cover large areas of the body, like the chest, back, arms, and legs. Popularized by Singaporean tattoo artist Chester Lee, blackout tattoos are gaining popularity for a few reasons: They’re a super-convenient way of hiding old tattoos (the reason Teen Vogue’s current cover star Grimes has a large cross on her forearm), they’re unique, and, apparently, needles just don’t scare some people. But even if needles (and tattoos themselves) are NBD for you, this still comes with a lot of risks. “There are many ingredients in the pigments used for dark ink — think titanium dioxide, lead, nickel, chromium,” says Howard Sobel, MD, NYC dermatologist and founder of DDF Skincare. “Some of them are industrial grade and the same as those used in automobile paint.” Because the ink is literally injected into skin’s layers, it can seep into the blood stream. Large amounts of it, like that needed to cover this much of your body, has the potential to cause allergic reactions, skin rashes, and inflammation in the tissue.