Who Is At Fault For A Tattoo Blowout?

Some tattoo artists are willing to go over-time to help you achieve the perfect tattoo while others — well, they’re much less stellar. Whether it’s a lack of experience or care, tattoo artists just aren’t created equally. That’s why it’s so important to do your research. But, what exactly happens when your tattoo gets botched due to a blowout? Who is at fault for a tattoo blowout?

Most of the time, the artist is the one at fault for tattoo blowouts. That’s because tattoo blowouts often occur from poor needlework that digs too deep into the skin. In some scenarios, however, blowouts may occur because of the client themselves. These scenarios include poor aftercare, excessively moving during a session, or deliberately choosing a spot that’s prone to blowouts.

At the end of the day, tattoo blowouts suck for both parties. The tattoo artist will receive a terrible review, and you’ll have to suffer from a botched and not-so-ideal tattoo. Arguably, you’ll suffer the greater loss! Tattoo blowouts aren’t a fun topic, but it still needs to be covered. If you ever get into a tattoo blowout situation or want to avoid it, keep reading!

What is Tattoo Blowout?

So, what exactly is a tattoo blowout? A tattoo blowout is when the lines of a fresh tattoo become smudged, blurred, or start spreading to nearby skin. What causes lines to “blow” out? Most of the time, inexperienced tattoo artists will press too hard when applying ink and push the ink below the top layer of skin. Below the top layer of skin is fat tissue, and tattoo ink is prone to spreading out in this layer of fat.

Ink that ends up in this bottom layer will start spreading just hours after a tattooing session, and you’ll see the most noticeable difference 1 or 2 days after the session.

What Areas Are Least Susceptible to Tattoo Blowouts

If you get a tattoo on an area of your body with thin skin, you’ll be more susceptible to tattoo blowouts. Why? Thinner skin is easier to penetrate, and your tattoo artist may pierce into the fat layer without even realizing it.

If you want to avoid blowout, you’ll want to get a tattoo in one of these areas:

Photo by Raspopova Marina on Unsplash

Artist Vs. Client: Examples of Who’s At Fault

There are certain scenarios in which the artist is at fault and other scenarios in which the client is a fault. As a client, you’ll want to take these scenarios into consideration in case a tattoo blowout happens to you.

The Artist’s Fault

If you find that your tattoo blowout is caused by one of these following scenarios, you may want to consider seeking compensation. It is the artist’s fault when:

  • The entire tattoo appears blurred or smudged. This suggests that it was the artist and their lack of experience that caused this.
  • The artist seems distracted and inattentive while tattooing you.
  • You’ve taken proper care of your tattoo since the session.
  • During the session, you didn’t move suddenly to cause the needle to go too deep.
  • You were calm and did not move throughout the session.

The Client’s Fault

Now, here are the instances where the client is the one who’s most likely at fault:

  • Only patches and small portions of your tattoo are blown out. These bad spots were likely the result of you moving when you weren’t supposed to.
  • The artist is skilled, experienced, and has a successful track-record with other clients. Remember, always look at reviews!
  • You choose a blowout susceptible area despite being warned against it.
  • The artist was attentive and careful while tattooing.
  • You have not taken proper care of your tattoo since the session.
  • You were fidgety and moving the entire time.

What Should You Do Once Blow Occurs?

If your tattoo artist messes up your tattoo, the first and most important thing is to inform them about the issue. Ideally, you’ll want to inform them of their mistake as quickly as possible and before you leave the studio. That way, somebody in the studio can attempt to fix the ruined tattoo by using ink to cover up the mistake. The faster you let your tattoo artist know about the situation, the more likely that they will accommodate and try to help you.

It is reasonable for you to ask for a free coverup or refund on your tattoo if the tattoo can not be fixed despite touch-ups. Remember, this is only the case if the artist is at fault for the tattoo blowout.

Fixing a Tattoo Blowout

If all else fails, there’s one way to guarantee that a tattoo disappears for good. The last resort is to undergo laser tattoo removal. This procedure will remove the tattoo completely but will take several sessions to complete.

Depending on the size of the tattoo, these procedures will range between $120 and $400. A tattoo studio will most likely not cover for these costs.

Can You Sue For Tattoo Blowouts

Unfortunately, clients often don’t sue for tattoo blowouts for a simple reason. It’s very hard to win. Most tattoo studios will only tattoo a client once they sign a waiver. This waiver acts as a protection mechanism in case anything goes wrong during the session and tattoo blowouts are often on this waiver. As a result, you can’t really ever sue a studio for a tattoo blowout itself.

The only time that you can sue a tattoo studio is if that blowout eventually leads to a serious infection. Even so, you’ll still need concrete proof of the tattoo artist’s negligence of standard industry practices in order to stand a chance in the courtroom.

Signing a waiver does not mean the studio will leave you out to dry. As mentioned before, the studio should still be more than willing to offer you a cover up or refund if it turns out to be their fault.

A Few Tips to Avoid Tattoo Blowouts

Here are some general guidelines that you’ll want to follow so that you can avoid tattoo blowouts, and everything else that might go wrong with a tattoo:

  • Reputation is essential — Reputable tattoo studios are held more accountable for their mistakes. As a result, the tattoo artists there will be more experienced and professional in their behavior. With that, you’ll be able to avoid the hassle of a tattoo blowout altogether. In the rare case that something goes wrong, you’ll be much more likely to be compensated.
  • Only visit clean studios — If you walk into a studio and there’s messes everywhere, don’t sit down! How clean the establishment is reflects how much the studio takes pride in their work. If they don’t take pride in their work, you can expect the artist to tattoo you haphazardly, and as a result, cause a blowout.
  • Run away if there are no reviews — We mean it. If there aren’t any reviews or ways to research the studio online, you’ll probably end up working with a complete beginner. We’re all about supporting up-and-coming tattoo artists, but inexperience is the number one cause of blowouts.

Wrap Up

Tattoos can be beautiful, stylish, and elevate your awesome look to an even more awesome level! But, it’s not all glamorous and perfect. Tattoo blowouts and other not-so-pleasant things can happen while getting a tattoo. There are risks in all parts of life, and tattoos are no exception.

Don’t be nervous! Most tattoo sessions go perfectly smooth — with you walking out of the studio with a big smile on your smile! Take time to do your research and use your intuition.

Get that tattoo you’ve always wanted. We have no doubt that it’ll look amazing and that you’ll feel so much happier too!

Max Peters