Old People with Tattoos

You might think that tattoos are a young person’s game. Indeed, tattooing is undergoing something of a renaissance right now as more and more young people are inking up and looking good doing it.

In this context, thinking about older people with tattoos sounds a bit strange but the truth is that anyone can have a tattoo at any age.

A Colorful Life

You might not know it but lots of older people had tattoos when they were younger. They might wear clothing over them most of the time but the fact is that plenty of people are walking around with ink somewhere on their bodies.

What do you think when you see older people with ink? One thing worth noting is that if they’re sporting a tattoo they got when they were younger, the chances are that they’ve had a colorful life somewhere along the way.

Bear in mind that ink wasn’t as socially well accepted 40 or 50 years ago, and you might start to look at older people with ink with a little more respect and interest.

Of course, lots of men in the military had tattoos done to commemorate their time, to remember fallen comrades, or as a way to fit in with their peers. It’s not uncommon for men who were in the Korean War, for example, to have a few tattoos.

It gets more interesting when you see older women with tattoos, though. Given that tattooed women were pretty heavily stigmatized socially not so long ago, those older ladies with ink might have a few interesting and spicy stories to tell!

How Do Old Tattoos Look?

It’s true to say that decades ago, tattooing didn’t have access to the same tools it does now. And certainly many tattoos done decades ago might not look as good now on older skin.

That’s not to say that any tattoo can’t look good if well taken care of, but there are definitely some variables in the mix.

Related Post: How Tattoos Age Over Time

Taking Care of Your Tattoos

Whatever age you happen to be, looking after your tattoos will more likely lead to them looking good when you’re older. Here are a number of things to think about:

Care for it Well

If you want your tattoo to look good when you’re older, you should let it heal properly and follow all of the aftercare advice to the letter. You also may need to moisturize the area.

Related Post: What to Know About Getting a Tattoo in Summer

Choose the Location Carefully

Sometimes those old tattoos look faded and wrinkled after many years but this fate can be avoided to a large extent with some care and good decision-making.

Choose where the tattoo will be done carefully. If you want it to look good when you’re older, choose an area that won’t deal with a lot of friction.

This means choosing flat areas that are not wrinkled by the movement of joints or rubbed against things a lot. Areas such as forearms, back, thighs, shoulders, and so on are all good places.

Related Post: Full Guide to Tattoo Placement

Consider Color Choice

Though there are lots of great-looking inks these days, including orange, yellow, and red, it’s the black and grey tattoos that tend to last the longest and look the best over time.

This is because those brightly colored inks will eventually fade. So choose the right design and go with a monochrome look if longevity is your aim.

Related Post: Color Tattoos Versus Black and Grey

Should Older People Get Tattoos?

It should go without saying that these days that the answer is a definite yes! Tattoos have exploded in popularity and there is no reason why an older person should not get their first ink.

Here are some things to think about:

Will it Hurt Your Image?

One worry that many older people have about getting their first tattoo is that it will somehow harm their reputation and image. Part of this is due to having grown up at a time when tattoos were not as accepted or as popular as they are now.

But this is also due to the persistent claim that having a tattoo will affect standing at work or restrict someone from getting a job.

The truth is that tattoos are much more accepted now than they ever were in the past. Once an older person accepts this, they may find that it’s a lot easier to get the ink.

Many workplaces are just fine with tattoos; quite honestly, many tattoos can easily be covered up anyway if there are still some lingering concerns.

Related Post: 7 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Get A Tattoo

Will it Be Accepted By Others?

Many older people also worry about what friends and family will think if they have a tattoo done. Once again, this is due in large part to having grown up at a time when tattoos might have been frowned upon. This is especially the case for women.

One way to combat these fears is to have a temporary tattoo done first. Many tattoo artists can do this and it’s also a lot cheaper than getting the real thing. It’s a great way to see how a tattoo will look and also see what the reactions of family and friends will be, if that matters.

Related Post: A Guide to Temporary Tattoos

Live Your Best Life

Finally, if you’re older, why not get a tattoo? Having lived a life, why should you not treat yourself well? You definitely have every right to have art inked on your body and you also have every right to express yourself through a well-chosen tattoo.

As long as you’re comfortable with who you are, a tattoo can certainly help you express yourself and even get a conversation started in social situations.

Related Post: Tattoos: Express Who You Are


These days, there is no reason why a person should not get a tattoo done at any age as long as they are legal. Many older people do have tattoos but there are also plenty of older people who worry that having their first tattoo could be harmful or hurt them in some way.

The good news is that tattoos are more accepted than they ever have been and older people with tattoos either have a great story to tell about their past or can express themselves more fully through body art.

Related Post: Everything You Need To Know About Tattoo Touch Ups

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