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Can You Tattoo Over A Mole?

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Can You Tattoo Over a Mole

Wondering if you can tattoo over a mole? That’s a question I got asked a lot back when I was working at the studio. 

You should not tattoo over moles! This is because moles are usually an indicator of cancer, and you could be doing more harm than good by covering up the mole with a tattoo.

While the answer may seem obvious to some, there are a few things you could do instead of tattooing over them. 

This article will walk you through everything you need to know about tattoos and moles. I’ll talk about why it’s not a good idea and why most artists like me would not tattoo over a mole, plus I’ll talk about what you should do if you still want a tattoo.

Can You Tattoo Over Moles?

Moles are areas of skin that have a higher concentration of pigment cells, also known as melanocytes. These cells produce the color in your skin, and when they’re concentrated or overgrown in one area, they create a mole. 

Moles can be of different sizes and shapes, and they can be raised or flat. They could also be cancerous (benign), but most of the time they are not cancerous (malignant).

Generally, it is not recommended that you tattoo over a mole and almost 99% of the tattoo artists will not tattoo over one. 

Plus, some states in the US specifically prohibit tattooing over moles AND a few other skin conditions.

Also read: Can you get a tattoo at 16

However, it depends entirely on the mole. If you had your mole since childhood it might be a birthmark, or if your mole is small and not raised it’s perfectly safe to tattoo over it (we will talk about these later in the article).

But still, there are certain risks associated with tattooing over moles, including the possibility of the tattoo ink affecting the mole so it’s important to consult with a dermatologist. They will be able to tell you if the mole is suitable for tattooing over and will be able to recommend the best way to do so.

Reasons Why Most Tattoo Artists Refuse to Tattoo Over Moles

There are several reasons why most tattoo artists refuse to tattoo over moles. But the main reason is that moles could be cancerous and the only way to know for sure is by monitoring its color or size changes. 

Tattooing over the mole will hide its natural color and you’ll never know if the real color has changed. So if it ever turns out to be cancerous your treatment will have been delayed.

Reasons Why Most Tattoo Artists Refuse to Tattoo Over Moles

Here are some of the other reasons why a tattoo artist won’t tattoo over a mole:

Difficult To Tattoo Over

The second most common reason why tattoo artists avoid mole tattoos is because the raised surface of the mole can make it difficult to tattoo and it might end up blurry or uneven.

Plus it’s really hard to get the color right as a mole absorbs ink differently. It usually absorbs a lot of ink and that too, very rapidly compared to normal skin. 

Finally, moles often change in size and shape over time, which means that the tattoo may not look the same as it did when it was first done.

If your artist is not confident of the final quality he will probably refuse tattooing over a mole.

Excessive Bleeding

Moles WILL bleed a lot when pierced so it’s going to be a bloodbath, and the artist will have a hard time tattooing.

Check out our post on if you should thicken blood before a tattoo.

It could even result in a blotchy tattoo!

Illegal In Some States

Tattoo parlors are usually regulated by state laws in the US, in almost all states. And in many other countries.   

Some states and countries have laws that directly prohibit tattooing over moles and some other skin conditions. 

What Can You Do if You Still Want a Tattoo Over a Mole?

There are a couple of things you could still do if you want that tattoo bad. You tattoo around the mole and incorporate it into the design OR you can have your mole removed through surgery.

Incorporating the Mole

Moles can be incorporated into the design with relative ease, but there are some things you should keep in mind before doing so. 

Incorporating the Mole into tattoo

For one, it’s important to choose a color that will contrast with the mole itself. Black ink is a popular choice for this reason. 

You need to decide what kind of design you want. This will be based on personal preference, but it is important to choose something that will effectively cover the mole. A common choice is to get a tattoo of a flower or other small design that covers the mole but does not draw too much attention to it.

Deciding to incorporate a mole into the tattoo is not an easy one. But if you take the time to find the right artist and discuss your expectations beforehand, you can be confident that you will end up with a beautiful tattoo that you love.

PS. The area around a mole may be more sensitive than other areas of skin, so you may feel more discomfort during and after the tattooing process.

Surgical Removal of Moles

Surgically removing the mole is an option and dermatologists regularly perform these. 

However, it is expensive and will leave a scar behind but you can tattoo over this without any problems after it is healed.

Can Tattooing Over A Mole Cause Cancer?

There is no clear evidence that tattooing over a mole increases your risk of cancer. The American Academy of Dermatology does not recommend against it.

Can Tattooing Over A Mole Cause Cancer

However, it is important to keep an eye on any moles you have, regardless of whether you tattoo over them or not. This is because moles can sometimes develop into skin cancer. And if your tattoo over them, you cannot see its changes.

If you are concerned about a mole, it is best to speak to a doctor or dermatologist. They will be able to assess the mole and give you advice on whether it needs to be removed or monitored.

How To Choose The Right Tattoo Artist To Tattoo A Mole?

If you have a mole that you would like to tattoo over, that is checked by a dermatologist and approved, it is important to choose the right tattoo artist for the job. There are a few things you should take into consideration when making your decision.

First, you need to find an artist who accepts mole tattoos and has experience tattooing moles. This is not a common request, so not all artists will have experience with it. Make sure to ask around and look at portfolios to find someone who has done this type of work before.

Second, you need to make sure the artist is comfortable working around the mole as they are difficult to work around. Make sure to discuss this with the artist beforehand so there are no surprises.

Also read: how long does a chest tattoo take

After it’s done, you should avoid touching or scrubbing the area while it heals and keep it clean and dry per your artist’s instructions.


Can you tattoo a mole darker?

It’s generally not recommended to tattoo over a mole, regardless of the mole’s color. Making the mole darker is a bad idea as it will mask its real color which is an indicator that the mole is cancerous.

What are the pros and cons of tattooing over a mole?

There are a lot of cons of getting a tattoo over a mole and the ONLY pros are that it can help to disguise the mole and make it less noticeable and you get the tattoo where you wanted it.

Can You Tattoo Over Flat Moles?

It’s generally advised to avoid tattooing over flat moles. The primary reason is that doing so can make it difficult to monitor changes in the mole, which is essential for detecting potential skin cancer. 

Can You Tattoo Over Skin Tags?

It is generally not recommended to tattoo over skin tags. Skin tags are small protrusions of skin that can become irritated if tattooed over, which could lead to increased discomfort, infection, or problems with healing. 

Can You Tattoo Over a Birthmark?

Yes, you can tattoo over a birthmark, but there are several factors to consider before doing so. Pigmented birthmarks, like moles, may alter the tattoo’s appearance due to color variations.

Dermatologists recommend caution because tattooing over a birthmark may complicate the detection of any changes that could indicate skin conditions, including cancer. 

Bottom Line

It’s not a good idea to tattoo over a mole as moles are indicators of cancers. If you have a mole that is cancerous or could become cancerous, it’s important to have it removed by a doctor before even considering a tattoo. 

But if your mole is benign, the decision to tattoo over it is purely aesthetic.

If you do decide to get a tattoo over this mole, it’s important to choose an experienced tattoo artist who uses sterile needles and clean equipment. Be sure to clean the area around the mole thoroughly before your tattoo appointment. 


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