Over the past year, white ink tattoos have become popular. Celebrities such as Lindsay Lohan and Kate Moss have adopted the trend, and many of their fans have followed suit.
As the name suggests, white tattoos are done entirely with white ink, which is thicker and of a higher quality than black and colour inks (to make it stand out on its own). The tattooing procedure is just like any other: a tattoo machine punctures the skin and deposits the ink in the dermis (the deeper layer of skin beneath the epidermis). These tattoos tend to look scar-like and subtle, and are more prone to fading than black or colour tattoos. Hence they usually involve simpler designs.

Many tattoo artists say there are ‘two camps’ on this one — some people say they’re the next big thing, go wild. Others say they fade too quickly, it’s not worth it. One of the few artists to offer white tattoos was David Alex, a Danish artist who specializes in portraits and realistic tattoos. “They do fade into the skin a little,” he confirmed, “but if a tattoo’s done right the fist time, and if it’s taken care of, it shouldn’t really need a touch-up.”

Some important aftercare tips include keeping new tattoos clean using a healing ointment, keeping them away from the sun, and not bathing them in water for long periods of time. “For a week or so it’s pretty much like an open wound,” stresses Alex.
Although white ink is not dangerous, it may cause adverse reactions such as swelling and itching. On rare occasions the body may reject the ink altogether, causing it to ooze from the tattoo.

However, if you have been on the fence about getting a tattoo, and the concern about having a permanent one leaves you sitting on that fence, a white tattoo may be a viable option.