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5 Key Differences between Permanent and Temporary Tattoos

Posted by Ann V. On 2017 Mar 12th

5 Key Differences between Permanent and Temporary Tattoos

Here are the key differences between permanent and temporary tattoos which help you choose the right option.

There are two types of tattoos—permanent and temporary. And you like to consider both types while looking forward to get a nice tattoo design. Permanent tattoos are long lasting and stylish while temporary tattoos are good for your experiments and the changes in personal tastes over a time.

Here we have come up with such differences helping you make your decision for a suitable choice.

Pain Factor:

Pain is the major difference between permanent and temporary tattoos. Starting from the permanent tattoos, they are made with a needle that punctures your skin to embed the ink, causing pain and discomfort. Moreover, you do see a little bit of blood coming out of your skin while having permanent tattoo which is the part of the process.

(You can use Dr.Numb® numbing cream 45 minutes before the session to ease your pain.)

On the other hand, temporary tattoos are done with brush, dyes and sticker instead of using needles for ink insertion. And you don’t see any blood oozing out from the tattoo spot. This is why they don’t hurt you and entire process is easygoing.


Needless to say temporary tattoos are affordable as they are not that complicated. Permanent tattoos are expensive depending on the size, design and the price of the artist. Good thing is that temporary tattoos are available as the stickers you can buy and place them on your skin while heading into festivals or events.

However, you must prefer value over prices to get the good tattoo design.

Life of a Tattoo:

Temporary tattoo have a shorter life span than their permanent counterpart. This is because they are made with colors that tend to be washed off with water or detergent. Permanent tattoos, as name implies, are long-lasting and even go up to a lifetime. However, they require few touch ups to maintain their vibrancy.

Skin Damage:

Temporary tattoos are drawn on the skin with brush and dyes. Therefore, they don’t injure your skin or penetrate it, unlike permanent tattoos. However, it triggers burning sensation or itching if you are allergic to the paint.

In permanent tattoos, a needle is used to penetrate your skin to set the ink design. In fact, permanent tattoo is a kind of skin wound requiring healing time.

Side Effects:

Whereas temporary tattoos are safe, you can have skin rashes or itching if you are allergic towards paints and dyes. Make sure your artist use the paint free from toxic and allergenic contents.

You are required to follow aftercare instructions to avoid complications and tattoo fading if you have got permanent tattoos.

Which One is Right for Me?

Summing up the above given differences, one can say that temporary tattoos are safe and good for experiments with designs while permanent tattoos are for more stylish appeal. However, one thing is for sure that you need a good artist for both types.