White tattoos are completely different from regular tattoos, both in technique and ink. A white slightly thickened ink is used, so the result looks sort of embossed instead of smooth like normal tattoos.
If your skin is too pale you won’t even see the tattoo, and if your skin is tan the white tattoo won’t look opaque, it will look like a translucent stain on your skin. If you have dark or freckled skin your tattoo could look spotty or blemished.
White ink tattoos take longer to heal because of the quality of the ink and the amount of time the ink must be injected in the skin. It also requires extra care once it’s healed. Keep them away from the sun as much as you can because sun exposure can cause your white to fade into a greyish or yellowish colour, or make your tattoo fade to nothing. The tattoo is eventually going to disappear as it will fade over the years. Sometimes repeated applications of the ink are required in order to keep the tattoo appear bright.
Decorative patterns filigree and lace look amazing in white ink. It’s a subtle decoration on your body. You can play with it by mixing white ink with other colours (you can have some nice lettering and leave a letter black, while all the others are white, or you can do the same with symbols.) You can also re-think about getting branded. Get a white tattoo instead, because the result will look pretty similar, without the pain and the long healing period.
Depending on skin tone, white tattoos resemble scars much like an embossed design. It is important that this type of tattoo is done by good tattoo artists, preferably from this specific type of tattoo background. It is capable of more intricate details and more effects because the skin will be slightly raised.
— The writer is a tattoo artist