Do Tattoos Affect the Apple Watch?

Do Tattoos Affect the Apple Watch?


Do Tattoos Affect the Apple Watch?

Tattoos can be beautiful and empowering, or they can be a source of pain and embarrassment. But what about tattoos on the Apple Watch? Is there a risk that the tattoos could affect the watch’s functionality?

One theory is that tattoos interfere with the sensors in the Apple Watch that are meant to track heart rate and motion.

The Apple Watch is a device that is meant to be worn on the wrist. However, there is one area of the Apple Watch where communication with other devices is not possible- tattoos.

Do you have a tattoo on your wrist, or are you currently thinking about getting one? If that is the case, there are a few things that you need to know about how the Apple Watch works when you have tattoos on your wrist.

Will a tattoo interfere with Apple Watch?

A permanent or temporary change in the appearance of your skin, such as a tattoo, will even affect your heart rate sensor’s performance. The ink, pattern and concentration of some tattoos can block light from the sensor, which can make it difficult to obtain reliable readings and certain activity measurement.

Why does your tattoo interfere with the Apple Watch?

Based on reports by Apple, ink for permanent tattoos permanently will change the topmost layers of your skin (erm, that means, your skin).

Lighter tattoos with less ink seem to have less interference from those affected, so there is at least some good news with regard to that.

But if you have a sleeve that is not too hefty on the ink, it is likely that you will obtain many more hindrances.

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How Apple Watch Measures Your Heart Rate

The Apple Watch feature based on the optical sensor used to measure the blood’s pulse is called photoplethysmography. It’s actually difficult to pronounce, this technology is based on a simple fact: Blood is red because it absorbs red light and reflects green light.

Apple Watch uses green LED light detectors and green-sensitive photodiodes to measure the blood flow in your wrist. Since your heart beat, the greater the volume of blood flow in your wrist and the green LED lights flowing. Between beats, the level of green LED lights is less.

Apple Watch can analyze your heart rate by flickering the LEDs on its bracelet at regular intervals. The size of this bracelet’s heart sensor allows it to actuate your heart rate between a [base] range of 30 210 beats per minute. Additionally, the optical heart sensor can compensate for low heart-rate signals by adjusting the brightness of both the LEDs and the sampling rate.

Apple Watch Series 4, Series 5, Series 6, and Series 7 also have built-in electrodes in the Digital Crown and watch face, which can measure your heart’s electrical signals when used in combination with the Heart Rate app or ECG app. If you press your finger against the Digital Crown, it creates a closed electrical circuit between your heart and both arms, which yields an electrical reading.

Do Tattoos Affect the Apple Watch?

What Can I Do If I Already Have A Wrist Tattoo?

If you only have a tattoo on one wrist, you can wear the Apple Watch on the other wrist. Even if it is not the wrist you normally wear your watch on, you can adapt to it.

Just don’t place it on your ankle; you will only get a rough read-out that way.

How Can People With Tattoos Use An Apple Watch?

Apple Watches have trouble tracking heart rate for people with tattoos but there are ways for people with tattoos to use their watch despite the issue.

If you’re no longer wearing a wristwatch, you can remove the tattoo (if it no longer serves you), which will permit it to track your heart rate. You can also disable “wrist detection”. You may also decide to leave the skin around your wrist clear when getting a tattoo.

Another alternative is to get an external Bluetooth heart rate monitor (with chest straps) that’s compatible and you can connect wirelessly to the Apple watch. It might not be the best solution with regard to wearing only a wrist watch but some individuals may wish to consider it if they tend to be afflicted with health problems or if they get exercise.

Video Guides

Apple Watch Series 6 and Tattoos

This isn’t a perfect setup turning wrist detection off, but this is what I’ve learnt from using my watch, so thought I would pass it on, from one tattooed apple watch user to another. 

Fix auto lock issue on apple watch if you have tattoos

In this video he show a way to fix the Apple Watch auto-lock issue if you have tattoos. I use Parafilm or budding film to block the oxygen and heart rate sensors so the Apple Watch doesn’t go into the auto lock mode when it’s on your wrist.


Tattoos can be amazing works of art that you may hold throughout your life. The unfortunate thing regarding the Apple Watch is that it isn’t specifically designed and calibrated to aid tattoos. The darker and fuller your tattoo, the more difficult it will be to read and measure your heart rate.

There are a lot of different ways to attempt to get the problem taken care of, but the results may not be satisfactory at all. The only drawback is that Apple’s watch will not give you accurate information.

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