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Covering up Tattoos with New Tattoos Has Become a Booming Business

Dr. W. Y Chung, MD - Monday, October 21, 2013

Nowadays, a lot of people walking through the doors of tattoo shops are not looking to have something tattooed on virgin skin, instead they are coming in to get inked over an already existing tattoo. If the reason for wanting the original tattoo painted over is due to the artist’s lack of talent, then the person will surely choose a different artist to repair it.

For some people, they may pretend to be pleased with that fresh tattoo while in the shop, thanking the artist, perhaps even going so far as to compliment him. But the instant they step out the door they are cursing and blaming the artist. It’s a little like getting a horrible haircut and being too polite to insult the stylist to their face, but knowing that your hair looks a fright. The problem is tattoos are permanent...or at least meant to be.

Some people often aren’t aware that their tattoo is a disaster until some friend points out a misspelling or mistakes a portrait of a sexy celebrity for your Aunt Marge.

Then there is the regret which develops over time. Because you have to look at your tattoo everyday (unless of course the tattoo is on a part of your body which is nearly impossible to view without the aid of strategically placed mirrors) the chances of becoming disenchanted with a tattoo are fairly great.

Cover-Up Choices Limited by Existing Tattoo

You will be limited in regards to design when covering an old tattoo. The cover-up tattoo will need to be darker and larger than the existing tattoo, which can be a problem when you are dealing with an already large tattoo. Certain tattoos are easier to cover than others. If the original tattoo is a small line drawing then you may have it made in the shade. But a tattoo which has extensive ink coverage and is made up of mostly dark colors may present a problem.

Even if you do manage to get exceptional cover-up art, it may not hold up forever. Sometimes the top layer fades and the tattoo beneath starts peeking through, making for a blurry mess, which would require additional touch-ups.

Two Layers of Regret: What’s Worse than an Ugly Tattoo? An Equally Hideous Cover-Up Tattoo. 

Some tattoo artists find that some laser work to fade or lighten the existing tattoo will lead to far superior results. Obviously, starting with skin which has had the tattoo completely erased through laser work would be ideal, but sometimes just fading the old one enough is sufficient. If the tattoo artist who will be doing the new tattoo layer advises you to the get the existing one lightened first, then it would probably be best to follow his advice. If you dismiss his advice and find an artist willing to skip the laser step, you may end up with two layers of lousy tattoos instead of one. And laser removal of that much ink would require more sessions.

It’s very possible that only a small portion of the original tattoo needs to be treated for successful cover-up results. The tattoo artist can make that determination, and let the laser center know which sections of the existing tattoo should be lightened. And the laser center will let you know when the skin has recuperated enough to be tattooed again. For expert care visit our Hawaiian InkOff.MD Center.


InkOff.MD offers the most advanced techniques for tattoo removals with fascinating results.

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