Even people who no longer want a certain tattoo may still want to keep getting tattoos. In some cases, they might want to get a tattoo in the place where they had just gotten it removed.
But is it a good idea to get a tattoo done over a removed tattoo?
Can I get a tattoo over a removed tattoo?
The simple answer is yes. You absolutely can tattoo over a removed tattoo. But that doesn’t always mean you should. There are challenges you may face when getting a new tattoo to replace the one that was just removed, from waiting for the old tattoo to be fully healed, to the existence of scar tissue on your nerve endings, to finding and deciding on an experienced tattoo artist who is capable of tattooing over a removed tattoo.
How long should I wait before getting a new tattoo over the removed tattoo area?
It usually takes at least 6 to 8 weeks for the removed tattoo to heal properly, but you should verify that it has fully healed with your laser tattoo removal technician or specialist. Not only can they tell you whether not your skin is ready to go under the needle again, but they can give you some care advice and what to expect when you get your new tattoo.
What should I expect when tattooing over a removed tattoo?
Depending on the quality of the laser removal job (which depends on the expertise of the technician, the types of lasers used, and how well you followed aftercare instructions), you may have experienced some scarring. And even if there is no visible sign of scarring, it is possible the laser removal procedure has created scar tissue on your nerve endings, which can make getting a new tattoo more painful than it had been beforehand.
Even the smallest of scars can cause problems, too: for example, the skin might be uneven, so the ink will not distribute itself as smoothly.
You’ll want to find a highly skilled tattoo artist who is more than just comfortable tattooing over a removed tattoo — you want one who is more than capable of doing it.
What should I look for in a tattoo artist for the new tattoo?
If you already have a design in mind, that’s great! But to avoid going through tattoo regret and another series of laser tattoo removal, it may be a good idea to wait it out. Sketch the design or gather inspiration for your next tattoo, then put it away for a few months or maybe a year. If you still love the tattoo design after waiting, then go for it.
Next, you should look for a reputable artist who is capable of doing the design you want while also being skilled enough to tattoo over a removed tattoo.
Getting a tattoo over a removed tattoo comes with challenges (and not just the more intense pain): the skin surface could be uneven, which means the ink might not distribute as evenly, either.
This could mean paying more for a tattoo, as it could take longer to tattoo due to the more intense pain or due to your selected tattoo artist’s skill level. But it’s important not to settle for something you don’t love. And as you may have learned from laser tattoo removal, a cheap tattoo can still cost you more than you think it would!
Last but not least, be sure to follow the tattoo artist’s aftercare instructions to a T. Failure to do so can change the tattoo of your dreams into a nightmare.
Can the new tattoo be removed if I don’t like it?
Yes, it can be, but it will be more difficult to remove as well as more painful than the first time around (remember the scar tissue on the nerve endings). There may be discoloration due to the exposure to the laser, as well as a higher chance of scars.
That’s why it’s so important to really think things through before getting a tattoo over the removed tattoo — or any future tattoos.
Contact Dr. Ink Eraser for more information
Dr. Ink Eraser, a laser tattoo removal clinic with multiple locations in Georgia (Atlanta, Columbus, and Stockbridge) and in Birmingham, Alabama, has been successfully removing tattoos for more than 20 years and has seen just about everything. If you have any more questions or concerns about getting a tattoo after a removal or simply want a tattoo removal quote, contact us today.