When is it Time for a Tattoo Touch-Up?

If you color your hair or know someone who does, then the concept of a ‘touch up’ is already familiar to you when you see those dark roots or silver grey hairs starting to peek through. Think of tattoo touch-ups as the same idea—but not exactly. 

Touching up a tattoo is pretty commonplace, even when your original tattoo is done by a highly reputable tattoo artist in a very legit studio. A touch up essentially is tattooing again over your existing tattoo.

Although not all tattoos need a touch-up, these are a few telltale signs that yours might need some TLC:

 

  • Small imperfections appear during the initial healing stage
  • Your tattoo looks watered down or washed out
  • Your tattoo has faded
  • Your tattoo has some patches of color variations or small gaps are visible in the design
  • The lines are not as clean or sharp as they were

 

Some wise advice that will never get old—your tattoo artist’s instructions for aftercare are legitimately one of the best guarantees for a great looking tattoo. If you kept your end of the bargain and followed those instructions, but a touch up is still needed sooner than later, then your tattoo artist may give you a complimentary touch up within a certain period of time afterwards. 

You probably won’t be shocked to hear this, but there’s really no specific ‘time’ for a tattoo touch up. There are many artists who will recommend a touch up within the first 6 months. Your best bet is to check with your artist and see what their recommendation is based on your tattoo design and any other factors to consider. Even if they don’t do it for free, in all likelihood, the fee would be minimal for a touch up visit.

After the initial healing and determination if there’s any need for touching up, there’s also what happens over time. As the years go by, all tattoos will gradually fade. Exactly how much will of course depend on many different factors. Think of these touch ups sort of like a botox treatment or a A touch up done on an older tattoo can make those colors vibrant and bright again 

Since we’ve spoken here in the past about sun exposure and the proper use of sunscreen on tattoos, it is worth mentioning that another reason some tattoos may need touching up is if they were not properly protected early on and may have faded due to overexposure from the sun.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, please don’t forget to keep a generous supply of a luxurious, super moisturizing cream for tattoo aftercare and use it, every day, not just for the immediate aftercare, but for the long haul.