Let’s face it: Getting a tattoo can hurt, and touch-ups can be just as much of a pain. While a touch-up doesn’t take as much time or needlework as the original tattoo, you can still expect a healing process – and you’ll need to take care of it as carefully as you did the first time.
But do you truly need a touch-up for your tattoo? How can you tell?
Your Artist Recommends It
If your tattoo artist suggests coming back for a touch-up after the ink has healed, take their advice. They know their work best. Based on the artwork style and body part receiving the tattoo, they’ll be able to make a solid guess on whether or not a touch-up could improve the tattoo’s look. They’ll also be able to tell you when the best time to come in is, whether it’s a week or two after the final work or a couple of months later. Plus, many artists offer free touch-ups after the tattoo is completed. (Just make sure to tip your artist, even for a complementary touch-up session!)
Your Tattoo Doesn’t Heal Quite Right
Even the most careful people can have accidents. Whether you scratch your new tattoo before you can stop yourself, find that your clothing rubbed your design the wrong way, or get surprised by a scab, your brand-new tattoo might lose a few spots of ink.
Reach out to your artist if you have concerns during the healing process. They might have advice on whether you should go ahead and book that touch-up session. And make sure you use high-quality Tattoo Goo products throughout the recovery processes to ensure optimal healing and itch relief.
Your Tattoo Has a Lot of Color
There’s nothing quite like the gorgeous color of a brand-new tattoo. However, because everyone’s skin is different, some colors may fade slightly during the post-tattooing healing process. If one of the colors looks a little washed out, a touch-up can bring it back to its full Technicolor vibrancy.
Bonus tip: If you’re still in the tattoo planning stages, make sure to ask your artist which (if any) colors in your artwork might be prone to fading. That might influence your design decisions.
Your Tattoo Is on Your Hand, Your Ankle, or Highly Visible or Stretched Skin
Some of the most popular skin areas to get tattoos are also some of the places most likely to fade out. On fingers, hands, wrists, ankles, elbows, and knees, the skin stretches so much that tattoo ink will eventually bleed out over time. Ribcage and hip tattoos might look distorted if an area of clothing – like your jeans – rubs the same spot over and over again. If your arms and legs are exposed to a lot of sun, you run the risk of having your tattoo fade or warp due to sun damage.
Now, the downside is that even your touch-up will eventually be subjected to the same stretching that your original tattoo experienced. But with proper care, you can keep the ink looking fresh for a lot longer.
Your Tattoo Is Several Years Old
While many things get better with age, tattoos do not always fall into that category. Even if you take the best possible care of your ink, the aging process can leave your design looking washed out.
If your tattoo has seen better years, it’s time to contact your artist. Seeing the original artist who created your tattoo is considered the best policy – some artists are not okay with touching up work done by someone else. However, there’s always the chance that your original artist may not be available. If that’s the case, find someone you’re comfortable working with and talk with them about your touch-up options.
Depending on the damage done, you might want to start over and opt for a cover-up. With older tattoos, the cover-up process might be more time-intensive than a basic touch-up – and it probably won’t be free. But you might love the new design even more than the old one.
The Key to a Great Tattoo Touch-Up
Whether you’re about to get fresh ink or going in for seconds in a touch-up, you’ll want to make the most of your tattoo’s healing process and give it the best possible start. You can do that with the awesome all-in-one Tattoo Goo Tattoo Aftercare Kit. It includes everything you need to keep your tattoo clean, moisturized, itch-free, and protected from sun damage. While touch-ups are good practice for many tattoos, they might not always be necessary, depending on the style, body part, and healing process. But proper tattoo care is always important. And with products like the Tattoo Goo balm (also available in a handy to-go size), your ink can look fresh and fantastic for a long time!