Can You Cover Up an Existing Tattoo?

Can Random Tattoos Make A Sleeve?

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Can You Cover Up an Existing Tattoo?

A tattoo cover-up is done to hide an old or unwanted tattoo. It can also be used for birthmarks or scars to help hide them. It is necessary for people who decide they no longer want the ink on their skin.

Yes! You can cover up an existing tattoo with a new tattoo. This process is known as a cover-up tattoo. Cover-up tattoos can hide or transform an old tattoo you no longer want to display.

However, keep in mind that before deciding to get a cover-up tattoo.

If your old tattoo is only partially obscured, you may want to consider covering it up with a new tattoo rather than removing it. Covering up a tattoo is easier and less expensive than removing one entirely. 

If you remove an old tattoo completely, you must wait until the wound has completely healed before getting a new one. Cover-up tattoos are done on top of the old tattoo, so no healing time is necessary.

The extent of the cover-up will also affect how you should get your new tattoo. If you want to cover up a small portion of an old tattoo with a small design, you may be able to do so with a single appointment.

Can You Cover Up an Existing Tattoo?

However, if you want to cover up an entire tattoo, you may need to come in for multiple appointments.

Before getting your new tattoo, you must ensure the artist understands what kind of design you want. You can ask the artist what ink or leaf pattern color will be used for the cover-up tattoo.

The type of ink may also influence how the cover-up tattoo will look. Inks that are light in color may represent a lighter design than those that use more saturated colors.

Can You Cover Up A Tattoo Without Removing It?

Yes! You can cover up a tattoo without removing it by using a cover-up tattoo. The tattoo must boast a design to obscure the existing tattoo with a new design.

However, it’s important to note that you can only cover some tattoos successfully. The success of the cover-up largely depends on the size, color, and location of the existing tattoo.

To cover up a tattoo, a skilled artist must create a design that effectively masks the original tattoo. This may involve using darker colors or more intricate patterns to camouflage the old tattoo.

Depending on the size/ location of the existing tattoo, the cover-up may also need to be larger than the original tattoo. This can result in a visually dominant cover-up and detract from the design.

To get a successful cover-up, you need to work with a skilled tattoo artist who understands how to use appropriate colors and patterns to hide an existing tattoo without creating an unwanted distraction.

Even if you choose the right colors and patterns, the cover-up may only be successful if the original tattoo is sufficiently prominent and manageable. While the cover-up can be a new tattoo, it will not look like one.

When Can A Tattoo Not Be Covered Up?

Situation                          Description
During the Healing-Scabbed tattoo.
– New tattoo.
– Healing tattoo
Scarring-Skin graft or burn scar.
Large Tattoo-Tattoo covering a large area of the body.
– Tattoo covering scars or surgery scars.
Intricate Tattoo-Intricate tattoos often use more ink than a basic design.
Tattoo in a Visible Area-Face, neck, hands, feet, and ankles.
 Narrow Band Tattoos-Disguising narrow band tattoos is easier than covering wide stripes or shading from solid colors.
Tattoo on a Dominant area of the body-Arms for men and legs for women.

Do Cover-Up Tattoos Hurt Worse?

Yes! Cover-up tattoos need more ink and may involve more extensive shading and coloring to conceal the original tattoo effectively. This can result in a longer and more painful tattoo session than a regular one.

Additionally, the tattoo artist may need to work more aggressively to ensure that the new tattoo fully covers the old one, which could also contribute to more discomfort.

While cover-up tattoos often hurt, the pain should still be manageable for most patients.

If you experience extreme discomfort during the tattoo session or cannot handle the pain, let your tattoo artist know, and they can adjust your body position to relieve the discomfort.

The healing process after a cover-up tattoo is similar to regular healing; however, it takes longer.

This is because more ink granules have been injected into your skin, which could cause more inflammation and soreness than usual.

Can You Cover Up an Existing Tattoo?

To ensure your tattoo heals and you heal as fast as possible, follow the proper aftercare procedures for your tattoo design.

The healing process after a cover-up tattoo may require you to use more aggressive aftercare procedures than usual.

Cover-Up vs. Touch-Up: Which is Better?

PurposeA tattoo designed to be over a previous tattoo made from another color, pattern, style, or texture.Can be done on a new tattoo made from the same color, pattern, style, or texture.
Area SizeBigSmall
TechniqueHave a lot of skin to cover.
-More space to work with.
-The better result.
Small space to work with.
-Difficult to do what the client wants.
Outcome-Much better outcome.
– More rewarding to the client
-Less satisfaction.
-A better outcome for the artist.

Can You Fade A Tattoo With Salt?

No, Using salt alone will not fade a tattoo. Tattoo artists inject tattoo ink into the second layer of skin, known as the dermis, a deeper layer than salt can reach.

Salt can cause some skin irritation and inflammation, which may make the tattoo slightly lighter, but this effect is temporary and not recommended as a tattoo removal method.

At present, the most popular method of tattoo removal is laser removal.

Laser technology uses a high-energy beam of light to target and break up the tattoo ink into small particles, which the body’s immune system can wash away.

Tattoos typically fade away over weeks or months, depending on your specific skin type and the color of ink used. Side effects can include scabbing, raise red scars, and itching or burning at the treatment site.

This treatment can cost several hundred dollars per session, but the results are often worth the price.

Because tattoo ink absorbs into the skin, new tattoos fade much more slowly than older ones.

Laser removal is most effective on tattoos under two years old. If you have been considering laser tattoo removal, schedule a consultation.

Can A Permanent Tattoo Be Removed Naturally?

No, Permanent tattoos cannot be removed naturally. The ink used in tattoos is injected into the skin dermis, and the body’s immune system cannot naturally remove it.

There are several methods of tattoo removal, including:

1. Laser Removal

This method uses concentrated light to destroy the ink, mainly pigment.

2. Dermabrasion

This method uses electric charges to break up tattoo pigment by rubbing the skin.

3. Surgical Excision

Surgical excision of the unwanted tattoo involves cutting out the tattoo.

4. Dermabrasion with Fractional Micro-needling

Combination of dermabrasion and micro-needling therapy using electric current to break up tattoos.

5. Chemical Peels

Another tattoo removal method uses chemical agents to remove skin tags, wrinkles, tattoos, and pimples.

What Natural Oils Fade Tattoos?

Tea Tree oil-Antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
-Reduces inflammation.
Aloe Versa-Soothes and moisturizes the skin.
-Reduces dryness and flakiness.
Coconut Oil-Stimulates collagen production and cell turnover.
-Antioxidants protect against free radical damage.
Almond Oil-Naturally rich in vitamin E and fatty acids.
-Ideal for fighting dryness and improving skin elasticity.
Avocado Oil-Moisturizing properties make it perfect for problem or mature skin.

Why Do People Cover Up Tattoos Instead Of Removing Them?

1. Cost

Cover-ups boast affordability compared to tattoo removal. For example, if you can’t afford an expensive laser tattoo removal session and your tattoo is on a body part covered by clothing, it might be cheaper to get a cover-up.

2. The Tattoo was Painful

It may be possible that you did not enjoy the experience of getting the tattoo, and due to this, you have no desire to go through the pain of removing it.

3. Your Tattoo Sucks

In a situation where you have a tattoo that you hate, removing it would be “moving backward.” You can always get another tattoo to cover it up and make it look better.

4. Job Requirements

Some professions have strict policies regarding visible tattoos, which makes it difficult for individuals with visible tattoos to find employment.

Covering up the tattoo can make it easier to comply with these policies and secure employment.

Do Tattoos Hurt More in Winter?

5. Personal Preference

Some individuals believe that tattoos are a part of their identity. Tattoo cover-up boasts the first step in moving to something new.

Why Do I Suddenly Regret All My Tattoos?

1. Changes in Personal beliefs

Maybe you’re no longer religious or don’t want to represent a cause that is not yours anymore.

2. Harsh Critics

You have encountered some people who have told you that your tattoos are terrible, and now you regret having them.

3. Dissatisfaction with the Quality of the tattoo

Soon after getting inked, your tattoo started to change. The application needed better preparation, and you are now dissatisfied with the tattoo.

4. Loss of Time

You have just been tattooed and noticed that the design is not too bad, but it looks slowly faded because your skin has become stronger. The tattoo cannot be regenerated, and you have lost time.

5. Changes in Mind and body

Finally, the tattoo no longer has a place on your body, and you are looking for another one. The new tattoo can bring a different feeling of freedom because it is not to be seen every time you wear clothes.

You will also feel less embarrassed by your appearance because you are no longer reminded of a certain phase of your life.

5 Things You Should Know Before You Do A Tattoo Cover-Up

1. Find An Experienced tattoo artist: When it comes to a tattoo cover-up, it’s important to find an experienced tattoo artist who has done cover-ups before.

Not all tattoo artists have the expertise to cover up an existing tattoo, and a cover-up requires unique skills.

2. Talk it over with your tattoo artist: Ideally, you need to talk with your artist before getting a tattoo cover-up. Discuss the design, what you like and don’t like, etc.

It’s always better to find out the truth rather than get a tattoo cover-up that is too dark or light than what you expect.

3. Know your Skin Type: Whether you prefer to use cheap or the most expensive tattoo ink, you want to make sure you know what your skin type is.

If your skin is dry, and you use a super thick layer of ink for a tattoo cover-up, it will cause your tattoo to look patchy and uneven. Ensure the artist knows your skin type before getting a tattoo cover-up done.

4. Realistic Expectations: Having realistic expectations regarding tattoos is important.

For example, people believe that if they get a tattoo cover-up done with black ink and their white ink tattoo is covered; it will look like the old tattoo never existed.

The truth is that the color of your skin always affects how tattoos look. Covering up an existing tattoo with black ink won’t make it look as dark as the real thing depending on how dark your skin is.

5. Getting a Tattoo cover-up is not permanent: Getting a tattoo cover-up is not an alternative to getting another tattoo. It’s a temporary solution until you get your next tattoo.

You would need to get your next tattoo to replace the old one or get the new one. Even though it’s a temporary solution, it still costs money and time to invest in your life and career.


Tattoo cover-ups are a good choice if you want to fix or change your tattoo. You can do it anytime, and it will look natural, beautiful, and new.

Although not all tattoos are suitable for cover-ups, you can get stylish and beautiful designs on your body without losing something significant.


I'm Vincent, a registered skincare specialist and an award-winning tattoo artist. I've been in the industry for over 10 years and have worked with some of the best tattoo artists in my field. I've loved everything to do with tattoos and arts in general, as well as exercise and wellness! This site is a place for me to share some of the expertise knowledge I have, as well as keep up-to-date with current research and studies. Tattoos are a huge passion of mine, I faced many questions from customers about different products, and there was hardly any help on the internet. I decided to start a blog and help other people!

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