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How to Tell If My Tattoo Needs a Touch Ups?

Posted by Ann V. On 2018 Feb 4th

How to Tell If My Tattoo Needs a Touch Ups?

Can’t decide when to opt for a tattoo touch up? Let us help you here with this brief guide on tattoo touch up.

Tattoos need frequent touch ups to look bright and beautiful all the time. In fact, it is a vital part of maintaining your inked art. The reason is pretty simple— touch ups increase the life expectancy of your tattoo.

Tattoos are vulnerable to fading as they are exposed to sun or water, especially if they are new. Then, many people have a strong urge to pick at their scabs appearing on their tattoos. It can also disrupt the design.

A tattoo artist fixes the imperfections in your tattoos by adding strokes or making alterations in the design.

But how to tell if your tattoo needs a touch ups? How long should you wait before getting a touch up?

It all depends on the size of the tattoo, design and the healing process. However, you should let your skin achieve complete healing before getting your touch ups. The skin normally takes 1-5 months to transit into more normal condition. So, it means that you should wait for at least 1 month. But it shouldn’t be more than 6 months.

While getting touch ups within 6 months is necessary, there are many signs that your tattoo needs an immediate “fine tuning” such as…

  • Your tattoo is looking watered down.
  • Your tattoo is looking faded.
  • Your tattoo is lacking color patches or gap is visible.

If you are confused over your skin healing, you can talk to your tattoo artist. A tattoo artist examines the healing, and improves the line work and shading, so that your tattoo stays vibrant. He or she also assess your tattoo for the weak spots and correct them to prevent their collapse.

Having your touch ups within six months after your tattoo will give your tattoo the best opportunity to look its best for many years to come.

Sometime, touch ups are obvious as you notice that your tattoos are looking dull or being faded by sunlight or water.

Tattoos on Some Body Parts Need Frequent Touch Ups than Others:

Tattoos on feet, hands, wrists and elbows are prone to fading as these parts are in constant motion. Then, they always remain in the contact of constant rubbing by clothing. These areas are more exposed to sunlight and water.

Needless to say you need to assess your tattoos to see if they are fading. If so, opt for a “touch up” session.

What If I Can’t Decide My Tattoo Needs a Touch Up?

As we have told you earlier that you should approach your tattoo artist if you are confused about getting touch ups. A tattoo artist will let you know when your tattoo needs improvement and where it requires that.

Make sure your tattoo artist is expert in such observations and can make the best recommendations. It is better if you visit them after two or three weeks, just to let them look it over and monitor if any extra work needs to be done. They may recommend you to come back in two months or four months to have an extra touch up.

Touch Up is Not the Only Thing. Aftercare Does Matter for Your Tattoo Life:

You can’t sacrifice your aftercare plan relying solely on the touch ups for your tattoo life. Remember, aftercare is more than a care plan.

Your tattoo is like a fresh wound, which is vulnerable to infection, scarring and other complications. If you have a badly ruined design caused by poor aftercare, touch up won’t help you restore its appearance. Touch up just improves the design and fixes the flaws in your tattooing.

Therefore, aftercare is downright essential to keep your tattoo in shape. In fact, it can reduce the frequency of touch ups as it is all about protecting your tattoo, thereby saving you money and time associated with touch ups.

A good aftercare plan includes…

Protecting the Tattoos from Sun:

Direct sun exposure will fade or bleach your tattoo ink. So, you should cover the tattoo every time you step out in the sun. Apply SPF 30 to protect your tattoos. Stick to this routine for 3 to 4 weeks!

Cleaning Your Tattoos:

Wash your tattoo with anti-bacterial soap and lukewarm water. Never wipe your tattoo with towel as it may smudge the new ink. Just let it dry on its own.

Avoiding Water Contact and Swimming for a Few Weeks:

Swimming pool water not only fades your tattoos ink, but affects it with chlorine and bacteria. Avoid swimming for 2-3 weeks till the healing process in on. Even after resuming swimming, make sure to clean your tattoo with antibacterial soap. Besides, you shouldn’t let the water running directly over your fresh tattoo (like in case of showering).

Wearing Loose Garments:

Tight clothes can stick to ink and seep plasma. It not only stains your clothes, but also smudges your tattoo. The tight clothing can be painful to remove and peel off any freshly formed scab.

Applying Ointment:

Dryness leads to scabbing or peeling in your tattoos. Apply an ointment to moisturize it. It is better if you apply the ointment given by your tattoo artist.

Key Takeaways:

  • Consider touch ups once your tattoo is healed completely.
  • Also consider touch ups if you notice fading or smudging of ink.
  • Make sure to get touch ups within 5 months of tattooing.
  • Approach your tattoo artist if you are not clear about touch ups.
  • Make sure to stick to your aftercare plan.