symbol coverup

Can You Tattoo Over a Removed Tattoo?

Contrary to what many believe, laser tattoo removal isn’t just a process for people who regret their tattoos. Actually, you may be surprised to learn that laser tattoo removal for tattoo replacement is quite common. In our 15 years of business, we’ve seen that many of our clients are actually avid ink geeks and tattoo artists. 

More times than not, people seek laser tattoo removal in order to make space for a new idea or cover up an old tattoo because they’ve improved their own tattooing skills or simply want to display a different piece of art. Here’s what you should know about getting a tattoo removed to have a new one tattooed after.

Advancements in Laser Technology

One of the most important things to know about tattooing over a removed tattoo is that it is possible thanks to advancements in laser technology. While in the past, the methods that were available were too aggressive to allow for a coverup, in recent years, the technology has only been getting better and better.

Unfortunately, in the past, laser tattoo removal could get rid of ink, but it often left skin vulnerable to scarring and damage, effectively giving tattoo artists not much of a canvas to work with. Thankfully, that’s not the case today!

At MEDermis, we use the Spectra Pico Plus laser tattoo removal system, which has allowed us to reduce the number of sessions needed (almost 30%), minimizes discomfort for clients, and works particularly well on stubborn green and blue ink colors. We consider the Spectra Pico laser system to be the Gold Standard in tattoo removal lasers.

When Can You Get the New Tattoo?

The short answer – we recommend waiting at least six weeks after your final laser treatment before having the new piece worked on. If you can wait even longer, that’s much better for your skin!

Now looking into some more specific factors, you have to remember that laser tattoo removal is not always a one and done. How many treatments you need will depend on the end result you are looking for as well as the size, color of the ink, age of the tattoo, and the placement of the tattoo. Our team of Certified Laser Specialists can help with the technical factors of determining how many sessions, but you should also consult your tattoo artist to determine how much clarity they will need to give you the design you’re looking for.

Many times, we’ve had clients that did not need a full removal for their new tattoo, so have this information ready to discuss during your free consultation.

Before and after of arm tattoo after one laser session

Special Considerations to Keep in Mind

Your health and safety are our top priority at MEDermis Laser Clinic, and we’ve been around long enough that we’ve seen all kinds of issues arise. We can’t stress enough just how important patience is in this process so that you can have long-term and safe results that you are happy with.

Seeking a reputable tattoo artist is just as important as finding a reliable laser clinic, especially if you are looking to tattoo over lasered skin. Do your research and see if you can find an artist who has worked on skin that has had a tattoo removed via laser before. And no matter how anxious you may be to get your new ink, it is essential that you and your tattoo artist respect the six-week waiting period after your last treatment.

Why? The potential for scar tissue can pose challenges for your tattoo artist as well as your long-term health. Laser tattoo removal by a trained expert is safe, but there are specific precautions and aftercare instructions in place to protect you. Should you not follow aftercare instructions, it’s possible scar tissue can form, which can make your skin’s surface uneven and more difficult to tattoo. In addition to an uneven surface, scar tissue can mean a painful tattoo. 

It’s not uncommon for blistering to occur after laser tattoo removal, so be sure you’re giving your skin and your body plenty of time to recover and rest between sessions. Eating a healthy diet, staying hydrated, getting plenty of sleep, and avoiding alcohol and tobacco can all help speed up your healing process.

Do your research, follow the aftercare instructions, and be patient – these three steps will ensure a safe and positive process!

Following aftercare instructions is crucial

The very best way to ensure you don’t experience any discomfort during and after your laser treatments is to follow the aftercare given by your Certified Laser Technician. Drink LOTS of water, do not pick at any scabs, and avoid sun exposure. These are the basics of caring for your skin after laser tattoo removal, but if you have any doubts or questions, you can always get in touch with your laser specialist between sessions.

MEDermis Laser Clinic Can Help!

Removing your tattoo can be done safely, but be sure you consult the pros! We’re proud to have been serving clients in Austin and San Antonio longer than any other clinic in the entire southwest region of the U.S. Contact us today to schedule your FREE consultation!