Getting a new tattoo after having one removed: what you need to know

woman with tattoo
By Ellie Taylor 12th April 2022 Category: Advice

Tattoos are not as permanent as traditionally thought thanks to many amazing advancements in laser tattoo removal. As tattoo removal has a high success rate in the complete removal of the design, getting re-tattooed is always tempting. Here is everything you need to know about getting a new tattoo over previously tattooed skin. 

Can you get a tattoo after laser removal?

In most cases, yes, you can get a new tattoo over a removed one. However, there is a waiting time to be endured. After getting a new tattoo, the skin needs time to heal and this process is necessary when undergoing laser tattoo removal too. 

What is laser tattoo removal?

Laser tattoo removal

Laser tattoo removal works by using light and heat energy to dissolve ink pigment in the skin cells. The concentrated light beam emitted from the device passes through the skin’s surface to target the ink particles, which is then converted to heat energy and shattered by its intensity. The body recognises the foreign ink fragments present and expels them within the lymphatic immune system.   

How long do I need to wait before re-tattooing my skin after laser tattoo removal?

Laser tattoo removal is a gradual process, with variants like tattoo size, colour, density and the type of ink used by the tattoo artist, all impacting the removal procedure length. 

Therefore, before re-tattooing on previously tattooed skin, it is necessary to complete the recommended number of sessions for full removal and wait between 6 – 8 weeks after course completion. 

Healing time can vary too, and often, it’s best to wait even longer to ensure complete restoration of the skin. Picoway tattoo removal is the most advanced tattoo removal treatment available at sk:n and can remove a tattoo in half the time compared with traditional laser methods.

What are the risks?

The only complications with re-tattooing over previously tattooed skin is the prevalence of scar tissue. Whilst it’s very uncommon to get scarring from laser tattoo removal, it can occur and is a rare side effect. Scar tissue obstructs the ink from settling regularly on the skin and can impact the design’s definition. 

Before undergoing any form of laser treatment, your removal specialist will declare whether there is any scar tissue present that may distort the results. They will also outline your own suitability for the treatment and your treatment care plan, including expert pre and post treatment advice.  

Read our laser tattoo removal aftercare guidelines here.

Can you get a tattoo after laser hair removal?

The short answer is yes, and if anything, laser hair removal will enhance the final outcome of your tattoo as the skin will be smooth and long lastingly hair free. 

Laser hair removal and tattoo removal treatments follow similar practices, where both use light and heat energy to target pigment in the skin: the treatments differ by targeting present hair follicles or ink pigment. 

Laser hair removal treatments work to target the hair follicles in their most receptive, active hair growth stage and require multiple sessions to ensure the laser permanently disrupts the hair growing environment.

Similarly to laser tattoo removal treatment, the required sessions to remove the hair can vary, yet once completed, you can get a tattoo after 6 weeks

Key Learnings

  • You can get a tattoo on previously tattooed skin
  • Before getting a tattoo, laser hair removal can help enhance the final outcome
  • Advancements in laser removal treatments mean Picoway tattoo removal is quicker than traditional methods 

Need help?

sk:n are a certified laser clinic and laser treatment provider who specialise in tattoo removal treatments. Before undergoing any treatment, you will have a bespoke consultation where your laser tattoo specialist will disclose your eligibility, give you expert advice and information on your desired treatment. 

We offer a specialised product pack for clients, free with every 8 treatment course of laser tattoo removal, which includes a range of high quality brands and skincare products to help minimise irritation, prevent dehydration, soothe and deeply protect the tattooed skin.

Click here to book your treatment in one of our popular London clinics or click here to book in our other clinics throughout the UK.

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