What to do, if there is no space left for a new tattoo on your body? For many fans of tattoos the removal of one of them, is not an option. But even those, that have their bodies fully covered in tattoos, might change their taste, life-style, life partner or attitude. The most famous full body-tattooed man in the world, Rick Genest aka “Zombie Boy”, uses cover-up make-up in an advertisement, at least. But if he would really be up for covering his whole-body skeleton tattoo with make-up for hours on a daily basis, that is another story.
In the long run cover-up tattoos might be the more practical solution. An old tattoo simply gets covered-up with a new tattoo, which usually is almost always bigger and darker than the original one. This can be tricky, if the original tattoo already is a plane and rather dark colored motive. Most tattoo artists usually recommend a cover-up preparation with a laser, before starting the new tattoo.
Cover-up preparation with laser
The cover-up preparation with laser technique prepares parts of the old tattoo to be covered up. The laser therapists here treats the tattoo as in a tattoo removal treatment with laser.
In each session the laser retraces the parts of the tattoo, that are supposed to disappear. The highly energetic and ultra short light impulse of the laser crushes the pigments on the second skin layer (epidermis), so that they can be transported in the immune system and the treated area slowly brightens up. Eventually the color disappears completely. The new lasers remove very small parts of the tattoo (e.g. cover-ups of facial features or very thin lines) and are also ideal for permanent make-up corrections. At the same time the size of the spot in the laser is variable and can also be adjusted to perfectly brighten up extensive tattoos.
Sometimes it is enough to only brighten up the old tattoo. For lightening the old tattoo, it generally requires only a few laser treatment session. Amateur tattoos can often be removed after 2-4 sessions. To actually decide on the number and intensity of the treatments, you have to sit down and consult carefully with both, your tattoo artist and your laser therapist.
Read our guide about tattoo and permanent make-up removals. You will find lots of very useful information and guidance, e.g. about aftercare and support. Please, feel free to also contact us directly, should there be any questions.
It is important to take enough time between the laser treatment and getting a new tattoo. The dermis (second skin layer) needs enough time for regenaration. We therefore highly recommend to wait at least 6 months before having new pigments tattooed on this part of your skin. The longer you can wait, the better for your skin! That is true as a general rule of thumb. Take enough time between the laser treatments for your immune system to recover and your body to process the pigments. Your laser therapist should be able to consult you on the recovery process as well as on the laser treatment. It should be a warning, if somebody wants shorter recovery time and recommends laser treatment sessions in intervals of four weeks. Then it is more about the money than about your health! This rule should apply for your tattoo artists as for your laser therapist: Only trust respectable experts and make sure that hygienic standards are high in the studio, before starting your treatment!