Home » Re-Inking The Skin: Tattooing Over a Removed Tattoo

Re-Inking The Skin: Tattooing Over a Removed Tattoo

Tattoos were once considered permanent as no technology available could remove the tattoo ink from the second layer of the skin. The first tattoo removal technologies were exceedingly painful.

Over time, new technology has developed, and it is possible to remove tattoos with laser tools quite easily.

As a result, getting another tattoo in the same area of your body has become easier after removing the previous one. While each session doesn’t consume much time, it might take a lot between the tattoo removal sessions.

Dermabrasion and surgical tattoo removals are also viable options for removing a tattoo. Then, once your skin has healed, you can get another tattoo in its place.

You should speak to your tattoo artist and tell them beforehand that you had an earlier tattoo. Depending on how your skin has healed, they will try inking it with a new tattoo.

You must pay attention to the instructions of your tattoo artists to ensure that there are no complications while getting the new tattoo on the same patch of skin as your previous one.

Why Would You Want to Remove Your Tattoo?

Why Would You Want to Remove Your Tattoo

While tattoos are a prevalent form of body art, many get etched with tattoos that are very meaningful to them. A design, a motif, a favorite quote- anything can be the inspiration behind getting a tattoo.

However, people evolve, and what was once meaningful might no longer hold significance. A few years later, one might not have any attachment to the tattoo one had. A classic example is getting etched with the name of one’s partner, assuming they would always be unique, only to have the tattoo removed after going through a painful and messy breakup and having been hurt most terribly by someone so special. Naturally, you would want their names removed from your skin.

On the other hand, if you only got a tattoo because it looked attractive, you may want to change it after a few years when it no longer seems so. Tattoo ink can fade due to the sun or because collagen breaks down the pigments as one ages, and you may want to remove the old tattoo and get a fresh one instead.

Hence, re-inking is not as uncommon as modern technology allows you to do it quickly.

Why Should You Wait In-Between a Tattoo Removal Sessions?

Why Should You Wait In-Between a Tattoo Removal Sessions

Removing a tattoo can take multiple sessions, depending on how large an area the tattoo covers and how fresh or vibrant the tattoo is.

While small, black-and-white tattoos that only have outlines for a design can be removed entirely in one or two sessions, large, intricate, and colored tattoos can take several sessions.

And the skin needs to rest and heal in between those sessions. While removing a tattoo is not as painful as getting one, it still causes much discomfort to the skin.

For example, the laser tattoo removal process heats the skin by dissolving the pigments, letting the white blood cells carry them away. It is like a severe sunburn, leaving your skin red and irritated.

On the other hand, dermabrasion uses a sanding technique to scrape away the layers of skin until the tattoo is removed. It leaves the skin raw and swollen, and the skin has to heal before it can be tried again.

If your tattoo had very dark pigments, it would, of course, take multiple sessions to get the previous tattoo wholly removed. And every session will leave your skin sore for a while.

It’s why it is advisable to wait at least six to eight weeks between every session while removing a tattoo. And once your tattoo has been completely removed, you should wait another eight to twelve weeks for the skin to heal before getting a new tattoo.

How to Take Care of Your Skin Before Getting Re-Inked?

How to Take Care of Your Skin Before Getting Re-Inked

It is essential to take care of your skin after removing a tattoo and before getting etched with a new one in the same place. This area of your body will be raw and swollen for a considerable period, and you must follow your tattoo artist’s instructions to avoid infection.

Getting a new tattoo before the skin has healed after a tattoo removal process will be a harrowing experience. Your skin might start bleeding profusely.

It would take eight to twelve weeks for the redness to subside and for your skin to heal completely. Here are some things you can do during the period.

  • Keep the area covered and dry after removing a tattoo.
  • Apply any ointment the experts provided after removing the tattoo for quicker healing and moisturizing the area.
  • Remember to apply sunscreen while stepping outdoors.
  • Do not wear tight clothing that might chafe the skin.
  • Don’t soak in water for too long, especially in the chlorinated water of the swimming pools.
  • You can also use anti-scarring oils after consulting with the tattoo experts to prevent scarring if you opt for dermabrasion.
  • Watching for discoloration, bleeding, oozing puss, infections, and excessive itching or scarring would be best. You may also notice some scabbing, just as you had after getting the tattoo.

Things to Consider While Re-Inking Over Tattooed Skin

There are many things to remember while re-inking in the same place where you had a tattoo. Here are the three most crucial factors.

1. Time


Time is the most crucial factor to consider here. Every person’s body is different and takes different durations to heal.

Even if the skin looks healed, it will remain sensitive. It’s why you must wait for at least eight to twelve weeks before getting the next tattoo, if not more.

If you do not give your skin enough time to heal, it will cause you intense pain and discomfort, and take longer for the new tattoo to heal. If your tattoo starts bleeding, it will ruin your new tattoo and may be smudged or disfigured when the tattoo artist tries to work on it.

2. Pain


Another thing to consider is the pain. If you decided to remove your tattoo soon after getting it, that area would have seen a lot of discomfort. Many people tend to do that when they are not happy with the results after getting a tattoo and try to have it removed as soon as possible.

In that case, first, you need the skin to heal completely after getting the tattoo. Even if you are unhappy with the results, you should wait for the scabs to disappear and for the skin to heal before trying a tattoo removal process.

Or else your skin will be rubbed sore and completely raw, causing much pain. Once the tattoo is removed, which may take multiple sessions, you should again wait for twelve weeks to get the next tattoo.

Hence, it would be best if you were physically and mentally prepared to go through the discomfort of the entire process.

3. The Intricacy of The Tattoo

The intricacy of the Tattoo

The intricacy of the tattoo is another aspect to consider. If your tattoos are small and are mostly sketch tattoos, you will likely not have any residues from your tattoo.

However, suppose your tattoos are large and intricate. In that case, it will take extensive tattoo removal to make your skin a clean slate again.

Moreover, if you are getting another large and intricate tattoo- like a full chest or back tattoo- you must devote enough time to do it flawlessly.


Getting re-inked is quite a common feature because of more accessible access to tattoo removal processes. However, taking care of your body is a priority, and you should be careful during the process.

Taking any over-the-counter medication without consulting the doctor to heal the skin faster to get a new tattoo is also not advisable.

Also, you should pay special attention to the next tattoo you are getting so you do not have to worry about removing the tattoo after getting re-inked. When done right, your skin will heal well, and you can get re-inked without worries.

About Author

Jonathan Corby "Jonny" is a guy who is passionate about Tattooing and successfully running a Tattoo Studio in NY. Through my journey as a Tattoo Artist I have made unforgettable memories. This irrational poetry and sense of freedom of art on skin has given a blissfull experience to my life. Each Tattoo has a story behind it; Lets share one!