Can you recall the first time you got inked? Was it painful, or did you not even flinch? Tattoos are a permanent type of art imprinted on the skin, often because they have a specific or sentimental meaning.

Getting a tattoo is not just about design, placement, and finding a great artist. It also means committing to a lifetime responsibility of maintaining it. Since tattoos become a part of your skin, you should take good care of it too.

Your tattoo artist has surely mentioned to you that tattoos need touch-ups once in a while. But do you know why and when you should schedule one?

Why Should You Get a Tattoo Touch-up?

Getting inked does not end the moment your tattoo heals. Because it is an integral part of your skin, your tattoo can be exposed to factors that could alter its details. No one wants a tattoo that looks more like a scribble or stain after a few years.

Here are some reasons why you should get a touch-up:

1. If Your Tattoo Is Fading

Anything that is exposed to the sun can fade. That’s right, even your tattoo. If you observed that your tattoo is losing the clarity of its detail or the brightness of its initial color, then it is time to schedule a touch-up. A touch-up does not mean repeating the whole process from scratch. The tattoo artist will just be using the same pigment for the areas that have faded the most.

To prevent your tattoo from fading, apply sunscreen whenever you spend time under the sun. Moisturizing by using mild lotion every day will also preserve the look of the tattoo.

2. If Your Tattoo Is Infected

Infection can occur when the tattoo site encounters a pathogen during the healing process. It can happen to someone if unsterilized tattoo equipment is used or if touching and peeling the tattoo is not controlled. The effect on each individual can be different but has the same outcome on the tattoo. An infection will surely change its appearance, which is why you may need a touch-up.

Everyone who just got inked is prone to infection, but fortunately, it is easily treatable. Wait for your infection to heal before scheduling a touch-up. Also, visit the dermatologist to determine if you are ready for another session and how you can avoid infections in the future.

3. If Your Tattoo Is Exposed to Certain Factors

A little bit of bad news for people who perspire too much: tattoos don’t like being exposed to too much moisture and friction. Tattoos located on the hand, ankle, foot, and inner thigh are more prone to fading and changing shape because these body parts are prone to sweating and high friction. Another factor is jewelry—if it remains in contact with your tattoo throughout the day, it can contribute to fading.

A drastic body change such as gaining or losing weight is another factor that could change the shape of your tattoo over time. Additionally, the skin naturally sags with age, so after five or ten years, you will undoubtedly need a touch-up.

When Should You Get a Tattoo Touch-Up?

Usually, you can get a touch-up between six to twelve months after getting a tattoo. However, the case for each individual may vary depending on how you take care of your tattoo.

For those who have experienced infection, you may have to wait twelve months for the skin to restore and regenerate its healthy state before giving it another go. Others may opt to schedule a touch-up between two to five years. For colored and oddly-placed tattoos, it’s safe to wait for a minimum of five years.


Getting a tattoo is a lifetime commitment. Aside from having that text or design on your skin forever, you also need to dedicate your time and effort to maintain its brightness and vividness. Soon enough, it will be time to revisit your tattoo artist for a touch-up once in a while!

Get tattooed by our award-winning tattoo artists here at Lucky Deville Tattoo Co. We are one of the best tattoo shops in Buffalo, New York, and we offer tattoo, piercing, and even cosmetic tattooing services. Contact us today!

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