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Faded old tattoo - get rid or have touched up?

(16 Posts)
shins Sat 17-Jan-15 14:37:16

Anyone made this decision about manky old tatts? 15 years ago, on a sunny day in San Francisco, I got rather lovely tattoo on my shoulderblade of a turquoise coloured fish. It's looking pretty sad and faded now. I hardly give it a thought now as it's only about 2 inches by 1 inch in size and not visible unless I wear something low-backed. I have some nice dresses for next summer which will show it off though and thought for the first time of doing something about it. Is it painful and expensive to have it removed and would I be better off just spending the same (or probably less) money having it redone?

I'm in two minds. On one hand, I'm nearly 43 and much more boring and "ladylike" in style than I was back then. It mightn't "fit" me anymore. I find it a bit shocking how many very young people I know (teenagers) are permanently drawing all over themselves at a time in life when their personality, tastes, etc are so unformed and how no-one seems to give it any thought at all these days (**harrumphs**). On the other hand, I'm nearly 43 and have reached that lovely stage of not caring much what people think and it might be fun to have a fresh shiny tattoo.

Anyone? Is it easier or harder to "draw" over an area that already has a tattoo?

SunshineBossaNova Sat 17-Jan-15 15:14:37

I've got an awful tattoo on my upper leg that has faded. I'm going to have it covered, but have yet to think of a design.

I'm also 43 smile

mrsduff Sat 17-Jan-15 15:26:06

I am definitely of the opinion that once you reach an age where you don't care very much what people think, then it's definitely fun to have a shiny new tattoo.

I got my first tattoo a year ago - I'm 35. It's on my ribs so no-one sees it (my bikini wearing days are behind me now!) but I really like it, and glad I had it done. Its the size of a saucer, so quite big, and had it done to please myself really.

I've seen some examples of good coverups so I shouldn't think it'd be a problem if you go somewhere decent. Good luck!

HermioneDanger Sat 17-Jan-15 15:58:33

From what I understand coloured tattoos fade and blur over time in a way that black ones don't. I had a coloured one retouched about a decade ago and it's faded again and I think that I'll get it covered over with a new, rather substantial design in a few months.

I agree with mrsduff - when you don't care what people think anymore then do it. I am getting a new one tomorrow at the age of 36 and am having it somewhere visible shock - am very excited.

mrsduff Sat 17-Jan-15 16:30:34

Good luck for tomorrow hermione - I am getting a new tattoo in a couple of months, and was going to go for colour.. but maybe it's better to have a black tattoo fade to grey than have a colour tattoo fade.

At least it won't be on my ribs this time though which I am 100% sure is the most painful place to get tattooed!

Skinheadmermaid Sat 17-Jan-15 16:54:08

Hermione, all tattoos fade if you don't take care of them.
Tattoos should be kept covered in the sun and if that is not an option then factor 50 sunblock should be applied every hour or so. The tattoo will stay vibrant for many years to come.
You can buy sun block specially formulated for tattooed skin.
Some blurring and spreading will occur over time but it will be vastly reduced with proper care.
It saddens me when i see people spending hundreds on great work then oiling themselves up and crisping in the sun!
Op, perhaps get a cover up or you could add to the fish if you don't want it completely erased?

BlueEyedWonder Sat 17-Jan-15 17:35:52

If you still like the design, I'd just have it re-inked.
I have a tattoo on my inner wrist and another on my hip.
I love them and I don't care that I'm 40 next year.

CuttedUpPear Sat 17-Jan-15 17:41:13

My tattoo is 26 years old now and I'd quite like to not have it anymore.
However I've always thought it would be too much money to spend on myself, as a long term lone parent.

Anybody know how much it would be to remove an armband style tat, in just black ink?

TheAwfulDaughter Sat 17-Jan-15 17:46:56

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

itsbetterthanabox Sat 17-Jan-15 18:00:36

My tattoo faded very quickly. As in within 2 years. I got it redone after about 6. The same design but a bit more detailed and am very happy I did. It's lovely now.
Removals aren't often that effective.
I'd redo it.

hauntedhenry Sat 17-Jan-15 22:23:44

I'd get it redone, it's part of you and you don't dislike it. I think it sounds rather nice.

LidlMermaid Sat 17-Jan-15 22:34:54

I have a black tattoo on my leg that had faded and blurred. I'm having laser treatment to fade it out enough to recover with a new design. I've had about 6 sessions and its pretty much ready to do a cover up on now. If I was aiming for total removal, I'd probably be looking at another 4-5 sessions for best results.

I also have a small coloured tattoo on my shoulder which I'm going to have reworked. I still like the design but it's looking a bit tired after nearly 20 years so I'm having it touched up and a bit of embellishment to reflect my current style and tastes.

I'm nearly 40, by the way.

Fairylea Sat 17-Jan-15 22:37:46

I'd have it incorporated into a new design and refreshed.... but then dh and I are absolutely mad about tattoos and are covered in them. I had a very sensible job until about 5 years ago and now I'm finally enjoying the freedom to do what I want (I'm 34 and they'd have to drag me kicking and screaming back into an office environment or customer facing role... having said that I don't have any tattoos on my neck hands or face just incase).

I'd look on instagram for some inspiration. If you search hashtag cover up and variations of that you might get some very good ideas.

cardamomginger Sun 18-Jan-15 12:01:42

Removal of an old (more than 10 years) and coloured tattoo might not be so easy. Unfortunately you don't know how a tattoo will respond to laser removal until you start. I have a black one that's always been covered from the sun which was 10 years old. I've had my 7th session of laser over a 2 year period. It's faded a lot and I have gaps in the design now, but it's still there.

cardamomginger Sun 18-Jan-15 12:03:05

You need to leave gaps between laser sessions, as this is when the fading occurs. So it won't help to squash more sessions into a shorter period of time.

shins Sun 18-Jan-15 14:38:12

Thanks for your advice, everyone! Still not sure which way I'll go. If it was on my shoulder, arm or anywhere very visible on an everyday basis, I'd probably be keen to get rid of it but because it's my upper back/shoulderblade I could possibly get away with having a new one that occasionally saw the light of day. Getting rid of it sounds like it could be even more expensive and painful than getting a new one and it mightn't even work after all that! Hm.....[hmmm]

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