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Removing a Cover-Up Tattoo: Does It Take Longer to Clear?

Updated: Dec 9, 2022

Removing a Cover-Up Tattoo: Does It Take Longer to Clear?

Many people have been in a position to decide if they want to remove a tattoo or cover it up with a new one. Your design may not have turned out the way you wanted it to, or perhaps you got the tattoo when you were much younger and want it gone. However, cover-up tattoos are not always the solution. Once you realize you want your cover-up tattoo removed, the process could take longer.

How Cover-Up Tattoos Work

A cover-up tattoo is not as simple as putting a new design on top of an old one. The ink is placed in the same location and mixes with the old ink, resulting in a combination of colors. So, if the artist applies red ink over blue that is already in your dermis, it will result in a purple pigment. Darker colors are better at covering up old tattoos, which is why black is preferred for cover-up work, even if most people don’t want an all-black design.

More often than not, cover-up designs are much larger than the original to make sure nothing peeks through. Unfortunately, this makes them more challenging to remove because the technician will be working on a wider area.

To answer the question, yes—a cover-up tattoo will take longer to clear if the new design is bigger than the old one.

Removing Cover-Up Tattoos

According to laser technicians, cover-up tattoos can be easily removed, just like a regular one. The same rules will apply, depending on the amount of pigment, layering, colors used, and placement. Darker and more colorful tattoos are more time-consuming and costly to remove than smaller and lighter ones.

Besides dark and bright colors, it’s more difficult to remove tattoos if you have darker skin or a preexisting skin condition like eczema because of the risk of side effects. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t remove your tattoo if these factors apply to you. You might need to take more time to find the best solution for you. Consult with a laser technician or a dermatologist for further guidance.

The Best Laser Treatment for Cover-Up Tattoo Removal

Modern technology has made tattoo removal easy without surgery or minimal scarring. It’s also more accessible to many people, giving them the confidence to have their tattoo removed once and for all. If this is your first time, you might be confused about which type of laser treatment to get. Lucky for you, we’re here to help!

There are two types of lasers commonly used for tattoo removal: Q-switched lasers and Pico lasers. Experts regard the latter as the gold standard solution for tattoo removal today because of its picosecond (one trillionth of a second) pulse durations, removing unwanted and stubborn tattoos faster than any other laser.

The Pico laser is an alexandrite laser, meaning it can produce a specific light wavelength within the infrared spectrum of 755 nanometers. It uses shorter wavelengths to break down and eliminate tattoo pigments beneath the skin, destroying them into tiny, dust-like particles. These are then absorbed by the immune system and discharged by the body.

Healing and Recovery

The healing time for cover-up tattoos does not differ from regular ones. Proper aftercare is still a must, as well as maintaining a healthy immune system. Your technician will give specific instructions, so be sure to follow them religiously. They will include an antibiotic ointment in your aftercare to help heal your skin and reduce the risk of infection.

For the next few weeks, you need to:

  • Keep the treated area clean and dry at all times.

  • Avoid wearing tight clothing if you can, and opt for breathable fabrics instead.

  • Avoid direct exposure to sunlight.

  • Wear sunscreen both indoors and outdoors.

  • Never pick at any scabs that may form.

You will reduce your risk of scarring if you follow your aftercare routine properly. It’s important to be patient with the process to achieve successful recovery.

Where to Get Picosecond Laser Removal Treatments

Vanish Clinic in Toronto, Canada provides tattoo removal services using picosecond lasers. We offer the PicoWay laser treatment, which is one of the most reliable treatments on the market. It’s quick, effective, and cost-efficient with our flat-fee pricing.

PicoWay uses fast pulse durations of less than one nanosecond, causing predominantly photoacoustic damage rather than photothermal damage of ink particles. Simply put, it removes tattoos gently with little to no scarring. It has more than double the amount of peak power compared to other lasers, making it one of the most trusted treatments in the industry.

Book an Appointment With Us

Our experienced laser technicians will consult with you to create an action plan for your tattoos, as well as guide you throughout the process to ensure a hassle-free experience. If you’re ready to take the leap, contact us today to book a free consultation.

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