How Often Do Tattoos Need to Be Touched Up?

  • Written By Dan Hunter on October 1, 2021
    Last Updated: March 12, 2022

Your tattoo is a permanent fixture on your body so you want it to look great at all times. The best way to make sure that this happens is to look after it, especially when it’s new. Aftercare is a big part of the tattoo process and if you don’t get this right, it could change your beautiful new tattoo forever.

However, even when using the best tattoo artist around and perfecting the aftercare process, your tattoo could still need touching up.

It could be that the colors have faded or the lines of your tattoo have blurred. There are many reasons why your tattoo may need a touch up.

We’ll share with you the reasons that a touch up may be required on your tattoo and also, how often this should be done.

Why Would You Need To Touch Up a Tattoo?

The tattoo is made by inserting ink into your skin. Even the most reputable tattoo artist can’t be 100 percent sure that this will turn out as expected every time. This could be down to the procedure itself or the aftercare but is normally no one’s fault. 

The colors could be duller than expected or the lines slightly blurred and the shading uneven. Once you notice this happening, you should speak to your tattoo artist for their advice.

How Often Do Tattoos Need to Be Touched Up?

You should always wait for your tattoo fully heal before having any kind of touch up. The healing process is not pretty and can show up flaws in the tattoo that may disappear as your skin heals. 

Even if your tattoo looks perfect once it has healed, that’s not to say that it won’t need touching up in the future. There are many reasons why this may be required, such as sun exposure and not looking after your tattoo properly.

Some tattoos don’t need any touching up in the first few years, and this will depend on the individual. Your tattoo artist will be able to advise about this as they know the tattoo. 

If you have had your tattoo for a number of years, the chances are that it will need a touch up. This will put some life back into the tattoo and make it look new again.

How Do You Know if Your Tattoo Needs Touching Up?

Your tattoo will need touching up if you notice any imperfections once it has healed. You should speak to your tattoo artist as soon as you notice and they will be able to advise on the touch up process. 

If your tattoo is exposed to the sun the colors may fade and the lines blur. This is why you should always use sunscreen on your tattoo. 

It could also be that as both your skin and your tattoo age the tattoo could need touching up to revitalize it.

How Soon Can It Be Touched Up?

You should always allow your tattoo to fully heal before even considering a touch up. The healing process takes time and during this time your tattoo may change.

It’s important to look after your new tattoo and provide great aftercare, this will reduce the chances of a touch up being required.

Does a Touch up Heal Quicker Than a Full Tattoo?

Any tattoo procedure will take a while to heal and this will depend on the size of the tattoo and the details that need touching up.

The aftercare for a touch up on your tattoo should be the same as a new tattoo. This will need to be looked after in the same way to get the best results. There’s no point in getting a touch up to then not look after it.

How Much Will It Cost for a Touch Up?

The price of a touch up will vary depending on the size of the tattoo and the detail needed to touch up.

Many tattoo artists will guarantee their work. This means that they will complete a touch up free of charge if this is needed in the first few months.


Touch ups are very personal to the tattoo that you get, the aftercare process and the age of the tattoo. Not all tattoos come out as perfect as you imagined them to be, unfortunately. 

However, all is not lost. Once the tattoo is fully healed take time to check it thoroughly to see if there are any imperfections. As soon as you notice any, speak to your tattoo artist and they will be able to let you know what they can do.

We hope that we answered your question and you now understand the touch up procedure. Not all tattoos will require a touch up but you now know that it’s not a big deal if yours does.

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