The tattoo you’ve always wanted doesn’t always work out. This may have happened because you inadvertently picked the wrong studio or an artist who simply could not translate your vision to skin. Or perhaps your interests and persona has evolved and the tattoo that once suited you no longer does. The reason doesn’t really matter at this point. What does matter, is that you want a new tattoo over the same spot where the unwanted one once existed. Can you tattoo over a removed tattoo? Yes, in nearly all cases. That said, there are some key things to consider. Let’s review.

4 Things to Consider When You Want to Get a New Tattoo Over a Removed One

Was It Removed a Long Time Ago?

If the tattoo was removed a year or more ago then you’re pretty much all set unless there were notable complications that still persist (more on this below). If a very long time ago (5-years+) there’s only one thing left to do – schedule a consultation for your exciting new design!

Was It Recently Removed?

If removed within the last year, it must be confirmed that the skin has fully healed. It may appear to be based on feel and appearance alone, but that doesn’t mean that it has. It can take a full year for some removals to heal, especially if you had a surgical excision, dermabrasion, and lower quality laser treatments such the q-switched laser system. Ultimately, a studio that has experience in applying body ink over recently removed tattoos will be the best judge of when you can proceed with your new design. If located in the Greater Vancouver area, come on down to SOH Tattoo and we’ll let you know if/when you’re ready.

Did the Removal Leave Remnants or Scaring?

As alluded to above, a tattoo removal clinic may have employed a lower quality (and in some cases potentially dangerous) system such as surgical excision, dermabrasion, and q-switched laser. If so, there may be significant scaring. You can tattoo over scars as long as the skin has healed and they don’t protrude too much (as with keloids), although an expert tattooist can find ways to make nearly anything work.

In many cases, there won’t be scaring, but there will be noticeable remnants of the old tattoo. The old design itself may be highly visible. If the design is still identifiable (viewers can tell what it was) or a discolored (from your skin) “blob” still exists, you may need followup tattoo removal sessions. But this time, ensure that your tattoo is treated with the right laser removal system. Choose a studio that uses PicoSure laser tattoo removal, which is a state-of-the-art system that is more effective, less painful, and heals significantly faster than all other options. Where can you find a studio that uses PicoSure? We’re almost there – keep reading!

Have You Removed the Unwanted Tattoo Yet?

You may be online and searching “Can you tattoo over a removed tattoo?” because you still have the unwanted design, but don’t want to get rid of it until you know that it can be replaced. This circles back to what we suggested above. Choose a tattoo studio (versus a cosmetic clinic) that uses PicoSure laser tattoo removal. Again, the system is more effective, less painful, and heals significantly much faster. The faster the tattoo is faded, and the quicker your skin heals, the sooner you can return to get the tattoo you’ve always wanted, on the exact same spot the unwanted one was removed from.


Now here’s the really great news. SOH Tattoo has brought in the PicoSure laser tattoo removal system and has hired a laser tattoo removal expert. At press, the service will be available for the summer of 2022. Whether you find this before then, during, or after, you can schedule your consultation at our downtown Vancouver BC studio today. Let’s get you the tattoo you’ve always wanted!

Written By:

Sleight of Hand

More By This Author