Laser Tattoo Removal vs. Cover Up: Which Should I Get?

If you have a tattoo you’re less than happy with, your first reaction might’ve been one of panic. Tattoos are permanent and despite being told over and over again, you had something inked into your skin that makes you cringe or tear up at the sight – sound familiar? Well, you may be pleased to know that despite what you’ve been told, bad tattoos can be dealt with. Whether you simply want rid of a badly-done tattoo, or your younger self had some questionable tastes and you’d rather remove that reminder from your skin, cover ups and laser tattoo removal can provide a solution. Here, we’re helping you decide which one might work best for you.

What You Need To Consider

There are a number of different things you need to think about before making your decision. From the current state of your tattoo, to the costs and the time each option takes, here are four things to consider:

  • The Pigmentation

While the colours can of course change the cover-up options, it can also determine whether or not you’re able to get laser removal at all. Greens, purples and blues tend to be harder to remove from a lot of skin tones, whites, yellows and similar tend to turn darker in some cases and reds can be impossible to remove on people that were allergic to the ink. These colours can be faded for the most part, however, in which case a fade and cover up option may be the best choice.

  • The Saturation

The saturation of a tattoo can also have a huge effect on the success of a cover up or removal. Older, washed-out tattoos tend to provide better results when it comes to laser tattoo removal, but can also prove helpful for cover-ups. If it’s a solid-black, highly saturated tattoo, laser removal may take more sessions, but could react better than simply trying to cover it up.

  • The Cost

Both a cover up and a laser removal will cost you money, but one can be considered more expensive than the other depending on the intensity of your current tattoo. For saturated, colourful tattoos, laser tattoo removal is almost guaranteed to be more expensive, simply due to the number of sessions it will take to see full removal. Similarly, a good cover up is going to cost more dependent on the amount of work that needs to be done. Regardless of which option you choose, never opt for a ‘cheap’ version of either, or you may do more damage than good.

  • The Time

This one poses an obvious difference – laser removal is going to take longer than a cover up. Unless your cover up is going to stretch over multiple sessions over many months, chances are the tattoo will be the faster option than a series of laser removal sessions. 9 months – 1 year tends to be the average length of time for removal.

Why Are You Removing/Covering Your Current Tattoo?

Working out why you’re removing your tattoo can also help you make that final decision. Are you simply unhappy with your current tattoo’s design? Is the artwork shoddy and could it just do with a touch-up? What about your career? Can you pursue your dream job with a tattoo or is it holding you back? These are the kinds of questions you need to be asking before you commit to either option.

If you’re simply unhappy with the tattoo’s design, a cover up could be a great alternative if you have a clear idea in your head of what you want. If you aren’t sure what you want and don’t have the time or patience to work it out, then removal may be the route to go.

Only you will truly know the best option for your tattoo and your lifestyle. Cover ups can be a great way to hide bad tattoos with better ones provided you choose the right artist, while removal is an ideal solution for those wanting rid of tattoos completely. Which will you choose?

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