Does your tattoo need to be touched up? That is when your tattooer examines the healed work, and will go through the piece to fine tune the line work and shading, so that your tattoo looks its best. Having your touch ups within six months after your tattoo has been completed will give your tattoo the best opportunity to look its best for many years to come.
How long to wait before doing the touch ups depends on the size of the tattoo, the complexity of the design, and how gently the work has healed. If you experience long healing times (more than two weeks) or noticeable shinny-ness on the healed tattoo it is very likely that you will need touch ups. Allow time for the skin to settle down to a more normal condition before having your touch ups (1-5 months, but no more than 6 months).
Many clients do not recognize the need for or the importance of touch ups. Reputable artists guarantee their work, and the touch ups are normally free of charge, provided the client has taken proper care of the healing tattoo. You may feel that the work looks perfect, but do yourself a favor and let your artist make that judgement.
Sometimes the need for touch ups is obvious, as in the absence of color which was present before the tattoo healed. Other times the need is less apparent, but your artist may be able to spot areas of the tattoo that are not entirely stable, and can correct them before they “fall out”.
*Often tattoos benefit from having certain areas of the line work and shading applied twice just to fine tune the contrast and strength of the piece over all. This sort of work is not the correction of a problem, and doesn’t fall under the same category.
Only your tattoo artist can asses their own work, and any tattooer worthy of their position will be pleased to have the opportunity to do so.
Touch ups may take five minutes, or several hours, depending on the size of the tattoo, and on the way that the tattoo has healed. Visit your artist a few weeks after the tattoo has finished peeling, to allow them to assess the need, if any, for touch ups. Together you can make plans on how to schedule time for the work. Typically because the touch ups are spot-check work, they will be very quick, and heal very easily.
Get the most from your tattoo, and have the work checked, and corrected before you call it “finished”
Touch ups MUST be performed within SIX MONTHS of the tattoos completion to qualify for correction free of charge.