Tattoo Cover-up

Another name for this is camouflage. A cover-upis a means of disguise for a tattoo and can mean using make-up (cosmetics) or having another tattoo done to hide the existing one.


There are special cosmetics available which are designed for covering up unwanted tattoos. This can be very useful for that important job interview or a formal occasion. These creams can mimic your normal skin colour and give an even finish which looks completely natural. Many of these creams are waterproof and smudge free which is ideal if you have an active lifestyle. One example of this is Dermablend. This product comes into two parts: a cream which can be applied to the tattoo and a setting powder which provides extra hold.

New/re-working an existing tattoo

If you feel that your tattoo is badly done, has faded over time or you want to change it completely then a cover up can help. As long as your existing tattoo isnt a solid black colour or badly scarred then just about tattoo can be covered up. If your current tattoo is tired looking and faded then it can be given a new lease of life. The tattoo artist will re-draw the original outline, sharpen up any blurring and add a new colour. He/she may add extra colours which can help the tattoo to stand out.

Another option is to completely change to a new design. This means having a new tattoo done which covers the existing one. This is possible but there are few things to be aware of which are:

  • Your new tattoo needs to be larger than your old tattoo.
  • Have a new focal point (the area someones eye is drawn towards).
  • Your old tattoo must be fully healed and with minimal scarring.

The idea is for the tattoo artist to cleverly disguise your old tattoo so that other people will be drawn towards your new tattoo. This can mean using a new colour or adding a bright colour to a dark coloured tattoo. The aim is to distract the viewer from looking towards your old tattoo.

How long does a cover up tattoo take?

A cover up will require more than one session to be completed especially if it involves layers. By this we mean that the tattoo artist has to blend the colours of the old tattoo with the skin and colours of the new one which will probably be done in a series of layers. This is why it is so important that you find a skilled and reputable tattoo artist. You also need to be absolutely sure about the design of this cover up as it is almost impossible to rework it the second time around. In other words, this design needs to be for life as it cannot be covered up again. Other options include removing the tattoo altogether via laser removal or intense pulsed light therapy. Dermabrasion tattoo removal is another option as is surgical removal, removal cream and tattoo erase.

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