How to Fix a Tattoo Mistake: Tips for Making Tattoos Last

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Accidents happen, even when it comes to tattoos. If you’ve made a mistake with your tattoo, you may be wondering how to fix it. This definitive guide will show you how to fix a tattoo mistake and help you get back on track with your ink. With the right steps and advice, you can make sure that your tattoo looks exactly how you want it.


What is a Tattoo Mistake?

What Is A Tattoo Mistake?

A tattoo mistake is an error made either during the tattooing process, or when planning the design. Common mistakes include misspelling words, incorrect placement of designs, using the wrong colors, and using the wrong size for the tattoo. In some cases, a tattoo mistake can be fixed with a simple touch-up, while in other cases, more drastic measures may be required.

Misspelled Tattoos: Misspelled tattoos are one of the most common tattoo mistakes. This may be due to a lack of knowledge of the language, incorrect spelling, or even a mistake made by the tattoo artist. Fortunately, misspelled tattoos can often be corrected without having to remove or cover up the existing tattoo.

Incorrect Placement: Another common tattoo mistake is incorrect placement of the design. This may be due to a lack of planning, or simply not taking the time to ensure the design will fit properly in the area it is being placed. In some cases, it may be possible to move the design to a different location to correct the mistake.

Wrong Colors or Size: Tattoo mistakes can also be made when choosing the wrong colors or size for the tattoo. This may be due to a misunderstanding between the artist and the customer, or simply not paying attention to the details of the design. In some cases, it may be possible to adjust the colors or size of the tattoo to make it look more like the original design.

How to Fix a Misspelled Tattoo: The easiest way to fix a misspelled tattoo is to have the artist correct the spelling and add any necessary elements to make it look correct. In some cases, it may be necessary to cover up the misspelled tattoo with a new design or a different color. Depending on the severity of the mistake, it may even be possible to remove the existing tattoo and start over.

Causes of a Tattoo Mistake

Causes Of A Tattoo Mistake

Poor Preparation

Poor preparation is one of the main causes of a tattoo mistake. This includes not researching the tattoo design or the artist beforehand, not taking the time to discuss the design with the artist, and not being well-prepared for the session itself.

Poor Quality Equipment

Tattoos are permanent works of art and poor quality equipment can lead to a botched tattoo that doesn’t look the way it’s supposed to. Before getting a tattoo, make sure the artist is using high-quality needles, inks, and machines that are sterilized and safe to use.

Poor Artist Skills

Another potential cause of a tattoo mistake is poor artist skills. Make sure to thoroughly research the artist you’re considering and look at their portfolio to make sure they’re experienced enough to do the job.

Poor Placement

Finally, poor placement can lead to a tattoo mistake. Before getting a tattoo, take time to think about the placement and make sure it’s in a spot where you’ll be happy with it for years to come.

Options for Fixing a Tattoo Mistake

Options For Fixing A Tattoo Mistake


This is the most common way to fix a tattoo mistake. It involves covering the existing tattoo with a new one. This new tattoo should be larger than the original and should cover the entire area of the old tattoo. The tattoo artist will then create a new design that blends in with the old one and covers it up. This method is often the most cost-effective option and can produce great results.

Laser Removal

Laser removal is another option for fixing a tattoo mistake. This involves using a laser to remove the pigment of the old tattoo. It will take multiple treatments to completely remove a tattoo, and it can be quite expensive. The good news is that the laser can also be used to lighten the existing tattoo and make it easier for the artist to work with.

Tattoo Re-work

Tattoo re-work is another way to fix a tattoo mistake. This involves the artist carefully reworking the existing tattoo to make it more aesthetically pleasing. This can be a time-consuming and expensive process, but it can also produce amazing results. The artist will need to take into account the existing design, the size of the tattoo, and the skin’s natural healing process when reworking the tattoo.




Before attempting a cover-up, it is important to consult with a professional tattoo artist. They will be able to assess the condition of the existing tattoo, as well as advise on the best course of action. Depending on the severity of the mistake, they may suggest a completely new design, or simply a touch-up.


When it comes to the actual cover-up, it is essential to use the correct ink. Darker shades should be used when covering up lighter inks, and vice versa. Additionally, it is important to ensure that the new design is larger than the original mistake, as this will ensure that the mistake is completely concealed. The artist should also use ample shading to ensure that the edges of the design blend seamlessly.

Laser Removal

Laser Removal


Laser tattoo removal is a process that uses lasers to break up the ink particles in the tattoo. This process can be used to lighten the tattoo, or to remove it entirely. The procedure typically requires multiple sessions, and the exact number of sessions needed depends on the size and color of the tattoo. The laser used in the procedure works by targeting the ink particles and breaking them up, allowing your body to naturally remove them.


Although laser tattoo removal is generally considered safe, there are some risks associated with it. These include scarring, infection, and changes in skin color. To reduce the risk of these side effects, it is important to follow your doctor’s instructions carefully. Additionally, it is important to find a reputable provider who is experienced in performing laser tattoo removal.

Tattoo Re-work

Tattoo Re-Work


Step 1: Find a professional tattoo artist with experience in re-working tattoos. Ask for a consultation and explain your needs. Be sure to provide a picture of the existing tattoo and a design, if possible, of the desired outcome.

Step 2: Schedule an appointment for the re-work. During the appointment, you and the artist will discuss the details of the design and the best approach for executing it.

Step 3: After the artist is satisfied with the design, they will begin the re-work process. Depending on the complexity of the design, the process could take several hours.

Step 4: Once the re-work is complete, you will need to take care of the tattoo and follow the artist’s aftercare instructions to ensure the best results.


As with any type of tattoo, there is a risk of infection and poor healing. The re-work process may also cause additional damage to the existing tattoo, so it is important to discuss any potential risks with the artist beforehand. Additionally, re-working a tattoo can be costly, so it is important to find an artist you trust and who offers competitive rates.

Cost Considerations

Cost Considerations

Correcting a Tattoo

  • Cost for a touch-up tattoo is usually between $50 and $100.
  • Cover-up tattoo costs can range from $100 to $500, depending on the complexity of the design.
  • Laser tattoo removal is more expensive and typically costs between $200 and $500 per session.

Seeking Professional Help

  • Consulting with a professional tattoo artist will cost $50-100.
  • Professionally removing a tattoo can cost $200-$500 per session.

Aftercare Considerations

Once your tattoo has been successfully corrected, it is important to take proper care of it to ensure the best results. Proper aftercare can help reduce the risk of infection and ensure that your tattoo looks its best.

Cleaning: Clean the area twice a day using a mild, unscented soap and warm water. Pat the area dry and apply a thin layer of a fragrance-free lotion. Do not use any rubbing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, or antibiotic ointments, as these can irritate the skin.

Avoiding Sun Exposure: Keep the area covered and out of direct sunlight for the first few weeks. After that, use a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 to protect the area from sunburn and further fading.

Avoiding Re-Injury: Avoid scratching, rubbing, or picking at the area. Be sure to wear clothing that won’t rub or irritate the area.

Watch for Signs of Infection: Signs of infection include redness, swelling, increased pain, pus, warmth, and fever. If you notice any of these signs, contact your doctor right away.

Following these aftercare instructions can help you ensure the best results from your tattoo correction. Taking proper care of your tattoo can help it look its best for years to come.

Frequently Asked Questions

What should I do if I’m not satisfied with the results of my tattoo fix?

If you are still not happy with the results of your tattoo fix, you may need to seek out a professional tattoo artist. A professional artist can assess your tattoo and determine the best course of action to make it look its best. They may be able to go back in and fix the mistake, or they may suggest a complete cover-up. In some cases, laser tattoo removal may be the most appropriate option. Ultimately, the decision should be made with the help of a professional.

Is it Possible to Repair a Tattoo that is Too Light or Faded?

Yes, it is possible to fix a tattoo that has become too light or faded. This can be achieved through a process called ‘tattoo touch-up’, which involves the artist re-working the tattoo in order to restore it to its original colour and design. The tattoo may need to be re-inked several times in order to achieve the desired effect. If the tattoo is too faded to be touched up, laser tattoo removal may be necessary.

Are there any risks associated with tattoo removal or correction?

Tattoo removal and correction procedures can come with certain risks, such as infection, scarring, and changes in skin color. The risks are generally higher when the tattoo includes multiple colors and is larger in size. It’s important to discuss any potential risks with a qualified tattoo artist before beginning the procedure.

How long does it typically take to fix a tattoo mistake?

  • Correcting small mistakes: Minor corrections, such as small lines, can often be done in a single session. Depending on the complexity, this could take anywhere from a few minutes to an hour.
  • Correcting larger mistakes: For larger mistakes, such as incorrectly placed or incorrectly sized elements, it might take several sessions, spread out over time. Depending on the complexity, this could take anywhere from a few hours to multiple months.
  • Removing a tattoo: If the mistake is too serious, or if you simply don’t like the tattoo, you may opt to remove it. Depending on the size, complexity and colour of the tattoo, this could take anywhere from a few sessions to multiple months.

What are the Best Practices for Aftercare Following a Tattoo Correction Procedure?

Clean the area: After the tattoo correction procedure, it is important to keep the area clean. Wash the area with a mild antibacterial soap, then apply a thin layer of ointment to keep the area moist.

Protect the area: Avoid any activities that may irritate the tattoo, such as swimming or exercising. Wear loose-fitting clothing to avoid any rubbing or friction.

Avoid the sun: The area should be kept out of direct sunlight for at least two weeks to allow the skin to heal.

Follow-up with your artist: It is important to follow-up with your artist to ensure the tattoo is healing properly. They may recommend additional treatments or ointments to help the healing process.


Correcting a tattoo mistake can be a daunting task. Nevertheless, with careful consideration and access to the right resources, it is possible to fix a tattoo mistake with minimal effort. The best way to go about it is to find a reputable tattoo artist who has the experience to correct the mistake and make the tattoo look like it was intended to. If the mistake is too severe, laser tattoo removal may be the only option. With the help of a professional, you can get back to enjoying your tattoo instead of worrying about it.


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