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Advice on Faded Tattoo


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Hi everyone! I got my first very large tattoo when I was in Japan 2.5 years ago. The artist is very well known and has amazing work, having tattoo'd for over 20 years. His stuff is amazing, and his healed stuff looks great as well!

I did this tattoo in a single session, it took about 8-9 hours with a couple 10 minute breaks in between. I made sure to follow all of the healing advice to a DIME (very type A person, very worried about having spent 1700 and making sure it turned out great). I never rubbed it against anything, didn't itch it during the itchy phase, and it healed in about 2 weeks. 

However though, it never seemed to move past that "cloudy" stage. There are definitely areas that need some touching up (sadly I wont be making it back to Japan anytime soon as I live in the US), but I'm wondering if this level of fade from a pure black tattoo is normal. When I reached back out to the artist to ask he simply mentioned that he would touch it up if I was ever in the area again, and that he felt it looked more faded than it should be but that it might just be because I have pale, freckled skin. Advice anyone? 




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Okay good to know guys - Thanks. So if I wanted it to be a little sharper then its likely not my skin, and I just need to look into getting a touch up. What's the etiquette on touch ups from not the original artist if they are so far away (in another country)?

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I'm Whitey McWhitebread. When I first met my tattoo artist I think he got a little bit of a tattoo woody looking at all that pale skin. I don't think skin tone has anything to do with why it faded. If anything, very pale skin makes the color stand out even more.

I'd leave it as is, but if you must monkey with it, make sure you get someone really good. They aren't going to "touch it up" they'll likely wind up going over the entire tattoo. If you don't get someone really good you have a better chance of making it look worse than making it look better.

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Hori Benny?  Still looks great even a bit faded.

The two main things I've heard fade tattoos are sun/UV and time/age.  Sunscreen couldn't hurt to retain what you've got. 

I agree with the others:  It'd be pretty hard to find an artist (other than the original) to freshen it up without risking ruining things.

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