How to Fix a Tattoo

by Ashlee Simmons ; Updated September 28, 2017

Tattoos are en vogue, but what happens when the outcome is not what you expected? Fixing a tattoo is not simple and expert help is necessary. There are also different reasons for changing your tattoo, and those reasons will dictate how you go about solving the problem. If you have a good relationship with your tattoo artist, she is the first person to call. If not, there are other options such as touch ups, creating a new tattoo, cover ups, and surgical removal.

Determine what you want. Did the tattoo artist make a mistake when she designed your tattoo? Or do you want to create a new tattoo from an existing one?

Contact the original tattoo artist. If your tattoo is brand new and there is a problem, call the artist who did the tattoo and ask for an appointment. This solution works when you like the artist's work but need a minor blemish fixed.

Find a new tattoo artist. If you are unhappy with a tattoo and do not like what the prior artist did, get a new one. Talk to the artist and tell him what you want done. Make an appointment to see the artist.

See the artist for an evaluation. Some intricate tattoos are impossible to re-do. However, a tattoo artist needs to see the work first and evaluate your situation prior to making a judgment. The artist is the best person to decide what he can or cannot do. Explain what you want done, show him the tattoo, and see what he recommends.

Consider surgery. It sounds extreme, but if you don't like a tattoo, surgical removal is an option. See your doctor and ask if she agrees. More than likely you will be referred to a plastic surgeon who specializes in the removal of tattoos. Surgery is not fool proof, and there will be some scarring. The majority of your tattoo will be removed, however.


  • Make sure the tattoo shop you go to is clean, uses sterile equipment, and complies with local and state health regulations.

About the Author

Ashlee Simmons has written professionally for more than 10 years. Her writing focus is travel, equestrian and health and medical articles, but she enjoys writing human interest stories as well. Simmons graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with a liberal arts degree.