Hi all, great forum & apologies making my first post a request for help!!

Anyhow, have had the following tattoo for 20 years now & want it either covered or gone for good:


Had a chat with a local place today who tbh were not that helpful regarding cover up ideas. So I am now thinking that as laser removal technology has advanced that maybe thats the route to go instead.

So a couple of questions please:

1. Cover? Is this going to be feasibly possible? Ideally I would prefer some kind of black thick lined tribal design but as mentioned the tattoo shop I visited today didn’t think that would work.

2. Laser? Is this going to be a good candidate for this? As mentioned it is now 20 years old & has faded a fair amount & apart from the small amount of yellow is all black.

Thoughts or suggestions would be gratefully appreciated.

Thanks all.



Yes it is faded enough to cover up if you went big and obviously used darker pigments could be covered by pretty much any idea not just tribal. Take a look at pangburn’ s work he is the master of cover ups.

The laser would have no problem in fading that to a shadow or gone depending on how much you want to spend on the sessions.

Have you considered getting a rework of the ink? A skilled artist could make it shine again or give you the cover up you want.

It really depends on how much time and money you want to put into it, but all options are open with the right artist.

Take Care


Thanks for the reply Matthew.

Money is not an issue & happy to pay what it takes to get it done. My concern with the cover up route is that it will need to be pretty big & the design would be compromised by the limitations of my current tattoo.

I think if I was sure that laser would get rid of it completely & not leave any scars or outlines that is the route I would go & then think more carefully about what I want there if I have another without having to compromise the new design.

Has laser technology reached that point? i.e If money is not a concern & I realise it will take a few ‘hits’ to get done will it be totally gone eventually?

Thanks again.



The simple answer is yes lasers can now pretty much remove any type of ink and they have advanced rapidly in the last 5 years alone.

The complex answer as with all surgery there still remains a small risk of scarring and/or discolouration or faint outline.

The risks are way smaller than back in the day but obviously have to go somewhere reputable.

To totally remove it talking 10-12 hits over a year to 18 months (maybe less as it is faded).
To fade it to get to cover up with no restrictions between 4-6 hits as a rule of thumb.

If you do have laser no fresh ink for 12 mths is advisable to make sure that the area has fully healed.

Take care


As Sherav said Hit up Tim Pangburn for a coverup the guy is a master. http://www.timpangburn.com/



+3 for Pangburn, though we have no idea where you live …



I’m a laser tattoo removal specialist in W yorkshire, and can give a little advice.

You could attend sessions for laser treatment it would cost about £50 per session, you would need 4-6 weeks gap inbetween sessions for the skin to recover and the number of sessions needed will depend on how it takes to your skin.

Laser treatment will always leave a slight scar, it will be a very slightly lighter shade than your normal skin tone although unless pointed out most people wouldnt notice.

Another option would be to fade the tattoo just enough to be covered with another design.

hope this helps,


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