Life · London

Getting a Tattoo Touchup

I got a tattoo in March 2016 and I love it like I would love a spouse, or a child. I thought that it being on my foot would mean that it would last for a relatively long time — it’s constantly covered in sock and shoe, it’s not in the sun much, and it’s not intricate or detailed.

But fade it did. The main reason for this was that I fell over and scraped my foot, and when it scabbed and healed, some of the ink came out with it. (Not my finest hour). The top left of the tattoo had gone more of a dirty grey rather than black. Like a lot of things: most people didn’t notice, or said it wasn’t important, but since I see this cutie every day, it became profoundly annoying.

Fortunately, getting it touched up was both free and surprisingly easy. I sent a photo to the tattoo studio (no, the strangeness of sending photos of my feet to people on the internet hasn’t worn off yet), got an appointment, and rocked up in my lunch break.

Nick Hewish, the guy who did my tattoo in the first place, didn’t remember me (unsurprisingly), but was as friendly and relaxed as I remembered him. He gently shaved my tattoo and put Vaseline on the skin before grabbing his needle.

And did it hurt? Actually, less than I had expected, and less than I remembered. Like women giving birth plural times, my mind had blocked out precisely how it felt, but when needle touched skin it came right back. It was just like getting an injection. That sharp scratch, over and over. It was a shock initially, but once a couple of seconds had passed it was tolerable. I was more concerned about my stupid decision to wear a skirt and tights, and that my hairy legs were on show to the whole studio. (He didn’t comment).

I’ve been putting Bepanthen on it occasionally, washing it more carefully than normal, and it’s healed quite quickly and very easily. (And much less dramatically than when I originally got it).

To anyone with a tattoo thinking about getting it touched up — it’s even less of a hassle than you’re imagining, it heals easily, and it will make you so happy to see it all fresh and bright again.



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