The one thing people always feel the need to remind you of is that tattoos are permanent. Sure, you can go through the extensive process of getting yours removed if you have second thoughts, but no one goes to get a tattoo with the mindset that they’ll be removing their ink down the road. So if tattoos are essentially forever, why do they require upkeep?
Touch-ups are required for a few reasons, the major one being that when you spend a lot of time exposed to the elements like water or the sun, your tattoo can actually fade. There are many situations that can draw ink particles out of your skin’s dermis layer. This is why you need a touch-up; while the extent and time required vary based on the size, color, detail, and placement, touch-ups essentially guarantee that your ink remains in its best condition.
How long you have to wait before you need a touch-up varies from person to person, but they’re basically necessary whenever you notice the colors fading. If your design looks watered down and you want to add a little depth or vibrancy back to your ink, it’s time to call your tattoo artist for another session.
As with all of your tattoo needs, it’s important to listen to and trust the advice of your artist. They can look at your ink and know what to recommend. As a general rule of thumb, you should revisit your artist a few weeks after your initial session to see if they think you need more work done. They can tell what they think would look best and when is the best time to get some touch-ups. In the meantime, you can do your best to take care of your ink by keeping your skin clean and moisturized, while limiting your time in direct sunlight or submerged in water.