What is a Tattoo?

A tattoo is a form of body modification where a design is made by inserting ink, dyes and pigments, either indelible or temporary, into the dermis layer of the skin to change the pigment. Tattoos fall into three broad categories: purely decorative (with no specific meaning); symbolic (with a specific meaning pertinent to the wearer); pictorial (a depiction of a specific person or item). Brought to Europe from Polynesia in the early 19th century through naval routes, it was originally largely restricted to naval use, and was a male-only domain. By the later 20th century its use was more widespread and extended to female users. By the end of the 20th many stigmas of the tattoo culture had gone and it moved into the realm of being a fashion accessory for both men and women.

What is a Cover Up?

A tattoo cover-up is the act of tattooing over a previously unwanted tattoo with a new tattoo. It is usually seen as being one of two options of removing an unwanted tattoo; the other option being laser removal. Covering up an unwanted tattoo is cheaper than tattoo removal. Poorly applied, faded, or light tattoos are the easiest to cover and can only be covered up using the same or darker ink. White ink may sometimes be applied to lighten the old tattoo before proceeding with the cover-up. Cover-ups could completely hide the old tattoo with a new design, or the cover-up could incorporate elements or the whole of the existing tattoo.