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Tattoo Removal

Remove Tattoos

There are many reasons for wanting a bad tattoo removed. The bright side of having a tattoo removed is that you don’t have to deal with an unwanted tattoo that you regret, however the bad side is that the tattoo removal process can be lengthy and painful. If your tattoo is holding you back from getting a good job or if it keeps you from reaching goals that you have set for yourself, some of the pain and scarring could be worth the whole painful process. If you have a really bad tattoo of some sort and no longer associate yourself with that type of life or anything to do with it for whatever reason, like a bad gang tattoo, it might be in your best interests to have it removed. If you have a tattoo that symbolizes hate or prejudice, you may decide that it is time to let that lifestyle go. If you are sporting a tattoo of a lost love and you now have a new love in your life, it would be hurtful to your new love NOT to get the old tattoo removed.

Coverup of Tattoo
Coverup of a tattoo

If you have a tattoo that you wish to have partially or completely removed, you should first consider your options and decide which method might be best for you. Some people choose to have their old tattoos covered up instead of removed. Covering a bad tattoo is sometime harder to deal with because of scarring and the tattoo may become too large for your liking. There are some great tattoo designs you can find over at Chopper Tattoo that you can use to cover up your existing tattoos.

Here are some tattoo removal options:

Laser Tattoo Removal

Laser Tattoo Removal
Laser Tattoo Treatments

Not all tattoos can be removed, but most can be permanently removed. People with fair skin with tattoos on the arms, legs, buttocks, or chest have the best chance for laser tattoo removal. Those with darker skin with tattoos on the fingers or ankles are more difficult to remove by laser. Also, it is always easier to remove older tattoos than it is newer ones with a laser.

Lasers are one of the most common methods of removing an unwanted tattoo. Lasers work by disintegrating the ink with concentrated light that pulses through and breaks down the ink into small pieces. The Q-switched Nd:Yag, Q-switched Alexandrite and the Q-switched Ruby are the most commonly used lasers for the removal of tattoos. The pieces are then cleared away by your immune system like a scab. Laser treatments are not done in just one treatment however. Several laser treatments are necessary so that the laser can penetrate and destroy the ink in the skin. The one drawback to having more than one treatment is that the more laser treatments you have, the more damage to your skin you do. Several laser treatments results in blisters and scabbing that can lead to permanent scarring that sometimes can be worse than the tattoo was in some cases.

Experts in removal therapy say that scarring can vary depending on the situation and the individual healing process. Depending on your tattoo depth and darkness of the ink, you could need from 1 to 10 laser sessions, with each laser session costing between $250 & $850 a session. After each laser treatment, your skin will feel like it is sunburned and will be red. The feeling of being sunburned will usually go away in a few hours. There may also be bruising and blistering. The blisters will usually heal in a week. The tattoo itself will continue to fade over the next few weeks as the body heals itself.

Light Therapy

Tattoo Removal

Intense Pulsed Light Therapy, aka IPL, is the newest dermal enhancer being used today. Used instead of laser light, the process uses high intensity light in the same manner as laser therapy. Gel is applied and a light wand is used to emit waves of light onto the skin. The light method is less painful than laser therapy and in some cases more effective. Fewer treatments are usually needed with this type of treatment however the treatments are a little more expensive. Some clinics charge per pulse of light at about $10 per pass over the area of skin being treated. Depending on how many pulses you need in one session this could tally up to a quite a bit of cash. With IPL, you can expect results in about 10 to 12 months.

Cream Removal Systems

This type of cream tattoo removal systems are still looked at very skeptically. If you need a tattoo removed and do not have the cash for the other treatments, it couldn’t hurt to give one of these creams a try. The price tag for a container of some of these creams start at about $125, and it usually takes months and lots of cream to get somewhere near the preferred results. This type of treatment is not an inexpensive substitute and only cuts some of the cost of surgical alternatives because of the amount of cream needed. Reading comments from people who have tried the product and looking at before and after pictures is advised. These creams have less of a success rate than other treatments and can leave more ink in the skin. Make sure that you have done research before you try a miracle cream. We would recommend creams only in the cases where laser and light tattoo removal procedures is too expensive.

Other Tattoo Removal Methods

Dermabrasion Tattoo Removal

There are other methods of tattoo removal, but most of them are very painful and usually ineffective. For example, dermabrasion is a method used to remove tattoos. A small portion of the tattoo gets frozen with a special solution, and then a small rotary like device actually sands away the skin like an electric sander. There is less bleeding involved when the skin is frozen. Some choose dermabrasion without freezing the skin, which produces more bleeding. Another option is simply cutting off the area on the skin where the tattoo is, and sewing the two sides back together. In cases of a large tattoo, a skin graft from another part of the body is used. Salabrasion is another method similar to dermabrasion, using salt water and a device used to abrade the tattooed area. These options should only be used when recommended by a doctor.

Whatever method you choose to remove your unwanted tattoo, you should expect some scarring and color variations to remain behind. The time it takes to heal depend on the size and depth of the tattoo. Talk to your doctor about proper care of the treated area after the tattoo is removed.

Getting a tattoo removed is possible, but it’s definitely not fun. Be sure to choose a tattoo design that you will love for the rest of your life, and put it in a place that will not conflict with future goals and situations.

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Tattoo Trivia:

10% of the people in the United States are tattooed.