There are many reasons that may lead you to consider removal of previously loved tattoos. Allergic reactions, regrets or the urge to replace an old tattoo with a better designed one are among the top reasons for anyone to consider removing their inked piece of art. Seeking new employment is another top incentive that leads many to start researching on the available options for tattoo removal. The good news is that dermatologists no longer consider tattoos to be permanent. This is mainly due to the advances in medical technology that have enabled doctors and cosmetic surgeons to uniformly remove the ink used in itching tattoos on your skin.
Professionally applied tattoos are easier to remove than homemade ones. Professional tattoos have been applied on the skin uniformly, making it easier to remove them in a systemic manner. The same cannot be said for homemade tattoos. Tattoos applied recently and using new inks and colors may be more difficult to remove. You should also be aware that not all tattoos can be successfully removed, and that there is a strong chance of skin scarring and discoloration after the procedure. The following are some of the tattoo removal options available:
Professional tattoo removal options
These involve seeking the services of a legally licensed dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon. Some of the methods employed include:
- Laser Light Removal: In this removal method, pulses of light that have been highly concentrated and are carrying a lot of energy are directed at your tattoo, acting like an eraser. While this method is considered to be the safest and the most effective, there are associated side effects of the procedure. These include pain, scarring and the formation of blisters that can be disconcerting and unappealing. Thankfully, the operation is done after the administration of a local anesthetic that will numb the pain of the procedure.
This is another medical procedure performed by dermatologists. After the application of a solution that will numb the nerve endings on your skin, the dermatologist will proceed to sand down or scrub the tattoo off, pretty much in the same manner that carpenters do when polishing and smoothening their products. You should expect some bleeding and pain after the procedure when the numbing solution wears off.
It is also possible to completely remove the layer of skin on which your tattoo has been applied. The surgeon can excise the patch of skin and connect the edges of what is left making a small scar, or if the tattoo is large enough, the surgeon can introduce a skin graft.
- Cryosurgery and chemical peels
Another tattoo removal option is the use of liquid nitrogen which will burn off the frozen section of skin where your tattoo is located. Chemical peels lead to the same end point, the only difference being that they cause the affected part of the skin to blister and peel off. Unfortunately, these two methods are associated with pain and poorer success rates when compared to other methods such as laser surgery removal.