Tattoo Removal tips

Tattoo Removal procedures {EXCLUSIVE}

What is Tattoo Removal Procedure?

Tattoo removal is the procedure of removing the unwanted tattoo which is engraved beneath the top layer of the skin. This is why tattoo removal is not only a complicated procedure but an expensive one too. The worst part of tattoo removal is the pain associated with it. There are new procedures which are being developed every day, but all of them are either too painful or time-consuming.

What is a Tattoo?

A Tattoo is a permanent form of skin coloration or decoration done deliberately generally due to ritual or cosmetic purposes by injecting indelible or temporary pigments into the internal layer of the skin ( i.e. dermis or corium).

Tattooing has been a custom for thousands of years in various cultures and is growing in popularity even today. Some used it to mark slaves or criminals while some used to mark social ranks, political status or religious authority. Nowadays, it serves more of beautification and medical purpose.

A medical tattoo serves the medical purpose. This may include treating a condition, marking a body location or communicating a condition. A few examples of medical tattoos are:

  • Medical Alert Tattoos: Used to replace medical alert bracelets
  • Post-Mastectomy tattoos: Used to replace pigmentation after a mastectomy
  • Radiotherapy tattoos: Used to cover scars

Tattoo Removal Ideas

Need for Tattoo Removal

People may get a tattoo for various reasons which include decorating or expressing oneself, to feel unique, to highlight a particular thought or belief, to motivate oneself, to show love and care to a closed one, to shout out a story or to raise awareness about something.

However, sometimes it so happens that a person is burdened with a tattoo which is no longer wanted or is deeply regretted. There are some scenarios where the tattoo reminds of a past love, which has been already lost, or presently there in someone’s life. the tattoo might have faded away with time or misspelled or poorly executed. In all these scenarios the individual might want the tattoo removal.

A tattoo might also be one of the reasons holding back an individual from achieving his/her goals like joining the military where tattoos are strictly prohibited or getting the dream job where tattoos are considered extremely unprofessional. Fashion and ideas change with time and so does our mentality. Sometimes people fall out of love with the concept of the tattoo made on the body or the tattoo design may be obsolete. Sometimes a change in the lifestyle of the person may also lead to an alteration in the mindset thereby opting for tattoo removal.

Note: Sometimes skin disease due to uses of wrong pigments in Tattoo creation causes blue waffles disease

The History of Tattoo Removal

Earlier tattoos were removed by injection of wine, lime, garlic or pigeon excrement. Sometimes abrasive substances were used to scrape the top layers of the skin and remove the pigmentation and cut the tattoo out and graph it with extra skin. Later CO2 lasers were used to remove tattoos which resulted in scarring permanent pigmentation issues. This was a very painful procedure and required anesthesia. With technological advancements and training the laser treatments have become safer and have minimal side effects. However scarring, skin infection and skin decoloration still prevails in most cases.

Facts to know before opting for Tattoo Removal

No tattoo removal is fully guaranteed. The success rate is mostly determined by factors such as the location of the tattoo, the individual’s age and the duration since which the tattoo has been marked on the body. It’s easier to get rid of older tattoos compared to the newer ones. In some cases, it partially fades away leaving a ghost image while in some cases it leaves a permanent scar. So it is very important to decide whether to cover up the tattoo or to get it removed permanently.

Mostly the tattoo removal treatments require multiple sessions with an average time of 4-6 weeks. There are a few side effects which an individual must be aware of before getting the treatment done. These include scarring, burns, hyperpigmentation, skin pigmentation and skin infection. If an individual is on antibiotics then getting a tattoo removed should be restrained as a majority of drugs trigger sensitivity of light and may deteriorate the healing process.

Most of the people claim that laser tattoo removal is a very painful procedure. Laser treatments have machines which use a high concentration of light beam in order to break the ink into small pieces which go directly into the bloodstream and then through kidneys and into the urine. This is why they are considered extremely unhealthy. Thus it is required for a person to take the decision of tattoo removal after immense research and choose the most effective technique of removal and further prepare oneself mentally, emotionally and physically.

Procedures for Tattoo Removal

  • Surgical Tattoo Removal Method
  • Laser Tattoo Removal
  • Active
  • Passive
  • Intense Pulsed Light Therapy
  • Cryosurgery and Chemical Peels
  • Dermabrasion
  • Fading with Saline
  • Home-based Tattoo Removal Method

We shall discuss all of the above-mentioned methods in details below:

Surgical Tattoo Removal

Talk to a doctor about surgery. If a tattoo is small, it may be possible to actually remove it and also the skin entirely. The doctor will use a scalpel to remove it, cinching the edges of the skin together, during the procedure. In case the tattoo is large, this procedure may still be considered, but it might take a skin graft possibly to remove the tattoo followed by several treatments.

Tattoo Removal

Laser Tattoo Removal

The laser breaks down the ink particles which is fought off by the immune system of the body and fades away naturally with time or sun exposure. To provide an effective treatment, a tattoo laser must be capable of emitting adequate energy within the given absorption spectrum of the pigment. Black absorbs all laser wavelengths making it the easiest color to treat. Other colors can be treated with the help of selected lasers depending upon its color pigment. Certain tattoo pigments, such as yellows, pastel shades, and fluorescent inks are more challenging to treat because they reflect a significant amount of the incident light energy out of the skin.

The ink is converted to its liquid state and the laser beam is passed through the skin targeting this. A medical-grade chiller/cooler and anesthetic are given to cool the area after the treatment and to reduce the pain. Generally, the fading occurs gradually over the healing period of 7–8 week between treatments while occasionally immediate results are also seen. This is one of the safest and most preferred tattoo removal techniques.

There are two types of laser which can be used for the tattoo removal – Active and Passive

1. Active Laser Treatment / Laser tattoo removal using an Active Q-Switched laser

This is the most effective and efficient way of removing tattoos and is considered to be ideal by many dermatologists. It requires various sessions and the recovery takes about 6-12 months if proper care is taken and the skin is allowed to heal.

Advantages

  • Removes almost all tattoo colors.
  • It has minimal risks of scarring.
  • If a person wants to fade or lighten the tattoo then this method can be adopted.

Disadvantages

  • Might not remove certain colors like yellow or light blue which reflect a significant amount of the incident light energy out of the skin.
  • Not suitable for people prone to scarring issues
2. Passive Laser Treatment

Passive laser treatment equipment is cheaper to buy and thus purchased by tattoo parlors or beauty clinics.

Advantages

  • The cheaper machines provide cheaper treatment thereby becoming pocket-friendly to the customers.

Disadvantages

  • It only partially fades away the tattoo. It does not remove the tattoo completely.
  • A customer might not know the difference between the active and passive laser treatments and might be charged the same for both.

Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) Therapy

Intense Pulsed Light Therapy involves removing the top layer of the skin known as the epidermis using a broad spectrum of light. It breaks down the tattoo pigments into smaller components, which are then absorbed into the bloodstream and taken away from the site. With time, the affected area heals by skin regeneration.

Advantages

  • Suitable for large tattoos as it emits light pulses.

Disadvantages

  • It may lead to hypo-pigmentation

Cryosurgery and Chemical Peels

It is commonly used to remove skin cancers and warts but it’s also used for tattoo removal. During the process, the inked area is exposed to an extremely cold temperature by spraying a freezing-agent. It involves the use of mostly liquid nitrogen, although carbon dioxide or argon may also be used.

Advantages

  • Cheaper than laser treatment

Disadvantages

  • It has to be performed under a general anesthesia as it’s highly painful.
  • There are chances to get the damage nearby healthy skin tissue apart from the tattooed- area.
  • It is least effective on green and yellow pigments.
  • Experts don’t recommend for people who have very sensitive skin or tend to scar easily.
  • It is not as efficient as laser treatment.

Dermabrasion

Dermabrasion is abrading of the skin or in this case very deep exfoliation. The skin is sanded down to reach and remove the ink-stained skin using a high-speed brush or a wheel. A local anesthetic will be given for this procedure. Like all other tattoo removal methods, this would also require multiple treatments and the top layer of skin to be removed as well as the dermis layer containing the ink.

Tattoo Removal tips

Advantages

  • It may work for small tattoos.

Disadvantages

  • The procedure is not precise, and the extra skin is scraped away.
  • The skin generally looks and feels raw after the treatment.
  • The skin is open; it’s more sensitive to infections.
  • Doesn’t work much for larger tattoos.

These are a few scientifically-acknowledged ways to remove a permanent tattoo.

Fading with Saline

Some tattoo artists use saline solution to fade the tattoo. The saline solution is ‘tattooed’ (not injected) into the area where the old ink resides.

Advantages

  • Lightens the tattoo
  • Effective with older tattoos
  • Fades the tattoo enough so that a new tattoo can be made to cover it
  • Poses no harm to the skin

Disadvantages

  • Not Reliable
  • Finding an artist that does this may be difficult.

Home-made remedies

Home tattoo removal is considered to be the safest way to remove a tattoo since it has no side effects. The main goal for the effectiveness of the home-based technique is to reach the second layer of the skin (dermis) and the remedies should be performed several times for best results. However, it is better to have several days pause between them in order to regenerate the skin. In addition, a consultation with a dermatologist is always advisable before the start and also in between for proper treatment and results.

Below are a few home based remedies for tattoo removal:

  • Lemon and Honey: lemon is a natural bleaching agent and honey is known for its skin regenerative and nourishing properties. Mix one teaspoon of lemon and honey and apply this mixture on the tattoo every day. This will slowly help in fading the tattoo away.
  • Salabrasion: Scrubbing salt on the tattoo helps in fading it.
  • Salt and Lemon Juice: Mix 100 grams of salt with lemon juice. Soak a cotton pad in this solution and rub it over the tattoo until the solution is deeply absorbed into your skin.
  • Hydrogen Peroxide: Hydrogen peroxide is known to lighten the ink or the pigmentation of the tattoo. After scrubbing the area with salt use this solution over the tattooed area. Its antiseptic properties help to prevent infection.
  • Aloe Vera: Mix fresh aloe vera gel with yogurt and apply this mixture on the tattoo every day. This may work for really small tattoos.
  • Sand powder method: If you have a small tattoo, you can dab a cotton ball soaked in ACV (Apple Cider Vinegar) every day until it starts to fade. However, it is required to rub the tattoo with sandpaper for the ACV to effectively get absorbed into the area. Although it’s a tedious and painful method some people have claimed that they have achieved results with this procedure.
  • Tattoo removal creams: There are a lot of tattoo removal creams in the market today which target the top layer of the skin with its chemical content as they cannot penetrate within the inner layers of your skin. The creams manage to fade and give the tattoo a ‘worn-out’ appearance at the max, which is a result of the body’s increased immune response in fighting the damage being done to it. However, they will not help in fully removing your tattoo. It has been observed that they have severe side effects on 20% of users, so they are not considered very safe. The Tattoo Removal Institute recommends a couple of creams that may be effective which includes TatBGone and Tattoo-OFF.

Some people do not recommend to remove a tattoo at home using primitive methods like rubbing salt on it or trying to scrape it off with sandpaper. It’s never fully going to work and you may end up with permanent scarring. So it is advisable to always research a dermatologist who is a licensed professional and has good referrals. It’s best to consult a dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon who specializes in tattoo removal.

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