So, the day of your tattoo removal came and you are wishing you didn’t get that third one, don’t you? No matter how many tattoos cover your body, you need to know that their removal isn’t such a simple procedure. Since it’s a permanent tattoo some scaring or marks are bound to be left on your skin, no matter how precise or good tattoo removal procedure is. This doesn’t of course mean you’ll be left with some horrible scaring – it only means your skin won’t be as smooth as it was before the tattoo was done.
Since you are determined to get a tattoo removal, before booking any appointments, consult your dermatologist. He/she will give you an insight into ways various tattoo removal procedures are done and will suggest a method best fitting for your skin and tattoo type.
If you are opting for a laser treatment removal, you should know that some tattoo inks are more responsive to laser treatment than are others. Further, if you have a small tattoo, surgical removal may just be the best option. Big(er) tattoos aren’t that good a candidate for a scalpel.
Tattoo removal is often done with local anesthesia, as an outpatient procedure. Common techniques for tattoo removal include laser surgery, surgical removal and dermabrasion.
Here are some things you should be aware before scheduling your tattoo removal.
1. It’s not always a 100% percent success removal
You need to know that some tattoos fade only partially after the treatment. Talk to your laser treatment expert about what you should expect.
2. The older the better
With laser treatments, older tattoos generally fade more easily than newer ones.
3. Where did you get your tattoo?
Tattoo body placement matters as fading is slower for tattoos down the arm or leg.
4. Who did it?
Professional tattoos are harder to remove than amateur ones.
5. Different colors, different lasers
The easiest colors to remove are black and dark green; turquoise, yellow, purple and fluorescent dyes are hardest to fade. Also, there isn’t a single laser that removes all tattoo colors.
6. Your skin may change
Tattooing itself may change skin texture. This is why you may be left with what looks like a “ghost” of your old tattoo. Further, some cosmetic tattoos, such as white, flesh-colored and pink lip liners, may darken immediately with laser therapy.
Something to know about removal itself:
The most often treatment of choice for tattoo removal is Q-switched lasers.
The skin will be numbed with an injection of a local anesthetic before laser treatment is done. The next step is to have a powerful pulse of energy applied to the tattoo. This is done in order to heat and shatter the tattoo ink.
After the treatment/procedure is done you may experience some swelling, blistering or bleeding. Don’t be afraid if this happens, it’s a normal reaction of the skin to the treatment.
You will be prescribed an antibacterial ointment as it can help promote healing. Depending on the age, technique and type of the tattoo, you’ll likely need to repeat the sessions to lighten the tattoo.
Dermabrasion is a procedure where the tattooed area is chilled until numb and only then can tattoo removal being. What is used is a high-speed rotary device (it has an abrasive wheel or brush) on the tattooed skin. This way, the tattoo ink can leach out of the skin. After the procedure is done, the affected area might feel sore and raw for up to 10 days.
You will probably be prescribed an antibacterial ointment and cover the affected area with special bandages. Also, during this time, it’s important to treat the affected area gently.
Surgical removal is probably the most effective way to remove a tattoo. The skin is numbed with an injection of a local anesthetic after what the tattoo removal can begin. The procedure is done with a scalpel, and the edges of skin are stitched back together.
Again, an antibacterial ointment will probably be prescribed. You should know that surgical tattoo removal is pretty effective but it’s bound to leave a scar. Also, it might be practical only for small tattoos.
At the time you were getting a tattoo, you probably weren’t thinking about ever having to remove it. Now that you are, you need to be realistic about what to expect. Tattoo removal is possible to a certain degree only – some degree of skin color variation or scarring is likely to remain, and a method of tattoo removal has pretty much nothing to do with it.