Tattoos are meant to be permanent. Tattoo ink is placed below epidermis or the upper layer of skin (made up of dead skin cells) which makes it difficult to remove tattoo completely and also makes it expensive to remove tattoo. In fact removing tattoo is much more expensive then applying tattoo. If you want to remove tattoo for any reason, never try to remove it on your own and always get it done by professional dermatologist. Never use ready to use creams at home or any other tattoo removal products available. It can cause problem.
What can you expect from tattoo removal?
Tattoo removal is not easy, because the ink is placed beneath the outer layer of skin. Whatever technique is used for tattoo removal some degree of scarring and color change is inevitable after it is done and these tend to be permanent.
What are the risks involved in tattoo removal?
Some risks are associated with tattoo removal, such as infection from the site of removal, especially if aseptic precautions are not followed properly. This is the reason you should always get tattoo removal done by dermatologist. Even than there is some risk of infection. Skin discoloration and scar formation are other risks involved in tattoo removal and they are usually permanent and remain for long duration. Swelling and blister formation may also be seen, which usually heal within few days.
Tattoo removal by dermatologists:
Dermatologists commonly use 3 types of tattoo removal techniques,
- Laser surgery for tattoo removal: this is commonly used tattoo removal technique. Commonly a single powerful laser pulse is used and most dermatologists prefer this technique. Before powerful pulse of laser is used, skin is anesthetized using local anesthetic such as lidocaine injection. You may need more than one sitting for satisfactory tattoo removal. If you have multiple color in your tattoo, you may need various types of lasers and different wavelength lasers.
- Surgical removal of tattoo: this is best for small tattoos and highly effective. In surgical removal, the area is anesthetized with local anesthetic injection and tattoo removed with scalpel. After removal the skin is stitched. This may lead to scar formation. To prevent infection, antibacterial ointment should be applied, which can also aid healing process.
- Dermabrasion for tattoo removal: for this procedure the area of skin having tattoo is chilled till it becomes numb. Then the tattoo area is sanded using an instrument with abrasive wheel/brush till tattoo ink is latched out of the skin. The treated area remain raw up to 10 days, before it heals. The results are unpredictable, which makes dermabrasion less popular among individuals and dermatologists.
Laser removal and surgical removal (or combination of these two techniques) of tattoo is more popular among users and dermatologists. Before you decide to remove your tattoo, consult your dermatologist and decide which is best suited for you.
Image courtesy of [stockimages] at FreeDigitalPhotos.net