A lot of us have done it: we got that tattoo with the name of a lover from 5 or 10 years ago, or an image of some cartoon character we really couldn’t care less about now, or some symbol in a foreign language that means something completely different from what we thought. What ever the reason for wanting to get rid of it, tattoo removal is an extremely popular procedure which enables people to erase their bad ink.
That’s right, tattoos are not as permanent as you once thought. The problem with tattoo removal is that it isn’t cheap and there are no guarantees that the entire tattoo will even be able to be removed. But more often than not, those who undergo such procedures and treatments end up happy and satisfied.
The Process of Tattoo Removal
There are a couple of different ways in which you an remove a tattoo from your body, though the most popular now (though less effective) are the over the counter products that promise to slowly fade the tattoo away over a certain period of time. While these products will lessen the appearance of the tattoo, if you have a tattoo that’s larger than the size of a pea it may still be noticeable, even once the product has been all used up.
The other and perhaps more effective method of tattoo removal are laser treatments. These treatments are more expensive than the fading creams and lotions, but it will definitely get rid of the tattoo from your skin. That being said, there are the possible side effects to the laser removal of tattoos, such as:
- Scarring (this is rare, but possible)
- Hypopigmentation (lack of color)
- Hyperpigmentation (too much color)
- Redness of the skin
- Uncomfortable “sunburn”-like sensations to the skin
You also may need several treatments to fully get rid of the tattoo, depending on its size and the ink used.
The type of ink and color of ink used greatly impacts just what sort of treatment you may need. For instance, reds and yellow are known to fade fast with the lotions and creams that are on the market today, while green and blue shades can take significantly longer, or never be removed, with such creams. Black tattoos are definitely removed easier with lasers than any other color tattoos, and different lasers may be required to remove different colors of tattoos.
To only complicate matters more, the type of ink that was used to make your tattoo plays a large role in just how effective removal of the tattoo will be. Some types of pigments are designed to reach into two layers of skin – the epidermis and the dermis – while others are just to sit on the surface of the skin, which is the epidermis. Of course, the closer to the surface of the skin the ink is the easier it will be to remove.
Cover Up Tattoos: The Alternative to Removal
If you don’t want to remove the tattoo all together, then you can choose to have another tattoo used to “cover up” your current tattoo. If this is something you are considering, visit a reputable tattoo artist for a consultation. Though it will cost more to visit a quality tattoo artist, it will be well worth the money, especially if you need to cover up a previous tattoo.