In the past, getting a tattoo meant having that tattoo forever. Recent progress in tattoo removal techniques makes it possible for a person to successfully remove an unwanted tattoo. There are several methods available, in a variety of price ranges, and success rates.
Tattoo Removal Creams
There are several companies who market tattoo removal creams. In general, the intent behind these creams is to fade the ink from the tattoo over time. Most require daily application, and may take many months to see any results. Several brands include an exfoliating product, to encourage the skin to renew during the fading process. This process is the least intrusive. It is generally the least expensive, although the results may vary, depending on the placement of the tattoo, and the types of inks used in the tattoo.
This type of removal is best performed on small tattoos. It involves the surgical removal of the tattoo, followed by stitches to close the incision. If the tattoo is larger, this process involves the surgical removal of the tattoo, followed by a skin graft to cover the area where the tattoo has been removed. This method is likely to leave at least some scarring, but is very effect in many instances.
The laser removal process involves a highly concentrated laser beam directed at the tattoo in short blasts. The laser blasts literally break up the ink particles, which eventually are absorbed by the body, or shed with normal dead skin cells. This does not work on every tattoo, in some instances, leaves an outline or shadow of the old tattoo. With multiple treatments, many patients, however, see great results. This type of removal works especially well on patients with fair skin.
Chemical peels can be done at home, but it is recommended that this process be done by a trained professional. A popular type of chemical peel is called a TCA Chemical peel. It involves applying trichloroacetic acid, which causes the skin to peel. It causes peeling to a medium depth of the skin, so may require multiple treatments to be deep enough to effectively remove the tattoo. As with any chemical process, it can cause some scarring.
When the decision is made to remove a tattoo, it is best to talk to a professional for advice. Success rates vary, depending on a person’s skin tone, the type of inks used in the tattoo, as well as other factors. Doing the proper research is more likely to result in a successful removal.