5 Best Ways to Remove a Tattoo: No More Regrets

best ways to remove a tattoo

So you made a mistake and want to get rid of that tattoo. You’re not alone. It’s unfortunate but of all the people who have tattoos, most have regretted it to the point of seriously looking into getting their once treasured body art removed. According to a study, more than half of all the people who have gotten a tattoo have thought about removing them.

No matter how great your original reason seemed for getting the tattoo, things just change. These are few main reasons among thousands.

  • the original reason for getting the tattoo may no longer be valid
  • your interests have changed
  • your youthful choice of design may now be an embarrassment
  • broke up with that old girlfriend/boyfriend
  • new spouse doesn’t like previous spouse’s name tattooed on your bod
  • doesn’t fall within your new job’s dress code
  • tattoo ink has begun to fade with age
  • weight gain (or loss) has made the tattoo design distort
  • allergies, infections, etc.

Whatever your reason for wanting to remove the tattoo, it’s good to know that there are few options. In this article, we will discuss about the top 5 best ways to remove a tattoo.

1. Laser Surgery for Tattoo Removal

laser tattoo removal

Regardless of your reasons why you’re no longer happy with your tattoo(s), you’re not alone in your search for legitimate removal methods. This is where laser tattoo removal comes in. It’s seems to be the most popular and common removal method, despite the fact that it’s also the most costly.

Laser surgery for tattoo removal is popular because it works quite well, albeit with a few drawbacks. In this method when the laser light comes into contact with the tattoo’s ink, it breaks it up into smaller particles. Small enough for the body to eliminate it through its natural processes.

There are quite a few types of  laser tattoo removal. The use of the certain type of laser treatment depends on the predominant colors of your tattoo. The doctors may need to use a combination of the various types of lasers depending on the depth and colors in your particular tattoo. In general, red, black, and dark blue colors are easier to remove than purple, green, or brown.

These are some other things to keep in mind if choosing this method:

Positives of Laser Surgery

  • considered the most common method of tattoo removal
  • low risk
  • best done by an MD
  • done on outpatient basis
  • use of local anesthetics
  • little bleeding
  • usually doesn’t remove skin pigment
  • low scarring risk

Negatives of Laser Surgery

  • laser surgery is dangerous in unskilled hands
  • Surgeon’ do not need a certificate
  • expensive, can cost thousands
  • removing 100% of tattoo is difficult
  • requires multiple sessions, possibly up to 15
  • requries several weeks between sessions
  • not the best option for tattos on hands, fingers or ankles
  • infections can result
  • blisters, scabs, or scars can result
  • can possibly destroy hair follicles
  • hyperpigmentation or hypopigmentation may occur
  • not covered by medical insurance

2. Dermabrasion Tattoo Removal

Dermabrasion Tattoo Removal
Image: naturaltattooremovalinfo.blogspot.com

An easy way to describe the dermabrasion tattoo removal method for eliminating your unwanted body art is “sanding.” It’s an older method that’s less used today. It involves the use of an abrasive rotary device that grinds or “sands” the tattooed skin down below the pigment.

Basically the process involves spraying the tattooed skin with a solution to freeze it. Then the area is deeply abraded with the power sanding device, causing the skin to be rubbed away. The tattoo ink is removed along with the peeled skin. As you guess, it is quite painful in the hands of an unskilled technician.

Salabrasion is a similar tattoo removal method, but slightly simpler. The tattoo is sprayed with a solution of salt dissolved in water, then the area is strongly abraded with a simple sanding block or rotary device.

If you’ve ever fallen and badly scraped your knees, you have a general idea of what these abrasive procedures are like. They can be bloody and painful. A local anesthetic will require on the area prior to treatment. A dressing will require afterward to help lessen the risk of infection.

Another method similar to dermabrasion tattoo removal is cryosurgery. Where the tattooed area is frozen using a liquid nitrogen solution, then the skin is peeled off after blistering or scabbing.

Depending upon the depth of the tattoo ink, scarring can result from all of these methods, so special care of the wound after any dermabrasion tattoo removal method is extremely important. Several treatments are usually needed, but they can all be done on an out-patient basis.

On a light note, you might enjoy videos in YouTube showing a dermabrasion tattoo removal, but…DO NOT try this at home!

3. Surgical tattoo removal

Surgical tattoo removal
Image: visakhaskinclinic.com

Surgical tattoo removal is the best method for complete removal success. It’s also the fastest and most effective method for small tattoos. However, there are several caveats…

  1. it works best on small tattoos, not larger ones
  2. a noticeable scar may remain
  3. skin grafts may be necessary for larger tattoo removal
  4. it needs anesthesia

The another name of this method is excision tattoo removal. This method was once one of the more popular methods for tattoo removal. However, laser tattoo removal or Intense Pulsed Light is getting popular day by day. Even so, it’s still a viable choice for the smaller tattoos.

During the excision method a surgeon numbs the area and cuts out the skin containing the tattoo pigment. Then the surrounding edges of the wound are sutured back together. Voila, no more tattoo.

You will experience some pain like many other removal methods. The amount depends upon the size of the tattoo, as well as its location. Some parts of the body are just more sensitive than others, and sensitivity varies with the individual.

There are several stages in a larger body art the surgical tattoo removal process. Most often it requires a sedative or anesthetic. If you need skin graft, larger scars may result in both the tattooed area and where the skin graft was taken.

Surgically excising larger tattoos obviously carries a higher risk of infection than with smaller body art, plus there’s a much higher risk for scarring. You will need greater aftercare in both tattoo area as well as for the area where the skin graft was taken.

Advantages of Surgical Tattoo Removal

  • immediate results
  • tattoo removal is complete
  • minimal bleeding
  • small tattoos can be removed in one session
  • relatively inexpensive
  • mild recovery

Surgical tattoo removal will be a good option, if the size of the tattoo you want remove is small. This method is kind of out of fashion and people rarely use this method now a days.

4. Tattoo Removal Cream

Tattoo Removal Cream
Image: skin-care-center.com

If you’re looking for a less expensive and less painful way to remove your tattoo, you might want to consider a tattoo removal cream.

There are several brands on the market to choose from, and they work by slowly fading your unwanted body art over a period of months. The cream’s ingredients bonds with the tattoo’s pigments and pulls it up to the surface of your skin.

The process is quite simple. And you can try it at home. It usually takes fewer applications and less time than with laser surgery for tattoo removal. It is possible to completely eliminate very small tattoos with just one application.

There are many tattoo removal creams available both online and drugstores. Tat B Gone, Dermasal, Wrecking Balm, and Tattoo Off are the most popular brands. They work by slowly fading the pigment of the tattoo.

Just as with other tattoo removal procedures there are no guarantees. Each individual’s body makeup and each tattoo is unique, its colors, age, etc., so results will vary. Tattoo removal creams work to some degree, and may be a practical choice for you.

Positives of Removal Cream

  • inexpensive and non invasive
  • little pain, usually no bleeding
  • mild burning or tingling sensation
  • low risk
  • readily available online
  • administered at home
  • usually doesn’t remove skin pigment
  • low scarring risk

Negatives of Removal Cream

  • inflammation or infection may occur
  • may cause blistering or severe skin rashes
  • removing 100% of tattoo is difficult
  • requires multiple applications
  • can take 2-18 months for complete removal
  • not good for darker skin types
  • careful aftercare is required

Always consult your dermatologist or physician before using any removal method, including a tattoo removal cream.

Tattoo Cover Ups

OK, so cover up tattoo removal isn’t exactly a removal procedure. Then why are we talking about this method here? Because, sometimes its possible to remove tattoos partially as part of the cover up process.

In a true cover up, the original body art design is tattooed over. This covers and hides the old tattoo, and the new tattoo that results is a completely new design.

There are two ways that cover up tattoo removal can involve the actual removal of the tattoo:

  1. Partial removal of the tattoo in order to fade or lighten it so that the new design will be more true to color.
  2. Partially removing the tattoo with the intent to purposely leave only the portion that remains.

A classic example of partial cover up is Johnny Depp’s ribbon tattoo on his upper right arm, “WINONA FOREVER”. After the ending his relationship with the actress Winona Ryder, Depp had part of the tattoo removed. It now reads, “WINO FOREVER” as shown in the pictures below

Jonny Depp Tattoo Cover Up
Image Source: funnyjunk.com

Final Thoughts

So, now you know about the top 5 methods to remove a tattoo. Among many options, these are the best ways. You should always keep in mind that, tattoo removal procedure depends on your tattoo’s location size, age etc. Always consult experienced tattoo removal experts when want to remove a tattoo.

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