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What Are the Choices for Tattoo Removal?

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  Tattoo Removal Choices

In the old days tattoos were permanent and if you wanted to get rid of it you could either have it changed to look like something else or learn to live with that decision made under the influence of tequila shots, Jell-O shooters or that hot two week love affair. These days you have a few choices to make on what method to be used to get rid of that tat. Every tattoo has unique characteristics so removal techniques must be tailored to suit each individual case.
Professionally inked tattoos usually penetrate the deeper layers of the skin at more uniform depths. This allows methods that remove broader areas of inked skin at the same depth.
Amateurs cannot duplicate the uniformity of depth so homemade tattoos are usually applied at more varying depths making removal more difficult.
If you have decided that for some reason, you just gotta get rid of that body art, the choices are:

1. Laser Surgery
2. Intense Pulsed Light
3. Dermabrasion
4. Surgical Excision
5. Salabrasion
6. Removal Creams
7. Cover-up

Laser Surgery
Laser surgery is currently considered the most effective non invasive, bloodless removal alternative. A high-intensity laser beam is targeted on the imbedded ink by a surgeon where he directs high intensity pulses to break up the pigment. The laser is applied with micro-second lasting pulses and it takes about 200 pulses for a small tattoo. The laser energy causes the tattoo pigment to vaporize into smaller particles that are then removed by the body's immune system. Laser surgery is relatively low risk, pain free and effective with the least side effects. Multiple treatments are normally required. Expect to experience minor pain similar to the original tattooing experience. The lasers high energy vaporizing the ink under your skin will cause sensations similar to specs of hot grease. It usually takes more than one treatment which only takes a few minutes.

Intense Pulsed Light
Intense Pulsed Light Therapy is the most recent development in tattoo removal. This method uses high intensity light instead of lasers’ to vaporize the ink. After applying a gel a wand is aimed at the tattoo that emits high intensity light pulses. One the plus side this method is less painful and more effective but is much more expensive than laser removal.

Dermabrasion
Basically dermabrasion consist of freezing the removal area of skin and the top layers are sanded off to remove the inked area. This is done with a high speed rotary sanding type device. You will need at least a local or some other type of anesthetic, hey; you are getting your skin sanded off! There will also be some bleeding and a dressing will need to be applied. After the affected area heals the scarring will depend on an individuals own body and what the location on your body the tattoo was on.

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Surgical Excision
Surgical Excision is nothing more than having a dermatologic surgeon use a scalpel to remove the inked skin and closing up the wound with stitches. This is ok for small tattoos on certain parts of the body. It is even possible to remove larger areas and graft skin from other parts of the body. Again you will need an anesthetic to numb the area but scaring will be limited to the sutured area and is usually minimal. This method results in the most complete and immediate removal of tattoo ink.

Salabrasion
Salabrasion is the oldest and crudest tattoo removal technique. I has been used for a few hundred years  and is still occasionally used today. Local anesthetic consisting of tap water dipped in table salt is applied on the tattooed area. An abrading device like the one used with dermabrasion, or an even something simpler like a wooden block wrapped with gauze, is used to  scrape the area. After the tattooed area gets deep red, it is covered up with bandages to heal. This is the preferred method selected by the biggest and baddest biker dudes and those lucky few who can drive nails through their hands and not feel it. If you are seeking a professional for a tattoo removal and he mentions the word Salabration, see how fast you can find the nearest exit and hope he hasn’t already locked the doors.

Tattoo removal creams
Removal creams have varying degrees of success much of which is dependent on the individual tattoo characteristics, depth of ink, type of ink and individuals body chemistry. Before spending a large amount of money for surgery you may want to try a removal cream if you can accept fading as opposed to complete removal.

 

Cover-up
So you changed your mind and for some reason you just do not like your latest tattoo but don’t necessarily want to get rid of it but just change it to something else. A tattoo cover-up job can be much less painful and cheaper alternative to removal. You just gotta find a skilled tattoo artist who can help you redesign the image into something you like and have him do the modifications. It is amazing what a talented artist can do to completely change a tattoo. Just make sure that you find an artist that is experienced in doing this and ask to see pictures of some of his modification jobs.

It doesn’t matter what removal method you use there will be some type of scaring or color variations. The most important thing is to consult with a physician that specializes or has extensive experience in removing tattoos. Good luck and remember that the best way to avoid these removal methods is to be very careful and selective when deciding to get that tattoo in the first place.

 

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