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Safest ways to remove a tattoo

How to remove your tattoos safely

Some people stay satisfied with their tattoos their whole lifetime. And then there’s a handful of people who prefer to have their tattoos removed at some point. The most common scenario: A tattoo done on a whim in the teenage years. You’re still not absolutely sure about what your true likes and dislikes are and you’re trying to find yourself, with only the outlines of your personality formed.

Tattoo removal stages
Different stages of a tattoo removal, showing how tattoo eventually disappears completely.

What’s more, tattoos in visible places can present a problem with certain professions which is why you may need to remove them. Don’t try to remove a tattoo on your own; always ask for professional help and consult an expert and reputable tattoo removal service. Otherwise you may compromise your health.

Laser tattoo removal
Removing a small back tattoo with a laser

Laser tattoo removal

If you want to get rid of your tattoo in the most effective way, then laser tattoo removal is your safest bet. This procedure should be done by cosmetic surgeons and reputable dermatologists, so be sure about who you put your trust into before undergoing the procedure.

Before and after tattoo removal
Some tattoos can be safely removed without leaving any traces on the skin

Depending on the tattoo and your skin as well, you might need to undergo several laser treatments in order to have a tattoo completely disappear. Laser treatments can sometimes have side effects in the form of scarring, scabbing and pain, so if your skin is extra sensitive you have to let the surgeon know. What’s more, laser tattoo removal is usually on the more expensive side.

Tattoo removed
A barely visible skin mark after the tattoo has been removed

Dermabrasion

Dermabrasion is another way to remove your tattoo. The surgeon or dermatologist will apply a numbing solution on the tattoo and surrounding skin and then sand out the inked skin. However, this procedure can be painful and if your skin is sensitive, similarly to the laser tattoo removal, it can also cause scarring and even hyperpigmentation. More often than not, this procedure is very successful, especially if you follow the rules and advice on post-treatment care.

Removing tattoo by laser
Even heavier tattoos can be removed using laser and other methods

Cryosurgery and chemical peels

During the cryosurgery procedure, the doctor will freeze the tattooed area on your skin, which will cause it to peel off. Chemical peels work in similar fashion. Still, you should be aware that these procedures may not result in a perfect tattoo removal as laser removal would. On the other hand, if your tattoo is small and already fading, these procedures might be the best options for you money-wise.

Before and after pictures
Dragon tattoo safely removed, without leaving any marks.

Removal creams

There are several recommended tattoo removal creams that can actually fade out your tattoo with continuous use. This method is the least painful but its effectiveness can depend on different factors, such as the size of a tattoo, your skin type as well as your diligence in applying the cream. In general, these creams take 3-9 months to show results. So if you definitely want to avoid cosmetic procedures, patience is key here.

Neck tattoo removed
Tattoo removed from the back of the neck leaves a small skin mark

Surgical removal

The most abrasive, but still the only procedure that can be considered 100% successful for tattoo removal, is definitely a cosmetic surgery. This procedure is recommended for people who have small tattoos since the surgeon will remove a piece of your skin in order to remove the tattoo as well. There is a possibility of scarring but if you’re prepared to treat the scar after the surgery, this could very well be your best and quickest option for getting rid of a tattoo.

Neck tattoo removed
A small tattoo removed from the side of the neck leaves no mark

Never decide on a procedure for tattoo removal on your own. Consult a dermatologist, cosmetic surgeon and even a professional tattoo artist for best possible options for you. Post-treatment care is essential if you want to make sure that your scar or any skin reaction you might have will heal nicely. In case you’re thinking about getting a tattoo, reconsider its meaning, size and place because you never know what the future-you may think.

All above images courtesy of Creative Commons

Diana Smith

Author bio:

Diana Smith is a full time mom of two beautiful girls and a passionate writer. In her free time she enjoys writing interesting and informative posts on women's health and fitness related themes.

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