Tattoo Removal

Did you get a crazy tattoo while you were young and rebellious only to now wish you had never had it “inked” into your skin? A poll has found that 1 in 8 people who have a tattoo regret getting one. The poll revealed that immaturity was the number one reason for a regretted tattoo. Tattoos were once considered to be permanent fixtures once inked on a person, but developments are now allowing the removal of tattoos that are no longer wanted.

There are two common types of tattoo removal processes – laser and surgical. People who wish to have a tattoo removed need to be aware before hand that both of the processes take time (at least two stages, but up to five) and money. Insurance does not typically cover the cost of tattoo removals unless there is a clear health risk that has been determined.

Laser tattoo removal is the most commonly performed process. The lasers break down the ink in the tattoo. The broken-down ink is then absorbed by the body, mimicking the natural fading that time or sun exposure would create. Certain colors in tattoos are easier to remove than others. For example, dark blues and blacks are much easier to remove than yellows and fluorescent colors. Depending on the size and colors of a tattoo, people can expect to have multiple laser treatments to remove an unwanted tattoo.

Surgical removal is also another method of tattoo removal. It requires less treatments and is very effective at removing the tattooed area, but patients are generally left with a scar where the tattoo used to be. Patients will want to discuss with their doctor beforehand exactly what they expect to achieve so that they can make the best decision about the tattoo removal process that they wish to undergo.

Posted on behalf of Dr. John Kayal, Northwest Georgia Dermatology

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