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outpatient procedures
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skin discoloration
skin infections
laser treatment
simple answer
Can Tattoos Be Removed?
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Can Tattoos Be Removed?

The simple answer is 'yes' tattoos can be removed, but there are risks and complications.

When you get a tattoo, the ink is injected below the top layer of skin. That is what makes tattoo removal somewhat complicated and also quite expensive.

Some common side effects of tattoo removal are scarring, skin infections and skin discoloration. This emphasizes the importance of not being too hasty to get a tattoo. Take your time and try to look weeks, months, and several years down the road and picture yourself with that tattoo. Will you still want it then?

Getting tattooed is easy. Removing tattoos is not. If you're considering tattoo removal, select a qualified dermatologist. Have your dermatologist explain the different types of tattoo removal techniques that are available for you.

For example, if your tattoo is rather small, surgical removal with a scalpel may be the best and most effective method.

Certain inks respond better to laser treatment and so that method may be better for you depending on the coloring of your tattoo.

The removal is usually handled following outpatient procedures. Anesthesia is applied locally. The three basic techniques for removing tattoos are dermabrasion, laser surgery, and removal by surgery. Let's look at all three.

Simply put dermabrasion is a process where the top skin layer is removed by sanding with a special tool that is equipped with a high speed rotating wheel or sometimes with a special brush. This exposes the deeper skin levels where the ink resides and allows the ink to exit the tattoo area.

The area will feel raw and sore for several days. To prevent infection, ointments containing bacteria fighting ingredients are used and the area is protected with bandages especially designed for this procedure.

Laser treatment involves using Q-switched lasers which focus an intense powerful pulse directly on the tattoo, thus heating and breaking down the ink below. If more than one color ink is involved, different lasers using different wavelengths may be needed to complete the procedure.

After laser treatment there will be some swelling and even bleeding. Sometimes multiple sessions may be necessary just to lighten the tattoo. While laser treatment is the method of choice for tattoo removal, the tattoo still might not be completely removed even with this method.

Surgical removal is the most effective method, but it leaves a scar and is most practical only for small tattoos. Anesthesia is applied to effectively numb the area. The tattoo is physically removed using a scalpel. An ointment with antibacterial properties is then used to promote healing.

If you find neither of these three methods appealing and wish to avoid the risks and complications associated with each, there is a fourth method that many are using as an acceptable alternative and that is 'natural' tattoo removal.

This natural tattoo erasing method uses the body's own resources and cells to gradually break down the ink cells in the tattoo and fade the tattoo away, all without surgery or lasers.

If you are serious about getting your tattoo removed, you will find it beneficial to look at all the methods available to you and then make an informed choice.

Street Talk

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