Tattoos were once something only rebels and rule breakers got. However, they have rapidly become the mainstream over recent years, with more and more opting to ink their skin. Whilst many of them are meaningful in one way or another, there are some tattoos that people regret. With shows such as Tattoo Fixers pulling in lots of ratings and even more people regretting their tattoos, people have started to look into their options when it comes to tattoo removal or cover-ups.
With some people opting for an artistic design to cover up an old tattoo, other people want the tattoo totally gone…
The Tattoo Removal Options
Whilst there are three popular options available for tattoo removal. Laser removal is the most common form of tattoo removal and is believed to be the most effective. Alternatively, tattoo removal creams are often used as an alternative, although these seem to be less effective. The final method is surgical removal, however, this is a more extreme measure and is the
Laser tattoo removal, the most popular method of the three, works by breaking down the ink in the lower level of skin where the tattoo is located, by sending short bursts of controlled light directly into the ink. This causes the ink molecules to break and the remains are gradually and naturally absorbed into your body without causing any damage to the surrounding skin. Different types of lasers will be used depending on the colors involved in your tattoo, as different lasers target different colors.
Laser surgery offers the most effective treatment with the shortest recovery period. However, don’t be alarmed if it does cause scabs and blisters immediately after the procedure. This is normal and will subside between treatments.
The number of treatments needed will depend on the size, color, and age of the tattoo. With a small tattoo, the laser or surgical procedure will take much less time and therefore fewer treatments compared to a large tattoo.
However, if the tattoo is colorful it may require more treatments. That’s because colors such as light blue, yellow and red are harder to remove. In addition, an older tattoo will be easier to remove as the ink will have naturally faded over time. On the other hand, the ink in a newer tattoo won’t have broken down as much. In general, a small, black tattoo could be removed in around four to five sessions, whilst a larger, more colorful, or newer inking could take around 10 or more.
If you choose laser or surgical procedures, it’s essential to make sure that your specialist is fully approved and qualified. It’s key to ask your specialist about the training they’ve had, the maintenance of the machine, and make sure you’re given the correct aftercare information. This post by the UK Health Centre has some more tips for finding the right clinic.
Does Tattoo Removal Hurt?
In terms of pain, laser surgery all depends on your own pain threshold; some view it as a largely painless procedure, whilst others find it fairly painful. However, your specialist can offer a numbing cream to minimize the discomfort.
In order to minimize pain after the procedure, it’s important to follow aftercare advice, in particular using SPF when out in the sun, keeping the area clean to prevent infection, and avoiding any perfumed products for the first 48 hours.
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