Removing a tattoo isn’t all that dissimilar from acquiring one in the first place. That is to say, there is more than one way to do it, and whichever manner you choose will almost certainly leave a mark. When it comes to other procedures, did you know that some people try to remove their tattoos at home? Please check with a doctor and weigh your choices before going all-in on tattoo removal.
In the end, there are three options for tattoo removal: laser surgery, surgical removal, and home cures. Allow us to save you time and money if you have money to spare and a tattoo you regret. We propose laser removal, which is by far the most effective procedure of the three. However, before you Google “laser tattoo removal” and schedule an appointment with the local professional, keep in mind that laser surgery quality and outcomes can vary—more on that later.
Home remedies, on the other hand, are more popular than ever before. However, before attempting tattoo removal at home or in your flat, you should educate yourself on what works and what doesn’t (spoiler alert: most procedures fail). After all, the last thing you want to happen when you’re removing something you don’t like is to make something else you don’t like. Who’d have expected that erasing tattoos at home would be both risky and ineffective? So there you have it.
But we’re getting ahead of ourselves, just like you were when you got the tattoo in the first place (we’re not criticizing). Let’s begin with the premise that you have a tattoo that you regret and work our way forward from there.
What to Expect When Getting a Tattoo Removed
When it comes to tattoos and tattoo removal, nothing is created equal. Even when dealing with the same fundamental method (e.g., laser removal), differences in technology and tattoo will provide various results. Here are a few points to remember:
Some colors are more difficult to remove than others
Colors like red, blue, and black are generally the easiest to remove, whereas orange, yellow, pink, purple, and brown are more difficult. Green, light blue, teal, and essentially any vibrant color are the most hardest to remove ink from. Despite this, newer laser technologies such as PicoSure and Q-switched are touted to be capable of tackling virtually any color with equal efficiency.
The more detailed the tattoo, the more difficult it is to remove.
You spent a month looking for the best tattoo artist, then another month waiting for an appointment. Finally, he or she inked you up and went Salvador Dali on you, turning your skin into a vibrant tapestry. The good news is that you almost certainly ended up with a fantastic tattoo. The bad news is that your tattoo will be far more difficult to erase than a cheap tattoo that doesn’t penetrate as deep into the skin.
Keep your tattoo as close to your heart as possible.
No, we are not suggesting that you purchase something meaningful, though it wouldn’t hurt. The closer a tattoo is to your heart or larger blood veins, the easier it is to erase, according to specialists. As a result, tattoos on the knuckles, hands, feet, and ankles are the most hardest to remove.
There Will Be Consequences
You should expect a period of time where the erased ink resembles a tattoo of its own, figuratively speaking, from lasting discomfort to noticeable scarring. Even the most complex surgeries will necessitate additional TLC and leave some form of physical residue, at least temporarily.
Surgical Removal vs. Laser Surgery
After you’ve made the decision to get rid of your tattoo, you should seek medical advice. Meeting with a dermatologist or plastic surgeon who specializes in tattoo removal is the first step. While some tattoo parlors may provide removal services, we do not encourage it. Leaving major procedures in the hands of a medical specialist is always the best option.
The doctor will analyze your tattoo during your appointment and recommend either laser or surgical removal. What you can expect from either method is as follows:
Tattoo Removal With Laser
Laser removal is usually the first and best choice for nearly all tattoos. It works by directing lasers at the tattoo and breaking down the pigments until they are no longer visible on the skin. As you may expect, your mileage may vary based on a number of things (starting with cost).
Meanwhile, the most effective laser tattoo removal has never been better than it is now. Picosecond lasers, which normally cost the most and work the fastest, are largely responsible for this. Expect the following regardless of which laser procedure you choose:
- There’s a good chance you’ll need more than one therapy. Each treatment will be brief, but the skin will require time to heal. To speed things up, put on a DeScribe patch (which preserves the skin and cuts down on recuperation time) and stay in the doctor’s office for a few hours. This will enable you to have multiple laser treatments in a single visit. It can take anywhere from 6 to 10 treatments to completely remove your tattoo.
- To numb the skin, a medical expert will use a local anesthetic (such as lidocaine). As a result, you won’t experience much discomfort during the procedure.
- Each session can last anything from 45 minutes to an hour. This entails photographing the tattoo, administering anesthetic, freezing the region, applying lasers, and bandaging the wound. The laser therapy itself is only a few minutes long. Naturally, the length of your session will depend on the size of your tattoo and the type of laser therapy you receive. Picosecond lasers will complete the task in the quickest possible period.
- After a few sessions, you can stop and accept faded ink. That faded ink may be transformed into a smart new tattoo in no time.
- It’s likely that you’ll detect the stench of charred flesh. After all, these are lasers.
- After that, there will be suffering. Are you sure you read the part about lasers and burning flesh?
- Swelling, blisters, and bleeding are possible side effects. Antibiotic ointments, bandages, and moisturizers can all help speed up the healing process. You should also stay away from the region.
- Scarring will almost certainly occur. You can expect some scars if you choose full removal. Thankfully, there are other laser treatments that can help you get rid of your scars.
- You’ll almost certainly have to pay for it yourself. This is a non-essential operation that your insurance will most likely not pay.
Surgical removal is an option if your tattoo is small enough. The doctor uses a knife to essentially cut the tattoo out of your flesh during this process. Here’s what to anticipate:
- To numb the skin, a medical expert will use a local anesthetic.
- The doctor will suture the skin back together after the tattoo is removed.
- Scarring will occur.
- A skin graft may be required for larger tattoos. Be aware that this treatment, which includes transferring skin from another part of your body to the removal location, can result in infection or problems.
Dermabrasion can be your best bet if you’re on a budget but still want professional tattoo removal. The doctor will remove the top layer of skin and color the remaining ink in this step. It isn’t as effective as lasers or surgical removal in most cases. It also takes longer to recover from, with bleeding and edema lasting up to 2-3 weeks. But, well, at the very least, you saved a few thousand dollars.
In recent years, tattoo removal at home has become extremely popular, however we don’t necessarily suggest it. At the absolute least, stay away from store-bought miracle lotions and balms, as the majority of them don’t work and aren’t FDA-approved. In a similar vein, unless you want charred flesh and multiple doctor visits, stay clear from DIY chemical peels for obvious reasons.
If you insist on removing tattoos at home, consider the following options. Also, notice how we used the word “review” rather than “try” because we don’t recommend trying any of this. You probably didn’t get the tattoo on your own, so we’re not sure why you’d try to get rid of it on your own. Nonetheless, here are some strategies that others have used. Scarring is to be expected.
Lemon juice and salt To make a thick paste, combine 100g of salt with a little lemon juice. Apply the mixture to the tattoo with a cotton pad for 30 minutes or more. Warm water should be used to rinse.
Aloe vera, salt, honey, and yoghurt are some of the ingredients. Combine 2 tablespoons aloe vera gel, 2 teaspoons salt, 2 tablespoons honey, and 2 tablespoons yoghurt in a mixing bowl. Apply on your tattoo and leave it soak for at least 30 minutes. Rinse well with warm water.
Salt from the table. Sand down your skin with table salt and a moist gauze sponge for 30-40 minutes, or until the region turns dark red. Apply antibiotic ointment to the affected region and keep it covered for three days. After a week, you can pull the top layer of skin away from the tattoo, chipping away at it. You may need to repeat this ritual a few times, in which case you should wait at least 6-8 weeks between treatments. Please be aware that you may have scars or infection as a result of this procedure. There’s also a chance you’re an idiot, which would explain your desire to use this strategy in the first place.
Tattoo removal cream prepared at home. Combine 1 tablespoon aloe vera gel, 2 vitamin E pills, and 1 tablespoon Paederia Tomentosa leaf gel in a blender. Combine the ingredients and apply to the affected region, soaking it for 10 minutes. Rinse well with warm water. For a week or more, repeat 4 times a day.