Just because tattoos are meant to be permanent doesn’t mean they have to be. Tattoo removal methods have been around for many many years. Of course, the more primitive methods tend to be much more painful and more likely to cause severe scarring, but they actually get rid of the tattoo itself fairly well. Even so, there are other options out there that one may wish to try. Some are more expensive but more effective, while some are cheaper but may not work for everyone. If financially limited, it may be worth it to try one of the cheaper methods of removal.
So what methods are there to remove a tattoo?
1. Laser Tattoo Removal. Laser tattoo removal is one of the more expensive methods, is also painful, but is generally very effective with less risk of scarring. However, there are some limitations to laser removal. Black-ink tattoos tend to be removed the easiest with this method, while colored tattoos tend to be more difficult. This method also takes a number of repeated sessions and can take a while for the tattoo to finally be removed.
2. Dermabrasion. Dermabrasion uses abrasion to remove layers of skin and eventually the tattoo. This method is effective, but is painful and has a risk of scarring (think of taking sandpaper to your skin). There is also salabrasion, which is the use of a salt/water mix to remove layers of skin in the same fashion. However, both run a higher risk of infection if they are attempted at home.
3. Removal Creams. Tattoo removal creams have also become popular over the years. Creams, however, are a product for which results seem to vary quite a bit. Some people see great results while others don’t seem to see any. Of course, if financially burdened, it may be worth giving a tattoo removal cream a try before spending too much money on a surgical method of removal.
4. TCA. TCA is a skin peeling agent used for cosmetics. Some people claim that repeated use of this substance can fade the tattoo and eventually completely remove it. This method can be performed either at home or by a doctor. If attempting at home tattoo removal, a small area of the skin should be tested first to be sure there is no allergic reaction and dilution and usage instructions should be followed to prevent harm.
5. Tattoo Cover Up. A tattoo cover up is another option. This is simply covering the unwanted tattoo with another tattoo. This is actually one of the cheaper methods, but it may be useful to fade the current tattoo slightly to help with the cover up.
6. Excision. Excision is a relatively simple surgical procedure used mainly for smaller tattoos. The idea is to just cut the tattoo out and stitch the surrounding skin together and allow it to heal. This method is definitely not recommended at home and can lead to scarring.
These aren’t the only tattoo methods out there, but they are some of the more popular ones. If the tattoo absolutely has to be removed, then it may just be worth it to go with one of the more expensive methods like laser removal since they tend to be more effective.