Epic guide to tattoo removal. I know the thought of getting that Betty Boop tattoo on your wrist seemed like a great idea at 18. But, at 28 when you are looking for a job that requires more than asking “Do you want fries with that?’”, it may not look like such a good idea after all. If you are tired of trying unusual ways to cover your tattoo you may want to consider removing it.
What are the options for tattoo removal?
You don’t have to look very far to find tattoo removal cream. With so many different options of tattoo creams you want to make sure that you research the ones you choose to buy carefully. This is a classic case of you get what you pay for. The cheaper creams do not work as well as the more expensive ones. Even with most expensive tattoo removal cream you are looking at nothing compared to the cost of laser tattoo removal. If you don’t have money for laser surgery, this seems to be your best bet. It also seems to be one of the cheapest options.
Laser Tattoo Removal
This is the most common way people choose to remove their tattoos. It also happens to be among the most painful, and expensive. Some people say this feels like cooking bacon without a shirt on. It also can cause extensive scarring and has to be broken down into multiple treatments. People are saying that the technology used in this type of tattoo removal has advanced to a point that scarring is sometimes nonexistent. But that it varies on the tattoo that you are having removed. Laser tattoo removal also happens to be one of the most expensive of all tattoo removal methods.
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Intense Pulsed Light Therapy
IPL is done in spas more than in the dermatologist office. It works a lot like laser therapy but is less painful and many people say more effective. It is more expensive per setting costing upwards of $10 per pulse. The good news is fewer treatments are usually needed, and you can usually expect results in 10 to 12 months. There are a lot of tattoo removal experts that do not recommend intense pulsed light therapy. IPL is more effective on larger tats and is not recommended for small tattoos.
Dermabrasion has been used to get rid of tattoos for decades. The process basically just sands down your skin. I don’t know about you but that seems pretty painful to me. It reminds me of the Indian rug burn in grade school that would never stop. Basically it takes off the skin layers that have been tattooed. After the process, the new skin grows back and voila no tattoo. In place of the tattoo you very likely will have extensive scarring. Just to be clear this is completely different than the popular microdermabrasion. The cost for this procedure rivals that of tattoo removal by laser. In other words, it is not cheap.
Basically Cryotherapy is simply burning off the tattooed skin just like you would burn off a wart or lesion. This is not a pain-free option. While this works on smaller tattoos, you certainly would not want to use it on a full back piece. The cost comparison for this type of tattoo removal is like laser, IPL, and dermabrasion. You’re definitely going to have to bust the piggy bank to get the money for this one. Cost wise you are looking at approximately $80-$100 per square inch of skin. One of the downsides to this type of tattoo removal is that finding someone to do this will not be easy.
With saline tattoo removal a tattoo artist will fade the tattoo by tattooing saline solution on the area of the tattoo. Saline removal works the best on old tattoos. And many people say that it is not the most reliable method for tattoos to be removed. It is worth a try for light-colored tattoos and tats that have started to fade. Not a lot of tattoo artists do this type of removal, so it may be hard to find an artist. The cost for this type tattoo removal will be approximately the same as the cost of the original tattoo.
Excision is essentially the cutting away of the tattoo and sewing the skin up around it. Obviously this is a surgical option. It is less expensive than the laser removal, and it does remove the tattoo completely. The only problem is you are left with scarring in that location. This type of tattoo removal can take several months to complete depending upon the size of your tattoo. For some reason the thought of cutting away my skin and sewing it back together makes this an option that I would never choose. It should probably be mentioned that this is the most common treatment chosen when laser treatments fail. For some reason this option brings to mind some redneck using his hunting knife to scrape “Betty Sue” off of his forearm.
Homemade Tattoo Removal
You can go online and find ways to remove your tattoo at home. By the way I still have Bubba in my head for this method. Basically you take water, sea salt, hydrogen peroxide, and liquid vitamin E and you go through a series of steps to remove the tattoo at home. You will also need to soft cloth, medical gauze, and medical tape. By choosing this form of tattoo removal, you force yourself to bleed at the site of the tattoo as a part of the process. I don’t know about you but for me making myself bleed is not an option. However, this is the cheapest option.
The sad truth is this. There are no proven 100% ways to remove all existence of a tattoo. You are left with scarring, faded skin, and often odd lines were some of the tattoo is gone and in other places it remains. This is why it is so important before you sit down in a chair for the first time to make sure that a tattoo location and design is exactly what you want.