Tattoos are no longer considered permanent and irreversible designs or marks on the skin. Dermatologic surgeons can safely and effectively use different techniques to successfully remove unwanted tattoos. Anyone considering getting a tattoo should consider the size, colors and location of the tattoo as well as other factors before beginning the process. The ASDS offers a short list of do’s and don’ts to consider before getting a tattoo that would help if and when the removal process comes along. Read: Do's and don'ts for tattoos.
Why remove a tattoo
A variety of social, cultural and physical life changes influence the decision to remove tattoos:
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- Allergic reactions
- Regrets about the decision
- Seeking or obtaining new employment
- Replacing one tattoo with another
What you need to know
Professionally applied tattoos tend to penetrate the deeper layers of the skin at uniform levels. This uniformity allows dermatologic surgeons to use techniques that remove broader areas of inked skin at the same depth.
Professional tattoos made with some of the newer inks and pastel colors may be difficult to remove entirely. Removal of homemade tattoos – often applied with an uneven hand – may be more difficult to remove. Deeper blue and black ink colors are particularly challenging. Newer tattoos often tend to be more difficult to remove than older ones.
Complete tattoo removal is not always possible. Some level of scarring or skin color variation is a strong possibility.Tattoo removal is almost always done on an outpatient basis.
Tattoo removal do’s and don’ts
* Find the right doctor. Choose someone qualified to perform tattoo removal procedures, such as an ASDS dermatologist.Communicate.
* Discuss with your doctor the reasons why you want your tattoo removed, and manage expectations.Remain aware of costs.
* Tattoo removal is considered an aesthetic or cosmetic procedure in nature and generally not covered by medical insurance.
* Take care of yourself.
* Follow all pre-and-post operative treatment procedures carefully; ask your doctor questions if anything is unclear.
* Consider tattoo removal if you have certain autoimmune system disorders, pigmentation problems, active acne, warts, unstable diabetes, active rosacea or other undiagnosed lesions.
* Forget to ask your physician about the risks associated with the procedure.
* Attempt to remove your own tattoo or anyone else’s. It is dangerous and can lead to infections, serious health complications and even death.
* Have a procedure performed in unsanitary conditions.
* Ignore an infection. Contact your doctor immediately if you suspect any problems or experience considerable redness or soreness.