Everything You Need to Know About Tattoo Removal Options
This blog is notorious for the following:
- non-expert opinions (we should have chocolate money!)
- random observations (what is in that tree over there?)
- double negatives (don’t not complain about those – please!)
- non-sequiturs (squirrel!)
- and on and on
What does this mean for you the reader? Take what I have to say with a grain of salt. Or perhaps an M & M. Because that would be nice. (See “non-sequiturs”). Now I do my research, I ask professionals who know more than I do, and I try to provide useful information, however, this is not a place for solid, irrefutable facts. That is what Wikipedia is for. (Ooo – add “sarcasm” to that bullet list).
So now that you have been properly warned let’s talk about having a tattoo removed. Well, you went and done it. You got some shitty ink by a scratcher or you put the wrong name under “I Will Always Love…” or maybe your ink is making it hard for you to blend in or get jobs. Or maybe you would like to replace an old tattoo with a brilliant new one and just need to lighten the old one – not have it removed entirely. There are endless reasons why people seek to have a tattoo removed.
The most common and viable means for this is laser removal. Last week I beat you up with all those poorly healing tattoo pics and I will not do that again. All puppies and rainbows here. However, if you are curious google “tattoo laser removal blister” and then brace yourself against the furniture because shit is about to get real.
Yes, laser removal works but done the old fashioned way with less sophisticated equipment and techniques it hurts like the Devil – if the Devil took a blowtorch to your skin and then finished it off with a loofah mitt. Dipped in sand. Here is WebMD’s take on laser removal and here is our old friend Wikipedia’s take on it – which is very thorough and points out that thankfully laser tattoo removal techniques have advanced and the procedure is now less painful and arduous with less chance of scarring than it was in the past. That is why you should seek out the best tattoo removal company in your area with the most up to date equipment. Your removal will be less painful, require fewer appointments, and will not result in eye-popping images of scary blisters on the internet.
The wiki article also included this little chestnut about prior means of tattoo removal, “ Some early forms of tattoo removal included the injection or application of wine, lime, garlic or pigeon excrement.” Pigeon excrement? I’d love to learn how that “solution” came about. Hmmm – we have all this pigeon shit and it’s just ruining my dahlia’s – hey let’s inject it into your tattoo and see what happens!
But laser removal does work and it works well for most people and most tattoos. It is expensive and requires multiple appointments. It is also a medical procedure that carries risk so – just like a tattoo – go to a professional in a sterile environment – not some fly by night operation in the local strip mall. Tattoo removal like tattooing itself has experienced a leap forward in tools, techniques, and results. A top-notch laser removal company will provide better, faster, safer removal so do your research and choose wisely. If you are on the East Coast (say hi to my cousins for me) and also check out The Finery A top-notch laser removal company with multiple locations.
As millions of people have decided to get ink a healthy portion have opted for some removal of that ink which equals…money. Just like underqualified people jumping into tattooing this same phenomenon is happening with laser removal. They are shooting your body with lasers people! Be picky!
(if your laser removal professional is dressed like this then…who are we kidding. That would be AWESOME!)
So if the laser thing makes you a bit squeamish or you have been told that your particular tattoo will be difficult to remove because of the pigments used (this happened to me) are there any other options? Welllll…yes. Dermabrasion (basically scrubbing the shit out of the top layer of your skin to remove the tattoo), surgical removal (exactly what it sounds like) and then there are tattoo creams.
Wait a minute you say – I can just rub some cream on my regrettable tattoo of the Cheetos Cheetah guy (sorry in advance if you personally have that tattoo but…really?) and it will disappear? No Satanic skin burns or knives or power sanding? Why the hell would you try anything else?! Well kids I am sorry to say it is because those creams don’t work…yet.
The current creams on the market – and there are many – all promise to easily and painfully remove your tattoo but they don’t really work. Ironically this is the only time your faint, faded scratcher tattoo might be an advantage. The guy who did you didn’t put the ink in deep enough resulting in that faded “scratchy” look that you want gone. A cream may help remove this type of tattoo because the ink is closer to the surface of the skin – emphasize might.
Here is what the Mayo Clinic (pretty reputable if you ask me) say about current tattoo creams, “There’s no evidence that tattoo removal creams work. At best, tattoo removal cream might fade or lighten a tattoo. The tattoo will remain visible, however, and skin irritation and other reactions are possible.”
So CAN you get your tattoo removed safely? Yes. Will it be expensive and hurt? Yes. The smartest thing to do is Think Before You Ink. A couple of weeks ago I (hopefully) talked my teenage daughter’s friend out of getting a tattoo anytime soon and the wiki article about removal does state, “Of those polled, the patients who regretted their tattoos typically obtained their tattoos in their late teens or early twenties”.
Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule. Some people get inked early and heavy and they are completely happy and that is very cool. Only you can decide if it is time to remove a tattoo. And if you do be smart and safe. Go to a real professional. It’s a crazy world out there.
If you or someone you know has gang tattoos and would like them removed you can most likely get this done professionally for FREE. There is an application process that you must go through to be approved. You can find the website and the application here at www.freshstartremoval.org