If you’ve ever regretted one of your tattoos, then you have probably asked yourself how successful is tattoo removal? This article breaks down 5 of the most popular tattoo removal methods and gives an honest review of each one.
1. Laser Tattoo Removal
Laser tattoo removal uses intense pulsed light to burn away the layer of the skin that contains the tattoo. IPL laser treatment is used to treat skin discoloration, and those same principles work towards removing a tattoo.
The laser penetrates the skin beneath the tattoo and kills the skin cells that are permanently stained by the tattoo ink. This procedure is eventually effective for pretty much all types of tattoos, but the size and detail of the tattoo determine how long it will take.
A small tattoo with minimal detail may be completely removed with one session, while a large tattoo with a lot of detail will take several sessions. Make sure you go to a med spa or clinic that has experienced technicians and top-of-the-Line equipment. At BHRC, which is one of the top med spas in the USA, they use the Lumecca IPL machine, which is the most powerful IPL machine on the market.
Salabrasion is the oldest method for removing tattoos. It is simple, but it’s painful. First, you mix a solution of table salt and water. Apply it to the tattoo area.
Then, an abrasive device is used to scrub off layers of skin. Scrub until the skin is a deep red. Apply an antibiotic ointment immediately after, and then wrap the area in gauze and medical tape.
Remove the gauze after 3 or 4 days and repeat the process. In the second treatment, soak the tattooed area in the salt solution for several hours, then perform the salabrasion technique and apply the gauze.
The tattooed skin should start separating within 4 to 8 days. You’ll need additional sessions if you still see your tattoo. While this process is effective, it is painful and always leaves a scar.
The only way to minimize pain and scarring is to have the procedure done by a professional.
3. Skin Excision
Skin excision is surgical removal. The surgeon cuts into and removes the layers of skin where the tattoo is. Then, they sew the wound shut. It works fabulously on small tattoos.
Large tattoos cover too much surface area to be removed with a scalpel. This method does come with the risk of scarring, and for some people it lasts up to 6 months. Scarring probability depends on surgeon skill and patient skin type.
4. Tattoo Removal Cream
Tattoo removal cream is only on this list because of its popularity, not its effectiveness. A lot of people see that this option exists and wishfully think that removing a tattoo would be as easy as applying a cream.
Many tattoo removal creams irritate the skin and only fade tattoos at best. You are better off investing in one of the other tattoo removal methods on this list.
5. Subcutaneous Injections
Subcutaneous injections are injections that penetrate under the skin. These injections are painful, but no more painful than getting a tattoo.
These injections deliver a glycolic-acid based solution to the tattoo area. The acid reacts with the ink and helps dissolve it out of the skin. Some people report burning and light scarring afterwards, but it really depends on the tattoo and the person’s skin type.
Only you can decide which tattoo removal process is best for you. Before you decide on any of these treatments, consult with a medical professional who has had patients go through the tattoo removal process.