The hardest thing of tattoo removal might not be the process, but having many questions running in the head without knowing the answer. Several people who will have their first tattoo removal procedure are usually the owner of these concerns. It is necessary to find the answers to all questions before visiting the dermatologist.
What Are The Options For Tattoo Removal?
Before stepping into the clinicians’ office, the patients should understand that there are more than one option to wipe the tattoo on the skin. Instead of going in as an empty glass, it is better to bring basic information about each option. Later on, the dermatologists could advice the most suitable procedure for the patients.
- Laser Removal
When the patients go online, laser removal must be listed on the first page. Without doubt, it is the latest technology to help with tattoo removal. It utilizes the wavelength to break down the ink trapped in the skin epidermis. As the healing process takes places, immune system will help flushing the ink out of the body.
- Make Up
Even though it cannot be considered as permanent removal, those who want to have clear skin on important day like wedding could take this option. Make sure to take the heavy duty products; it covers up the tattoos better. Some street brands might also work, but the patients have to apply it thicker on the tattoo area.
This should be considered as the last options for tattoo owners. First of all, it works only for certain case, usually for those who have small to medium sized tattoo. Moreover, the procedure must be done precisely by the doctor. Otherwise, there will be scars and smear of color after the cut heals.
- Intense Pulse Light (IPL)
As mentioned in the title, the patients will have the IPL machine works on the tattooed area. The basic principle is similar to laser work. Instead of laser light, IPL emits pulse to break down the tattoo ink. Some dermatologists claim that this method is more effective compared to laser treatment.
Be prepared to experience high level of pain when choosing this option. Dermabrasion includes sanding the drawn skin. In the end of the process, there must be scars or lighter skin area. It is not recommended to take choose this option.
- Cream And Lotion
It is not surprising to find that some patients have fears of needles or pain. In this case, cream and lotion could help. These take home medication might not wipe clean the color and pattern but quite helpful to soften the tone, bringing it closer to skin color.
Is There Any Preparation Needed Before The Procedure?
Once the appointment date and time have been set, it is important to go with decent preparation. Take a look at the tattooed area. If the area is highly covered with hair, don’t forget to shave it beforehand. Less hair will help the light to break the ink. Once the patients are seated, they are going to wear a google, especially designed for the procedure. The function is protecting the eyes from laser effect.
How Is The Procedure?
Another important to learn about the tattoo removal is the procedure. It is not meant to scare the patients, but to mentally prepare them for the steps they are going to have ahead. By listing the steps, the patients should be able to imagine how it would feel. Even better, they could also list any allergies or certain medical record that might stop the process.
- Laser Treatment
When a patient chooses the laser treatment, they must be prepared to get their skin heated by laser light. This process is important to break down the color ink and push it to blood stream. Instead of chunk, the ink will be divided into tiny fragments. As the result, they could pass safely through the blood stream. Years ago, dermatologists need different machine for different color tattoo.
Now that the technology has been developed, it only takes one single machine to tackle all the jobs. Turqoise might be the hardest color to fade, but the new technology could ensure to leave no single green drop at all. In order to completely remove the tattoo, the patients should visit the dermatologist office at least six to ten times. The number of visit might be longer depending on the size of the tattoo.
Besides its high cost, another thing that should be noted is the scar after treatment. It is not about the color; the patients will get their skin color back. Sadly, the skin can’t be as smooth as the untreated area. Three from a hundred patients get scars on the area where the tattoo was. Some also have darker or paler skin tone on the treated area. Thus, laser treatment is not recommended for patients with dark or tanned skin.
- Surgery Procedure
Many patients who have tried laser procedure usually recommend it for the fellows who own medium to big tattoos on their body. If the patient only draw small and simple ink ornament, it could be removed with a surgical step. As expected, it includes the knife and stitches work. It is better to leave the delicate cut to doctors or dermatologists. Doing it personally might cause infection.
Surgical procedure includes cutting the portions of the tattoo. Then, the skin edges will be stitched. For the patients that have big tattoos, the removal process should be done gradually. There is also a procedure called skin grafting. Instead of cutting the skin, the dermatologists will take skin from another part of the body and put it on the tattooed area.
The result of skin grafting will be a little bit odd. The surgery procedure is more natural, but the scars are so vivid. Those who prefer the skin cutting treatment usually chase the quick and less painful procedure.
Is There Any Post Treatment?
After ten to thirty minutes laser treatment, the dermatologists usually apply aloe vera cream to soothe the burning skin and bandage the treated area. There is no need to panic while seeing red rash on the place where the tattoo was. It is totally normal. If the aloe vera gel is not enough, the patients might also try holding ice pack. One simple ice pack could be made from towel wrapped frozen peas.
In the first 48 hours, the patients should avoid using any soap or perfumed personal care items on the area. This will lead to infection. It is normal to have minor bleeding on the heated area at least a week. Thus, joining activities that include a lot of physical movement must be limited.
When the days passed, the skin will be scabbed. Applying aloe vera gel or Vaseline will help to reduce scabbing or blistering skin. Before the treated skin healed, the patients are also suggested to stay away from swimming pool and saunas. At least, until the scabs are all dropped.
The skin exposed to laser light is usually more sensitive to the heat of sunlight. As the result, the patients should limit the direct contact to sunlight. The limitation also applies to the tanning bed as well as any sunscreen product. Be patient during the healing process. Some patients suggest to wear customized clothes that doesn’t touch the treated area.
What Factors That Decide The Length Of Treatment?
One unique thing about tattoo is no one has similar tattoo with similar size. Therefore, one patient might have different period of treatment with the other patients. Several factors that determine this period is size, color, type of ink used and also the period of having the tattoo. The bigger the tattoos, the longer time needed for remove the whole drawing.
The first generation tattoo only takes one color, and this one is relatively easy to wipe. The modern tattoo, however, offer more colors thus more difficult to remove. In the process of drawing the tattoos, the artist might use the high-quality ink or the medium one. The first option will give bright color in the end and longer period for removal. The later one also gives pretty color, but shorter treatment period.
Those who have owned tattoo for years are going to go through longer appointments with the dermatologists. Newer tattoos are far more easier to remove. Normal treatment takes six to twelve meetings, which scheduled in months or even years. Patients with whole body tattoo might take the whole year to remove every single line on their body.
How Much Does Tattoo Removal Cost?
According to experienced dermatologists, there is one thing that always asked by the patients; how much does the treatment cost? It is important for the tattoo owners to decide the budget as well as the suitable procedure. After all, any type of treatment should be paid, right? Therefore, it is important to know that the cost of tattoo removal usually applies for each visit.
When the dermatologist mentions the price, some patients take it as the whole treatment. It has been mentioned before that the length of treatment is determined by several factors. The range for each treatment is $150 up to $850 per visit. The patients then need to multiply it with the number of treatment suggested. For instance, ten visits will cost them around $1500 to $8500 in total.
Seeing the high price, some patients might think twice about having the tattoo removal procedure. Don’t worry about the payment. Those who are well prepared financially could pay by cash in the end of each treatment. The others who have limited budget might ask for special plan. Many clinics are offering the program or the patients could simply ask.
Is Tattoo Removal Painful?
Remember that cost doesn’t always refer to fund only. It also counts to the experience during the treatment. Some reviews from the tattoo owners who had the procedure done describe the pain similar to getting slapped lightly by using rubber band. It does hurt with warm and tickling sensation, but bearable.Only those who are sensitive to pain that require shooting cream or painkiller.
Is There Any Side Effects To Expect?
Even though the skin looks healthy on the surface, tattooed skin is basically the broken skin. Certain color is forced to stay on the epidermic layer. Thus, having it removed will drain the bank account. In some cases, the result might not as perfect as expected. Several colors are more difficult to erased than the others. Some of the stubborn tones are yellow, green and purple. Removing these color requires longer treatment.
If the patients plan to remove the tattoos, it is better to pick black, blue and red as the base color. These colors are easier to clean. In addition, the skin might be slightly darker or lighter compared to the normal skin. This case occurs on small number of patients, but you might belong to this group. Another risk is having permanent scar from tattoo removal.
Three out of one hundred patients have this problem. There might be the other cases such as infections, rashes or complications when the patients do not perform the post treatment medication properly. In order to prevent this case, it is better to ask for detailed instruction to the dermatologists.
When the side effects mentioned appear, it is suggested to wait two or three days before visiting the dermatologists. Observe whether the redness, swelling and blisters get better within days. If the skin condition is positively improved, then these are just temporary risks.
The last expected side effect is hyperpigmentation or hypopigmentation. Both cases relate to the production of melanin that makes the skin either darker or lighter. For the patients who appears to have this side effects, wait until the color change into normal before having the next treatment.
Many people regret their decision in the past to patch the ink into the skin. In certain point in their life, they want to remove it. Thanks to the modern technology, there are several options to meet the goal. Of course, each of them comes with different consequences. Are you brave enough to undergo the procedure?