|Although tattoos are designed to be permanent,
what should you do If you would like to have
one removed? While nearly impossible to completely
remove signs of a prior tattoo, there are
some approaches that can yield good results:
- complete removal: there are several older
methods that involve cutting or scraping
off the skin containing the tattoo pigment;
the amount of work depends on the depth of
the tattoo pigment. These are painful approaches
than often leave scars and so should be avoided
- pigment reduction:
- laser removal is the most popular method;
it uses pulses of laser light to breakdown
the tattoo pigment into tiny pieces that
are removed by the body's blood system.
- lightening: there are creams on the market
that are advertised to fade the tattoo over
time; generally, they also work by breaking
down the pigment..
When considering having a tattoo removed,
here are some tips:
- Begin by consulting with a dermatological
surgeon specializing in tattoo removal. Ask
your primary physician for a recommendation
of one in your area.
- The size of the tattoo, the location, the
colors, and your health are
some of the important
factors in determining how
are needed and how close together
- Find out the total cost of removing the tattoo
upfront. Your doctor might quote you a single
price (if so, agree up front on what conditions
determine that the work is done) or a price
per visit (if so, ask how many visits will
be required to reach an acceptable result);
be sure to ask also about the cost of any
creams or medicines.
- Most insurance companies consider this optional
cosmetic surgery and do not cover the cost
in their plans. While this means that you
will be paying the full cost yourself, it
also means that you can negotiate the price
with the doctor.
- Sometimes, you may only want the tattoo partially
removed or its appearance reduced. Talk to
your doctor about what you want and listen
to what he says to expect.
As an alternative to removal, you may want
to consider additional tattoo work on top
of the old tattoo. Sometimes you can blend
in a new design in order to change a name
or to correct a mistake.