Tattoos are a commitment. If you are currently regretting that huge dragon on your back or the butterfly on your ankle (or those Chinese symbols you can’t read), take comfort. They are not as permanent as you once thought. The Derm Group’s board-certified doctors have years of experience in both laser and surgical tattoo removal in their New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut offices.
While you could use makeup to cover it up or hire a tattoo artist to design a cover-up tattoo, you might just want it gone for good. If you are looking for permanent tattoo removal, there are a few things to know.
Don’t Waste Your Money on At-Home Tattoo Removal Products
You might read about companies who promise that their special creams or salts can do the job, but they can’t. Tattoos are embedded beneath the top layer of skin. Creams aren’t able to penetrate the skin deep enough to reach the ink. As for salts, or salabrasion, this at-home saltwater scrub is a painful abrasion process that wears through your epidermis and down to wear the ink lies, in the dermis. Even if you make it to the dermis, you risk infection and scarring. Not pretty.
Get Your Tattoo Removed by a Professional
If you are serious about saying “goodbye” to that tattoo, bring in a professional with experience and board-certification. As long as you are not pregnant or planning on getting pregnant soon, you are at least 18 or have parental consent, and you have the patience to return for a number of appointments to accomplish your goals, you are a candidate for laser surgery or surgical removal.
What can you expect from these tattoo removal options? Let’s break it down:
Laser Surgery is a popular and high-success-rate option for tattoo removal. Your doctor may recommend this route depending on your skin tone and tattoo colors. It works best on darker ink. During this procedure, a blast of energy is applied to the tattoo to break apart the ink, which is then removed by your body.
Alternatively, surgical removal may be recommended for small tattoos. During this procedure, the tattoo is removed with a scalpel and then the skin is stitched back together.
In either case, you may experience redness, itching, and swelling at the treatment site a few hours after the procedure. You’ll want to apply an ointment like Vaseline or Aquaphor with a non-stick bandage and keep clear of the sun too.