Let’s look at how you get rid of a tattoo that you no longer want. There are a few options but be prepared for discomfort and spending a few bucks.
To Understand how a tattoo is removed you must first understand how a tattoo works. Tattoos are applied beneath the outer layer of skin (in the dermis). The dermis does not break down foreign objects like the epidermis does (the outer layer of skin). This occurs because the molecules of the ink are larger than the adjacent bloodstream. In order to remove a tattoo you must get through or around the outer layer of skin.
There are several ways to remove an unwanted tattoo but as I said before these are not pleasant procedures.
Laser Tattoo Removal
This is the newest, most effective and less painful alternative to remove an unwanted tattoo. Available only since the late 80′s this technique has gone leaps and bounds in recent years. The process involves shooting a specific spectrum of light through the outer layer of skin to the dermis, which holds the ink. This light breaks apart the molecules of the tattoo ink so they are small enough to be carried away naturally by the bloodstream.
Laser removal can be a long and involved process that requires many sessions. With typical sessions costing $500 dollars a piece this method is the best available but quite pricey.
There are even free laser removal clinics that cater to former gang members. Some even provide their service for free, which in my opinion is a wonderful cause.
After a few sessions of laser removal you will see your tattoo slowly fade into oblivion. The process is the least painful of all removal options with discomfort commonly referred to as no worse than a mosquito bite.
This is an immediate and extreme way to remove a tattoo. The process involves physically cutting out the tattooed skin which of course is below the first layer of skin. That means that the outer layer of skin is going to have to go with it. This method will without a doubt remove your tattoo. It is also the hardest removal procedure to heal and extremely prone to infection as you will have large areas of missing and exposed inner flesh.
The healing process of an excision is not very controlled. You may see extensive scarring that looks worse than any tattoo ever could.
This method is slightly less damaging as excision but still a risky process. The idea behind dermabrasion is to remove layers of skin until the tattoo ink is wiped away. For years this was the only way to remove a tattoo and is still a popular method as it can cost almost nothing.
A steel wool pad, belt sander, hot iron, or some high test sand paper will do the trick. Just start sanding down your skin until you don’t see any ink. This is also a risky process prone to infection but slightly less risky as excision.
Where Do I Start?
If you are thinking of removing an old or outdated tattoo I suggest that you consult a medical professional specializing in dermatology. No one will give you better advise than a licensed practitioner.
Be aware that any effective solution to removing a tattoo is going to be very expensive. If you paid a lot for your tattoo expect to pay even more to get rid of it.