Second guessing that pot leaf on your shoulder from when you were sixteen? Tired of looking at your high school girlfriends name? There is hope for you! In this day of scientific miracles tattoos have not been forgotten. These days you can completely remove a bad piece of body art or cover up your bad idea with a brand new tattoo.
Let’s examine some of the ways to remove that once great idea.
Removal Creams – These things don’t work. No matter what the claim you will not remove a professionally inked tattoo with any cream. The best you could hope for by using one of these products would be fading. These creams do not require a medical prescription, so how good could they be? The truth is that these creams will not do anything for modern tattoo ink.
Laser Removal – Now we’re talking. Blast that bad tattoo right off of your flesh with space age technology. Modern science has created very efficient lasers that break up the tattoo ink so it can be absorbed by the lymphatic system.
This relatively new process has spawned many tattoo removal clinics to pop up across the country with no sign of slowing down any time soon. Be prepared to shell out $500-$1000 per treatment, and yes it will take more than one. Large professionally inked pieces may take as many as ten sessions to remove.
Remember that even if you remove a tattoo and break up all the ink under your skin, you may still have a mark where the tattoo once was. This mark is actually scar tissue that was created when the tattoo healed long ago.
Cover-Up – My favorite option for removing an unwanted piece of body art. What better way to cover a tattoo than with a larger tattoo?
There are some things that you must consider when choosing to cover an existing tattoo.
1. The Cover-Up art will usually be darker in color than the existing tattoo.
2. The Cover-Up will be larger than the existing tattoo.
3. The new artwork will be designed around the form of the existing art (this means that you can’t just bring in a sketch)
4. If your tattooist messed up your tattoo don’t let the same person try and fix it.
5. Any tattoo can be covered up.
One technique that I have seen work wonders for cover-ups is taking a session or two just to pound white or flesh tones into an existing tattoo, kind of a way to clean the canvas. This is not a pleasant process as you will be tattooing the same area multiple times. I have seen this technique lighten professionally applied black to a workable tone in which almost anything could be designed over top.
Above I posted pictures of my latest cover up. In the before picture you will see a black and grey spikey eye that I got when I was probably 19 or 20. I am in the process of completing my second quarter-sleeve and my tattooist suggested that I just let him cover it. I agreed as I would rather have color pieces and the idea of a clean arm to work with is just what I needed. As you can see he changed a spiked off center design and created an organic figure out of it that has no sign of the original tattoo, except the eye in the center. You can see there is quite a bit of white that was pounded into this in order to remove the harsh edges of the old spikes. Don’t mind the dead skin on the after picture, I’m still healing from my last session.
A good tattooist can make a bad tattoo, a great tattoo.