Tattoo removal methods revealed
January 17th, 2019
How to remove a tattoo and why laser tattoo removal is best
Many of us are having tattoos now, in fact almost a third of people have a tattoo by the age of 18. Sadly though, one in six people in the UK will regret having it done. A third of those with tattoos worry that they will look awful as they get older. And half of those people admit that the tattoo could hold them back in their careers.
So what can be done?
There are many options available for tattoo removal. Unfortunately though some of these techniques are not safe at all and can cause permanent scarring. It’s important when considering tattoo removal to know exactly where in your skin the tattoo exists. The diagram below of skin shows the tattoo particles lying underneath the healthy outer epidermis. So tattoo removal needs to be effective without damaging the outer layer of your skin.
Some of the different methods of tattoo removal available today.
Tip: Keep reading right to the bottom…
1. Micro dermabrasion
Micro dermabrasion involves using an abrasive device to sand down the layers of the skin. This will be incredibly painful and will result in an open wound that will have to heal. There are obviously going to be many complications of such a treatment which include pain, infection, burning, itching, scabbing, scarring, bleeding and many more.
Salabrasion is similar to microdermabrasion, but instead of using an abrasive brush or a diamond wheel, granular salt and water are used. These are blasted onto the skin with force, resulting in the stripping away of the outer layers of the skin. This technique is repeated every few days until the scarred tissue pulls away supposedly leaving healthy tissue underneath taking the tattoo with it. Yet again there are many negative side effects of this treatment and ultimately will result in very bad scarring.
3. Surgical excision
Surgical excision of a tattoo involves using a surgical knife to cut away the tattoo. This will performed under local anaesthetic injections. It can only be done if the skin can compensate for the area where the tattoo has been removed – this means can the skin be repaired? Large tattoos will require skin grafts and need multiple visits if the skin cannot be simply stitched together. The after effects of surgical excision include pain, swelling, bruising, postoperative infection and bruising.
Acid contained within certain lotions and creams can be applied to the tattooed skin to remove the ink. Unfortunately, it is not as simple as that. The ink particles of the tattoo sit within the mid layer of the skin, and so the acid has to burn off the outer layer of the skin before even reaching the ink. According to clinical dermatologists in the UK, anything that burns off the skin just wont work and will lead to many more complications. Many products bought over the internet contain trichloroacetic acid which is a corrosive chemical, and is actually a banned ingredient resulting in horrific burns.
5. Tattoo removal creams
Similar again to acid removal, these creams will contain corrosive substances that will claim to fade your tattoo. As the ink lies in the middle layer of the skin, such creams will never be able to reach the tattoo pigment and will only likely result in irritated and inflamed skin that could actually result in scarring.
6. Rejuvi and other injectable methods
Rejuvi involves having a chemical remover applied to the skin, similar to having a tattoo in the first instance. Rejuvi claims to ‘capture’ the ink particles by forming a thicker substance within the dermis and then pushing out through the outer layer of the skin along with the trapped ink particles. It all sounds very simple, but sadly it is not and has resulted in really severe scarring.
Cryotherapy involves in having the tattooed skin frozen off. Yet again though, this involves taking away the healthy unaffected outer layer of skin to reach the pigmented dermal layer. Sometimes cryotherapy can be combined with microdermasion, so the results of such treatment not surprisingly result in really bad scarring, severe pain, swelling, blistering and scabbing. post operative infection is highly likely.
And last but by no means least – laser tattoo removal.
The safest and most effective method for tattoo removal available today.
8. Laser Tattoo Removal
Laser tattoo removal is the only safe and effective method to remove a tattoo without damaging the outer layer of the skin. Laser light energy penetrates the skin to reach the tattoo pigments. Different wavelengths of light will target different tattoo colours. The amount of energy delivered must be sufficient to break up the ink. Older lasers would do this in nanoseconds, and the resultant heat will fragment the heat. Too much heat will result in damage to the surrounding skin. Fortunately today we have Picosure and it’s world leading picosecond technology. The pulse duration, ie the speed, is so fast it breaks up the ink photo-mechanically rather than heating the ink. The integrity of the outer dermis of the skin is maintained and undamaged.