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Tattoo Removal Methods for those with Tattoo Regret

Aug 22, 2008
It seems that tattoos only gain in popularity with each new generation. And in fact, the average age of first tattoos is also getting younger and younger. Unfortunately, this means there are more people getting tattoos who come to regret them later in life. The good news is that there are a few ways to get rid of the unwanted tat.

Salabrasion is the oldest method of removing ink from within your skin, and has gained a solid reputation for itself for several decades. However, keep in mind that this is a process that no rank amateur should try. Just as you only want a qualfied surgeon removing your appendix or tonsils, only a professional, with a solid reputation should practice salabrasion. This is because of the risk of infection. Salabrasion involves first numbing the skin with a local anesthetic, then abrasively removing the skin and ink with a salt-water compound. If done correctly, this will noticeably remove the ink, but since it also removes all of the skin in the area, there is the chance of foreign material getting in the area, causing infection. A trained tattoo-remover knows the precautions to take to prevent this from happening.

Dermabrasion is only somewhat similar. There are two ways for approaching this method. One is to numb or freeze the area. Numbing prevents the patient from feeling the pain, freezing gives the remover a block of frozen skin to carve a reductive sculpture with. This reductive sculpture is basically sanding down the skin with a professional tool until all of the ink saturated areas are removed. The second method involves applying a chemical to your skin that loosens it from your body much the way paint stripper does. The affected skin is then peeled off, also like paint. As with salabrasion, it's important that you employ only a trained professional with a good reputation to perform dermabrasion, so that he will be sure to take the necessary steps to prevent infection.

Excision is another way that many choose for having a tattoo removed. This process is much the same as removing a tumor, in that the inked skin is simply cut out of the body with a scalpel or similar tool, and the surrounding, healthy skin sewn together. If the tattoo is of a significant size, then several small patches may be removed separately, leaving your skin severely scarred. This method has minimal health risks when done properly, but is recommended for smaller tattoos due to the almost unquestionable chance of leaving scars.

Laser or IPL(Intense Pulsed Light) procedures are generally safe ways to remove ink from within your skin.

A laser or light is aimed at the tattoo, penetrating the skin all the way to the ink itself. This breaks the bonds in the ink, loosening it up. This can be somewhat expensive though. And it burns, so if you're expecting a painless procedure, this is not it.

One other method that's gaining in popularity because it is inexpensive and effective are home-removal formulas like Nuviderm. This is a TCA solution that's applied to the tattoo every 4 - 6 weeks and gradually fades away the ink.
About the Author
Jonathan Scott has been in the tattoo industry for over 20 years. He is an expert on the application of tattoos and serves as the in house expert on tattoo removal for
Nuviderm Tattoo Fade and Removal.
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