There is no doubt when it comes to the popularity of people who ink themselves with tattoos as a way of making a fashion statement or self-expression. An estimated number of 45 million Americans have a tattoo and it is also estimated that at least 10 million of them have at least one tattoo. What one seldom may come to think of, are the many post-tattooing consequences such as the inking of the wrong tattoos, tattoos that simply lost its meaning over time, or workplace problems regarding an exposed tattoo. Some experienced tattoo removal physicians estimates that around 50% of the Americans during some part of their lives regret having a tattoo. A 2012 survey done by the British Association of Dermatologists suggests that close to 1/3 of the tattooers have tattoo regret in the UK.
Do you have a tattoo that you regret having when you were young? Or you need to remove your tattoo so that you can get a chance for a better interview and job environment? Maybe next time before you get a tattoo it’s wiser to take some time rethinking about it — and perhaps you should have listened to your mom’s opinion before.
Having said that, you are here because you want to learn about the choices and methods of tattoo removal, and so we have listed and explained on some of the many options you may have when it comes to removing your tat.
Methods of Tattoo Removal
Dermabrasion is the idea of rubbing away the top layers of your skin to allow and encourage new skin growth. It involves the use of a mechanical spinning brush, diamond wheel, sterilized sandpaper, salt crystals, or any other mechanical means to perform the job. Your skin layers ranging from the top level of epidermis to the middle level of dermis (where the tattoo ink is situated) would be peeled away during the process — and yes this hurts a lot!
Dermabrasion has been practiced for many years but has now been largely replaced by the many other modern methods of tattoo removal, such as laser and other pulsed light removal therapies.
Salabrasion has been practiced also for many years and is known to be one of the oldest form of tattoo removal methods. The term itself pretty much gives away on what the process would be like, sal (salt) + abrasion (rubbing). So instead of adopting a mechanical tool, a rough paste of salt and water is mixed and rubbed onto your skin until it reaches your dermis layer on where the ink lies.
Salabrasion and Dermabrasion although different in their names, are in fact quite similar from one another. So if you are looking for a tattoo removal method that involves lesser pain and lesser scarring chances, then keep on reading the below methods.
Excision refers to the surgical removal of a tattoo by a qualified surgeon. The ink of the tattoo is basically cut out by the surgeons and for a small tattoo, a full thickness removal happens which involves the cutting out of the epidermis and dermis layer of your skin. Excision is very effective for a small tattoo, as the tattoo can be completely removed while leaving a small linear scar that may fade away over a period of 6 to 9 months. This method despite its high effectiveness, are not suggested for large tattoos as heavy scarring and higher risks of infections may occur over a larger wound.
Cryosurgery involves the use of an extremely cold gas, such as liquid nitrogen, to freeze the skin which destroys the cell inside and thus resulting in the peeling away of the skin. This procedure has existed for more than 100 years but since there is a risk of damage to the nearby tissues and cells it has remained relatively uncommon for people who wants their tattoos removed. It is considered a minimal invasive surgery and the pain felt is relatively less compared to the methods of Salabrasion or Laser Removal Treatments.
Laser Tattoo Removal
If you have ever tried to remove your tattoo before, then you would have probably come across laser tattoo removals. This process has become one of the most popular methods of removing a tattoo as lasers became more cheap and more common in medical uses starting in the 1990s.
The current preferred laser is known as the Q-switch lasers. This type of laser uses short bursts of pulses rather than one steady beam, and is most effective in breaking down ink pigment in your dermis layer without overheating and destroying the neighboring cells. If you are curious on what kinds of lasers are currently used for tattoo removal, below are the 3 main laser types that a typical laser tattoo removal uses.
- Q-switched ruby laser (694 nm) – Useful for removing black, blue and green pigments
- Q-switched alexandrite laser (755 nm) – Useful for removing black, blue and green pigments
- Q-switched Nd:YAG laser (532 nm, 1064 nm) – The 532 nm is useful for removing red pigments, and the 1042nm useful for removing black and blue pigments.
While laser tattoo removal is not perfect, it has been chosen by most people as some of the key advantages of removing tattoos with lasers involve relatively less pain and also has a much lower chance of permanent scarring and infection risks compared to the many invasive tattoo removal surgeries and techniques.
The Bottom Line
Now that you know that there are many ways of removing a tattoo from your skin, it is best for you to keep researching on the particular tattoo removal method that you are interested in, find out the details and feedbacks of each process, and determine whether that method best suits your purpose. Here at How To Tattoo Removal we provide a lot of useful information about tattoo removals, so do visit our website regularly for more updates and news.