Getting tattoos removed is a common procedure for those who have tattoos. As much as we don’t want to think that we’d never have our tattoos removed, sometimes we end up having them removed. There are different removal techniques.

“Fade Away” Tattoo Removal

This is a newer method of tattoo removal that involves a series of creams that get rubbed into the skin to cause the breakdown of the  components of the ink. The body then disposes the pigment naturally. Essentially, this method enhances the body’s natural method of riding itself of foreign matter, causing the tattoo ink to become lighter and lighter until it fades away.

This method is not going to be an overnight process. It will take days, weeks, even months before results are seen, but in the grand scheme of tattoo removal, there is no pain associated with this method.

Common brands of tattoo removal cream include Tattoo-OFF and Tat B Gone.

Chemical Peels

Chemical peels are generally performed in a doctor’s office as an out-patient procedure; you do not want to purchase an at-home procedure kit, as these can cause long-term damage. A Trichloroacetic Acid Peel is applied to the tattoo, causing the area to blister and peel off.

This method is less painful than laser removal, but there may be a brief burning sensation followed by numbness or stinging. There may also be signficant swelling after the procedures. Complications may include permanent scarring, infection, and damage to skin tone.

Chemical peel tattoo removal is not recommended for those people who smoke.

Lase Tattoo Removal

This is the most commonly used removal techniques. The laster penetrates the skin and breaks up the ink particles and disposed naturally by the body. Generally, different types of lasers will be used, and the frequency used will vary on the colors of the tattoo.

Laser tattoo removal is the most expensive methods to remove a tattoo, and it can take about 2 years to fully remove the tattoo, depending on the size, placement, and color of the tattoo.

Other Methods of Tattoo Removal

Cryosurgery – This method involves freezing the tattoo before removing it. Generally cryosurgery is used with dermabrasion to remove the tattoo.

Dermabrasion – Essentially, a sanding tool is used to remove the surface and middle layers of the skin. Bleeding is common with this method, which is why it’s not uncommon for doctors to use cryosurgery in conjunction with dermabrasion. This technique is performed under a local anesthetic or an IV sedation.

Excision – This tattoo removal method involves the tattoo being cut out of the skin. The surrounding skin is then sutured together, leaving a scar once healed. With this method, only smaller tattoos and smaller areas of a tattoo are taken care of at a time. It may take several treatments for larger tattoos, and potentiall skin grafts.