There are various ways to remove a tattoo, including: dermabrasion in which the skin is sanded down; salabrasion in which a salt solution is heated over the skin and then scraped off; cryosurgery in which the tattoo is burned with liquid nitrogen; and surgical removal. The safest and best way to remove a tattoo detailed in this article is laser treatment. Quality-switched lasers breaks tattoo ink into small particles that the body can absorb. Laser treatment cannot be done at home and must be done by a professional dermatologist. Although it is the most reliable method, laser treatment is not guaranteed to fully remove a tattoo. If the tattoo is ornate and contains many colors, it may only fade rather than disappear.
- Evaluate the pain and financial costs
First, decide if the financial and physical costs of tattoo removal are worth it. The cost of laser removal depends on the individual case, but it is typically a few hundred dollars per session. Depending on the ink and colors of the tattoo, the sessions could add up to thousands of dollars. Laser removal can also be very painful. After the procedure, the skin is essentially a healing burn.
- Consult a medical professional
Once laser treatment has been decided, locate a clean, professional and experienced dermatologist to perform the tattoo removal.
- Care for the skin
After a treatment the skin is treated like a burn. Apply antibiotic ointment to the area and keep bandaged. Infection can occur if the skin is not properly cared for.