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Tattoo Removal

For those people not lucky enough to discover ‘Designs on Tattoos‘ with it’s huge source of Award Winning Tattoo Designs and you’ve got unwanted ink, here are some of your options for getting rid of it.

First the bad news – unfortunately the reality of removing Tattoos is that no method is as quick and simple as that fateful hour you spent in the Tattoo parlor chair in the first place.  Having said this, things have come along way since the painful days of Everclear and fine-grade sandpaper.

Laser Tattoo Removal

How it Works: A penlike instrument shoots a beam of intense light into the Tattoo. In about three minutes the pigment in the Tattoo absorbs the light, causing the ink to split into smaller pieces which are carried away by the immune sysstem’s cells.

Best For: All-black Tattoos that were done more than five years ago, since dark colors absorb the light better, disappear faster and zap easier. Also good for  people looking to lighten an old Tattoo for a cover-up.

Pros: Any size Tattoo can be removed and the procedure is fairly painless.  If you’re  patient your Tattoo could fade completely  in about a year, with 10 to 15 treatments. Right now laser is probably your best choice.

Cons: Laser can make some shades, especially white, appear darker. Newer Tattoos are harder to remove because plastic polymers used in many inks act as a barrier between the laser and the ink.  There is also a chance that skin color will also be removed with the Tattoo ink, making the skin looked bleached, which occurs in 20% of people. Lastly, scarring is possible although this happens in less than 1% of patients.

How much?: About $200 per treatment for an area of skin the size of a cigarette packet.

Excision

How it Works: After a dose of local anesthetic, an incision is made around the edge of the Tattoo and the skin is removed, making sure all the ink has been cut away. If the area is more than two inches in diameter, skin can be harvested from other parts of the body and grafted to the excision.

Best For: Small Tattoos on a part of the body that has extra skin, like the stomach or butt.  In these cases the skin heals quickly and the scar is barely noticeable.

Pros: With only one treatment required it’s the fastest method and also the best way to guarantee no one will ever know you had a Tattoo.

Cons: Tattoos larger than a couple of inches in diameter can leave nasty scars and the method should be a last resort.

How Much?: About $1,000 for an area small enough not to require a graft.

Hydroquinone Creams

How it works: Tattoo removal cream sold under such brands as WreckingBalm , Profade and Tat B Gone, use hydroquinone, a skin lightener, and the exfoliator salicylic acid to lift old ink. The cream is rubbed into the Tattoo every other day for two to six months.  Manufacturers claim they break up the inked cells, depositing them to the skin’s surface where they fade or can be buffed away with a pumice stone.

Best For: Older, fading Tattoos, or DIYers looking for a cheaper fix.

Pros: It can be done at home and is 75% cheaper than other treatments.

Cons: Creams may cause a burning sensation and success rates are lower than for other treatments.

How Much?: $250-$290 for the recommended amount for a six month treatment.

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