Tattoo Removal: Common Methods, Side Effects & Cost

  • Updated July 24, 2022
  • by Brilliant Skin Australia
Common Methods of Tattoo Removal

Not all people with tattoos are happy about them. Some of us may regret having them. If you are tired of your tattoo, we have good news for you! In Brilliant Skin Australia, by applying proper laser tattoo removal techniques, we can significantly reduce the visibility of your tattoo in any part of your body with minimal side effects. Here we are going to focus on everything about tattoo removal.

Common Methods of Tattoo Removal

The following are among the most common ways used to remove tattoos:

Laser Tattoo Removal

People often ask, can a permanent tattoo be removed? The answer is yes. Laser tattoo removal is by far the most common way to do this. In laser tattoo removal rather than scrubbing the skin layer, the aim is to remove the ink. Ink pigments are broken down and destroyed by exposure to a high-intensity light beam.  

Black ink tattoos are easier to remove than multi-coloured tattoos. There are two types of laser tattoo removal methods, passive and active. The passive laser tattoo removal method is cheaper than the active method. However, the active laser removal method, although a bit expensive, is a more effective method of removing ink.

Cryosurgery

Also known as cryotherapy, this method of tattoo removal is more commonly used to remove warts and to treat skin cancer. However, today this treatment can also be used for effective tattoo removal. Much like dermabrasion (another method of tattoo removal), cryosurgery involves removing the tattooed area of ​​skin. This happens in extremely cold temperatures using a spray of a freezing agent such as liquid nitrogen. This causes frostbite in that particular area of ​​the skin.

After freezing, the area is rubbed preferably through dermabrasion to get rid of the topmost layer of skin that contains the tattoo ink. Although this is an effective method of tattoo removal, it may be painful. In addition, cryosurgery can damage skin tissues while wearing away the topmost layers. Also, this method is not very practical on yellow and green pigments and people with sensitive skin should seek alternative methods of tattoo removal.

Surgical Excision

This tattoo removal method is also very common and works better on tattoos that are small. The tattoo area is surgically removed, and the removal will not cause any allergic reactions. However, there is the risk of ending up with scars on your skin.

Intense Pulsed Light

The intense pulsed light method helps to remove the epidermis by breaking up the pigment. Over time, the affected area will heal and give way to a new layer of your own skin. The best thing about intense pulsed light is that it is very effective at removing tattoos and is not very painful, but it doesn't work as well on people with darker skin tones. Also, this method is more expensive than laser tattoo removal.

The Most Effective Way for Tattoo Removal

The most effective way to remove a tattoo is using a laser. Laser Tattoo Removal works towards complete removal of tattoos, and each session is held with the aim of removing the pigments in the skin.  

There are also some methods of tattoo removal that can be tried at home, but since some tattoos may be located on the face, mistakes cannot be easily overlooked. Salabrasion is a painful and invasive at-home treatment that involves the physical exfoliation of the epidermis (the first visible layer of skin) by applying salt to the tattooed area. This method of tattoo removal is very dangerous and old-fashioned and can cause you severe pain and scarring.  

Home dermabrasion devices can cause scabbing and scarring when used under improper supervision. These devices work to remove the tattoo by abrading the top layer of the skin. At-home tattoo removal methods such as salabrasion, creams, and dermabrasion devices can all lead to unwanted side effects such as burning, swelling, itching, scaling, discoloration, infection, and permanent scarring.

Laser Tattoo Removal Results

Smaller tattoos require fewer laser pulses, while larger ones require more pulses. In any case, it takes several treatment sessions to get rid of the tattoo completely. After each visit, your tattoo should gradually fade. Depending on the location of the tattoo, you may want to apply a topical numbing cream beforehand.

Laser Tattoo Removal Before and After

In order to experience the best results from your tattoo removal sessions, proper before and aftercare needs to be taken.

Before Laser Tattoo Removal

  • Try to take a shower before your session, because water should not be applied to the area where tattoo removal has been done for three days.
  • Make sure to take the prescribed medication before tattoo removal (if applicable).
  • There should be no make-up in the area where tattoo removal is going to be performed.

Laser Tattoo Removal Aftercare

Tattoo Removal Aftercare

You should drink a lot of water and not be exposed to the sun. Do not scratch the place where tattoo removal has been performed. It is better to use cooling ointments that reduce blood circulation in that area. Avoid applying makeup on the areas where tattoo removal has been done for a while.  

The area where tattoo removal has been performed must be kept clean, and vitamin AD must be used every day. Another ointment that must be used is zinc oxide, which will reduce inflammation and have a regenerative role.  

Immediately after treatment, use an ice pack to soothe the treated area. You should also make sure that the laser tattoo treatment area is covered with sunscreen when you are outside. Paying attention to these things can increase the speed and quality of laser tattoo removal results. 

Side Effects of Laser Tattoo Removal

The side effects and complications of laser tattoo removal are less than other methods such as skin surgery, dermabrasion, or salabrasion; Because laser therapy for tattoo removal selectively targets tattoo pigments and thus has very few side effects. However, you should consider all of the following in your decision to remove a tattoo:

  • If the tattoo is not removed by a certified technician, it may cause an infection.
  • In some cases, it has been observed that the tattoo is not completely removed.
  • In some cases, the skin in the treated area becomes lighter.
  • If done by someone who lacks experience, a scar may remain on the skin.

Eyebrow Tattoo Removal

Nowadays, there are many ways to make eyebrows more beautiful, one of these ways is eyebrow tattooing, but unfortunately, many people immediately regret their eyebrow tattoo due to the imperfections and imbalance between the two eyebrows and consequently, decide to give eyebrow tattoo removal a try. To solve this problem, there are a couple of solutions:

Laser Eyebrow Tattoo Removal

Laser Eyebrow Tattoo Removal

The final and definitive solution for eyebrow tattoo removal and really tattoos anywhere on the body is the use of laser, which has been approved by all medical and scientific authorities in the world.

This method must be performed in clinics due to its sensitivity and the need for the therapist to have relevant knowledge and experience. The number of sessions required to remove an eyebrow tattoo with laser is ten sessions on average. If you intend to use this method for your eyebrow tattoo removal, you should not have tanned the area for a month.

Using Cream to Remove Eyebrow Tattoo

Eyebrow tattoo removal creams that are an alternative to laser or surgery often come in two main forms:

Creams containing TCA (trichloroacetic acid):

These are creams containing TCA (trichloroacetic acid) in the form of solution, gel, or cream, which burn the upper layer of the skin and thus remove the eyebrow tattoo, but their use is never recommended due to the formation of scars and the fact that they can only be used for people with very light skin.

Non-TCA creams:

Non-TCA creams contain brightening, exfoliating and whitening ingredients. These creams are used to lighten the tattoo. But they are less effective and some of them contain hydroquinone that may even cause cancer.

Another Tattoo

To correct the old eyebrow tattoo, some people apply a new one to make the older one appear lighter. But this method is hardly ever effective.

Using Chemical

In this method, they dissolve and remove the tattoo colour by using some kind of acid or chemical substance. This method is time-consuming and sometimes the tattoo may not be completely removed and there is the possibility of leaving a scar.

Side Effects of Eyebrow Tattoo Removal

The skin is exposed to the risk of infection and forming a scar. In the process of eyebrow tattoo removal, the pigments may not disappear completely, and the tattoo may only fade to some extent.

Ironically, the better the colours used in the eyebrow tattoo, the harder they will be to remove. As a side note, if your skin is prone to keloids, i.e., the formation of extra flesh, it is a better idea never to go for a tattoo in the first place.

Bottom Line

In the not-so-distant past, tattoos were considered permanent, but today, thanks to advances in laser technology, they can be removed effectively and safely. Today's laser tattoo removal techniques require fewer sessions, have fewer side effects, and can remove ink that was impossible to remove in the past.

FAQs

How many sessions does laser tattoo removal take?

Tattoo removal can take between 2 to 11 sessions depending on the ink, location, time of tattooing, and other factors. There are regular intervals between treatment sessions so that the skin has a chance to heal and clean the tattoo pigments. Usually, there is an interval of 40 to 45 days between each treatment session, each of which will make your tattoo lighter.

Is tattoo removal painful?

Tattoo removal can be painful. To prevent this from happening, local anesthesia in the form of creams or injections is used.

Is laser tattoo removal possible for everyone?

Yes, almost everyone can use this method. Although for those who suffer from immune system problems, and are pregnant or breastfeeding, tattoo removal cannot be performed.

How much does tattoo removal cost?

It depends on how big the area is and how difficult the pigments are to get out.

How does laser remove tattoos?

Laser removes tattoos by breaking down the pigment with a high-frequency light beam. Black tattoo pigment absorbs all laser wavelengths and makes it the simplest to remove. 

What is the most effective way for tattoo removal?

Laser tattoo removal is the most effective way to remove tattoos. Most dermatologists consider lasers to be the most successful and cost-effective way to remove tattoos. 

Can tattoos be completely removed?

Yes, laser can completely remove the tattoo. However, it may take several laser treatment sessions to achieve this.

Is it easier to remove old or new tattoos?

Older tattoos are usually easier to remove because they usually have faded a bit over time. For this reason, older tattoos usually require fewer sessions to be lasered out than newer tattoos.

What is the hardest tattoo colour to remove?

Different colours respond to different laser wavelengths. Black, blue and dark green are the easiest colours to remove. Yellow, purple, and fluorescent colours are difficult to fade. In many cases, some colours may be removed more effectively than others. For example, blue and black tattoos respond well to laser treatment.

How many sessions does it take to remove a black tattoo with a laser?

Although the number of sessions required for complete tattoo removal cannot be predicted, most patients usually require 6 to 8 sessions. Larger tattoos may require 10 or more treatment sessions.

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