Different Methods For Tattoo Removal

Tattoos are meant to be forever. But nowadays tattoo removal is almost as popular as getting a tattoo. Experts estimate that over 10 million Americans have at least one tattoo and about half of them regret it later and want to have their tattoo to be removed.

You have several options for tattoo removal. Some are more effective than others; some take more time than others. But tattoo removal is never quick or cheap.
It can range from several hundreds to several thousands of dollars depending on the size, type and location of the tattoo and the method you choose to remove it. Generally insurance doesn't cover it.

Tattoo removal techniques have greatly improved recent years and some of them have proven to be very successful.The degree of success depends on several factors including size, location, the individual ability to heal, how deep the tattoo has been applied and how old the tattoo is. It is very important to consider all your options before you decide on a certain tattoo removal method.


This method is probably the easiest to understand. A surgeon will cut the tattoo area out of your skin and then suture the skin together again.

This method is best suited for small tattoos. It can be used on larger tattoos, but a skin graft from another part of the body is used to cover the area.

During the procedure a local anesthetic is used as pain medication.

After the procedure you will have considerable discomfort and a scar instead of a tattoo.


This method involves sanding of the skin with a rotating wire brush. The surgeon uses this tool to rub of several layers of the skin.

The procedure is slightly painful and is performed under local anesthetic. When the procedure is done the skin feels tender and is red. It generally takes several weeks to heal and may require several treatments. This procedure may leave a scar or pale area. It also may not completely remove your old tattoo if the ink has penetrated very deep into your skin. The deeper the ink, the less likely that dermabrasion will have good results.

An older form of dermabrasion is called salabrasion. The skin is first rubbed with salt or a salt solution before using the sanding tool. It is very painful and can cause reddening and bleeding. This procedure has a high risk of scarring.

Another form of dermabrasion is cryosurgery. The tattooed area is frozen before dermabrasion is used to remove the tattoo. Because the skin is frozen it is less likely to bleed.


This method involves using a chemical peel called TCA (trichloroacetic acids) for tattoo removal. This chemical will cause the skin to blister and eventually peel off and renew itself. In this way several layers of skin can be peeled away in one treatment. You have to wait for six weeks before you can apply another TCA peel for tattoo removal.

Most people feel a burning sensation during the procedure, which can be followed by a feeling of numbness or stinging. Significant swelling may occur after the TCA treatment.

This procedure is can best be done in the doctor's office or in a surgery center.

There is normally a low risk of complications.

Some of the complications that may occur are:

-scarring -infection -hyper pigmentation (the skin becomes darker)

-Hypo pigmentation (the skin becomes lighter)

Also uneven skin tones can occur.

It is very important to use a sunscreen after a TCA peel. Always consult with your family doctor first if TCA peels are a good option for your tattoo removal.


One of the newest developments in tattoo removal is fade away creams. A chemical in the cream makes the components in the ink break down and the immune system in your body then disposes the ink in a natural way.

These creams have to be applied over an extended period of time. The tattoo gradually becomes lighter and eventually fades away.

This method has a low risk of scarring and is the least expensive and painful.

However results are not guaranteed and vary from individual to individual. Also it will take a lot of time and patience. Most of the people will try this method, because laser treatment is too expensive.


Nowadays laser technology is one of the most used techniques for tattoo removal. Laser removal works by targeting the tattoo with highly concentrated rays of colored laser light that will go into the outer layer of the skin. Only the ink absorbs the light. The ink is destroyed into small fragments, which later on are carried away by the immune system of your own body.

Usually it takes 3-10 treatments to get your tattoo completely removed. The number of treatments depends the size, location, depth and color of your tattoo. Treatments should be 6-8 weeks apart. This is the time necessary to give your body enough time to remove the ink fragments. Each tattoo session takes 10-30 minutes.

Side effects of laser treatments are usually few. If you scar badly from sunburn, you will have a problem with this method of tattoo removal.