The Best Tattoo Removal Methods

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Tattoo removal should only be attempted by a qualified physician.
Tattoo removal should only be attempted by a qualified physician. (Image: man image by cherie from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>)

Tattoos are a lasting symbol of one's beliefs, loves or passions. If these things change, however, tattoos are a permanent reminder of the past that many people seek to rid themselves of. There are many tattoo removal methods available, but the best and most effective approach involves seeking out a dermatologist and discussing the options appropriate for your particular tattoo removal needs.

Laser Tattoo Removal

Laser tattoo removal is considered the best way to get rid of tattoos. Lasers are directed at the tattoo to break up the ink within the skin. Different wavelengths of light remove different hues in color tattoos. This method does little damage to the skin, but multiple treatments are necessary to fully remove the tattoo.

Excision

A cosmetic surgeon removes the tattooed area of the skin surgically and stitches the area closed. The surgeon will graft skin from another part of the body onto the affected area to speed healing if the tattoo is too large.

Dermabrasion

Dermabrasion tattoo removal employs a rotary abrasive tool that sands layers off the skin to remove the tattoo. Physicians alternately use YAG or carbon dioxide lasers to burn away layers of skin. This treatment causes approximately two months of redness following the procedure; it takes about 18 months for complete results to show.

Tattoo Camouflaging

Tattoo camouflaging involves injecting skin-colored pigment into the skin in a style similar to that of getting a tattoo. Although the skin may not appear natural due to the lack of translucence in the pigmented skin, this is a cost-effective method that renders a tattoo invisible.

Salabrasion

An older tattoo removal technique, salabrasion describes a process in which salt water is applied to tattooed skin and a sanding device is used on the area. Although this method works effectively for removing tattoos, the process is painful and often leads to scarring. Salabrasion should only be done by a licensed professional and as a last resort.

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