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As popular as tattoos have become, there are many who want to have them removed.  According to a study by IBISWorld, tattoo removal is expected to reach $83.2 million by 2018.  So what are your options?  Here are three ways to remove tattoos which are performed in a medical facility or medi spa.

Dermabrasion

This procedure is performed with a rapidly rotating wire brush device.  This is an outpatient procedure and a local anesthetic may be applied before the procedure.  A person may experience the following after the procedure:

  • Redness, swelling or bleeding
  • Hyper or hypopigmentation or blotchiness
  • Infection
  • Scarring

Individuals who are prone to keloids or hypertrophic scarring are not good candidates for this procedure.

Laser

A high-intensity laser is used to remove tattoos.  This is a low-risk option with minimal side effects.  The laser breaks up the pigment in the tattoo and different lasers or settings may be needed to remove different colors.  The biggest downfall is that it may take several sessions to see results.  Side effects may include:

  • Skin discoloration
  • Infection
  • Removal may be incomplete
  • Scarring may appear after tattoo is removed (3-6 months)

Surgical Excision

Surgical excision is the most invasive, most costly of all of the procedures and is not covered by insurance.  It is great for removal of small tattoos.  A scalpel is used to remove the tattoo and closes the wound with stitches.  Side effects may include:

  • Skin discoloration
  • Infection
  • Removal of ink may not be complete
  • Scarring
  • Individuals who are prone to keloids or hypertrophic scarring are not good candidates

What you need to know before considering tattoo removal

  • Newer inks may be difficult to remove completely
  • Homemade tattoos may be more difficult to remove
  • Deeper blue and black ink presents the most challenge to remove
  • Newer tattoos are more difficult to remove than older ones (which have faded over time)
  • Some tattoos may not be removed completely
  • Skin discoloration and scarring may be a possibility

To read more on this topic, click on the following link:

Skin, Inc. (2016, February). “Erasing Ink: Options for your Tattooed Clients, retrieved March 6, 2017, from http://www.skininc.com/treatments/medicalesthetics/Erasing-Ink-options-for-your-tattooed-clients-368869711.html?utm_source=newsletter-html&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=SI+E-Newsletter+02-16-2017&absrc=hdl

 

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