Tattoo Removal

Tattoo removal is a procedure to eliminate unwanted tattoos from your skin. If you no longer want a tattoo, your healthcare provider may suggest you remove it using any of the various treatments, like laser tattoo removal, dermabrasion, chemical peels, or surgical excision. Tattoo removal is generally safe but may cause scarring in rare cases. All tattoos can be removed. You are a good candidate for tattoo removal if you are in good health, do not smoke, and have realistic expectations from the procedure. 

Yes Doctor’s Plastic Surgery Procedure Tattoo Removal

What is Tattoo Removal?

Tattoos have a long and fascinating history, dating back to ancient times when they were used for various purposes, such as religious, cultural, and spiritual practices. In some cultures, tattoos were seen as a symbol of strength, courage, and masculinity; in others, they were believed to offer protection from evil spirits or mark important life events.

As more tattoos are acquired, increasing numbers of people seek their removal. According to the American Society of Dermatologic Surgery, 100,000 tattoo removal procedures were carried out in 2011, up from 86,000 in 2010.

Motivation for tattoo removal includes seeking new jobs or careers, the need to portray a certain image at work or in new social circles, and a feeling of regret for old tattoos. Unfortunately, removing tattoos is generally more expensive and time-consuming than acquiring them.

What to expect before tattoo removal treatment?

The safety and success of a tattoo removal treatment rely heavily on your candidness during the consultation. You will likely be asked many questions about your goals, desires, health record, and lifestyle. Discussing these things with your tattoo removal specialist can help ensure that the tattoo removal process is safe, effective, and tailored to your specific needs and goals.

During a tattoo removal consultation, it is important to discuss the following:

Your Tattoo Removal Goals

Be clear about what you hope to achieve through tattoo removal. It may include removing the entire tattoo, fading it for a cover-up, or targeting specific parts of the tattoo.

Medical Conditions, Drug Allergies, and Treatments

Inform your tattoo removal specialist about any medical conditions, drug allergies, or medical treatments you are currently undergoing. This information can help carry out safe and effective tattoo removal.

Current Medications

It is important to disclose any substances you currently use, such as medicines, vitamins, herbal supplements, alcohol, tobacco, and drug use, as they may affect the tattoo removal process or increase the risk of side effects.

Previous surgeries

It is essential to inform your provider about any previous surgeries, particularly those involving the skin or the area where the tattoo is located. This information can help ensure safe and effective tattoo removal.

It's very important to understand every aspect of your tattoo removal procedure. It's natural to feel anxious, whether it's excitement for your unforeseen new look or preoperative stress. Don't be reluctant about discussing these feelings with your plastic surgeon.

Types

  • Which Tattoo Removal is Right for You?

    Tattoo removal has become increasingly popular recently as more people seek to undo the body art of their youth or change tattoos that no longer represent them.

    Historically, removing undesired tattoos included invasive techniques such as dermabrasion, salabrasion, chemical destruction, cryosurgery, electrosurgery, and surgical excision. Such non-selective modalities focus on removing the skin or layers containing the tattoo ink, and often result in partial removal and varying degrees of scarring and dyspigmentation. 

    Advances in laser and light-based technology have revolutionized tattoo removal, using various wavelengths to target different colored pigments with relative ease and fewer complications than before.

    Laser tattoo removal and tattoo removal creams are among the most popular methods, as they break down the ink particles in the skin so that the body can safely eliminate them.

    Choosing the right method of tattoo removal depends on factors such as the size, location, and color of the tattoo, as well as the patient's skin type and medical history. With the help of a qualified dermatologist or tattoo removal specialist, patients can safely and effectively remove unwanted tattoos and restore their skin to its natural appearance.

  • Laser tattoo removal

    During the laser tattoo removal process, a high-powered laser emits a concentrated beam of light that penetrates the skin and targets the tattoo ink particles. The laser energy heats the ink particles, causing them to break down into smaller particles that the body's immune system can eliminate.

    Generally, multiple sessions are required to achieve optimal results. Each laser session typically lasts between 10 and 30 minutes, depending on the size and complexity of the tattoo.

    After each laser session, the treated area may be tender, swollen, or blistered for a few days. Patients must practice strict sun exposure and follow specific aftercare instructions to ensure proper healing. Over time, the tattoo will fade, and the skin will gradually return to its natural appearance.

  • Surgical tattoo removal

    Surgical tattoo removal is a surgical procedure to cut out the skin that contains a tattoo. 

    During the surgical procedure, the skin is numbed with an injection of a local anesthetic. A surgeon will remove the tattoo-bearing skin with a scalpel and stitch the remaining skin together after removing the tattooed skin. After the procedure, antibacterial ointment is applied to promote healing.

    This procedure is effective and works well with small tattoos but isn’t suitable for large ones because it leaves visible scars.

  • Chemical tattoo removal

    Chemical peels are a tattoo removal method involving applying a chemical solution, such as trichloroacetic acid (TCA), to the skin to remove the tattoo ink. During a chemical peel, the solution is applied to the tattooed area and left on for a while, usually between 10 and 30 minutes. The chemical solution causes the outer layers of the skin to peel away, taking the tattoo ink with it.

    After a chemical peel, the treated area may be tender, red, and swollen for several days. Patients may need to avoid sun exposure and follow specific aftercare instructions to ensure proper healing.

    Chemical peels typically remove smaller, less complex tattoos and may require multiple treatments for optimal results.

  • Cover-up tattoo

    A cover-up tattoo is a way to hide the old unwanted tattoo with a new one. The procedure is not as simple as it sounds. It's quite a complex process. Not every tattoo can be easily covered, and not every cover-up tattoo design works. When it comes to making a cover-up tattoo, a general principle is that the design will usually be twice as big and twice as dark as the original tattoo, depending on various factors. Black tattoos make a good cover-up tattoo because black ink always covers a colored one, but a colored one never completely covers black ink. Moreover, fine and delicate lines are easier to hide than more heavily saturated styles.

Why Should I Get Tattoo Removal?

Tattoo removal is the process of removing a tattoo from the skin. There are several reasons why someone might consider tattoo removal. Motivation for tattoo removal includes new jobs or careers or the need to portray a certain image at work or in new social circles. Another common reason is regret or dissatisfaction with the tattoo. Over time, people's tastes and preferences can change, and a tattoo that once seemed like a good idea can become outdated or a source of embarrassment or discomfort.

Another reason for tattoo removal is the development of an allergic reaction or other complications. Tattoos are made by injecting ink into the skin, and some people may develop an allergic reaction to the ink or other materials used in the tattooing process. Infection is another possible complication of tattooing, leading to tattoo removal due to scarring, disfigurement, or other health problems.

Whatever the reason for tattoo removal, the process typically involves a series of sessions. The number of sessions required will depend on various factors, such as the size and location of the tattoo, the type of ink used, and the individual's skin type.

A few common reasons for tattoo removal are summed up below:

  • Regret
  • Employment
  • Fading or distortion
  • Relationship changes
  • Medical reasons

What are Concerns for Tattoo Removal?

There is a famous saying: "Think before you ink." It holds very true in the case of tattooing. If performed under unsterile conditions, tattooing may lead to serious health concerns. To counteract these concerns, tattoo removal is performed, which itself is a very cumbersome procedure. It may not always be successful, leaving a ghost image and many other cosmetic concerns. Moreover, sometimes it leads to certain health concerns that, if left untreated, can be life-altering. On delivery of the laser into the skin, small pigment particles, unknown decomposition products and newly generated chemical compounds are removed from the skin via blood vessels or the lymphatic system. However, pigments remaining in the skin may exhibit different chemical characteristics compared to nonirradiated pigments, again stimulating a reaction of the immune system. Some tattoo pigments containing metals could break down into toxic chemicals in the body when exposed to light. It may lead to several immediate and delayed concerns. Immediate concerns include pain, blisters, crusting, and pinpoint bleeding. In contrast, delayed concerns include pigmentary changes (hypopigmentation or hyperpigmentation), scarring, textural changes, and local allergic reactions, particularly to the red and yellow pigment. Common complications resulting from tattoo removal are discussed below in detail

  • Allergic Reactions

    Photoallergic reactions can occur in red or yellow ink after tattoo removal treatment. These reactions are caused by exposure to sunlight or other sources of ultraviolet (UV) radiation, which can trigger an immune response in the skin. Symptoms of photoallergic reactions may include redness, itching, and blistering. It's important to note that these reactions can occur early or delayed after tattoo removal and may appear several months or even years after the procedure. Treatment for photoallergic reactions typically involves topical and intralesional corticosteroids to reduce inflammation and alleviate symptoms. Sometimes, oral antihistamines or other medications may be prescribed to help manage the allergic reaction. Prevention is key to photoallergic reactions after tattoo removal. Avoiding exposure to sunlight and other sources of UV radiation, wearing protective clothing, and using broad-spectrum sunscreen can help reduce the risk of these reactions.
  • Scarring

    Scarring is a potential concern after tattoo removal if a high fluence laser (delivering more energy per unit area) is used, particularly in dark or tanned skin. Because the epidermal melanin, responsible for skin pigmentation, absorbs most of the laser radiation when a high fluence is used. It can result in thermal damage to the skin, leading to scarring or hyperpigmentation. To minimize the risk of scarring, tattoo removal specialists typically use lower fluences when treating dark or tanned skin. They may also use different laser wavelengths or adjust the laser settings to better target the ink particles without damaging the surrounding skin. Moreover, scarring can occur for many other reasons, such as poor aftercare or infection. To reduce the risk of scarring after tattoo removal, following the aftercare instructions provided by your tattoo removal specialist is essential. It may include keeping the treated area clean and dry, avoiding exposure to sunlight or other sources of UV radiation, and avoiding activities that may irritate or injure the skin. If scarring occurs after tattoo removal, various treatment options are available, including topical creams, laser resurfacing, or surgical excision.
  • Cost

    Unfortunately, the cost of tattoo removal can be higher than that of acquiring a tattoo. Tattoo removal is a process that typically requires multiple sessions, and each session can cost several hundred dollars. The total cost of tattoo removal can add up quickly, especially for larger tattoos or people requiring several sessions to achieve the desired results. In contrast, for many people, the cost of acquiring a tattoo is a one-time expense that is outweighed by the enjoyment and satisfaction of having a tattoo. Despite the cost of tattoo removal, many people still pursue this option if they are unhappy with their tattoo or experience complications.

Steps to getting your procedure

Research-icon

Step 1

Research

Step 2

Matching with a doctor

Step 3

Getting financing

Step 4

Booking a consultation

Why Yes Doctor for Tattoo Removal

Yes Doctor can help patients remove their unwanted tattoos by offering financing plans that allow them to pay for the cost of the procedure over time. Our financing plans typically have low monthly payments and competitive interest rates, making tattoo removal more affordable for patients who may not have the funds to pay for it upfront. By spreading the cost of tattoo removal over several months or years, patients can avoid the financial burden of paying for the procedure all at once. Additionally, We offer fast and straightforward approval processes, and flexible payment terms, that make removing unwanted tattoos easier.

Frequently Asked Questions

Tattoo removal can be a painful procedure, although the level of pain experienced can vary depending on several factors. During tattoo removal, the laser used to break up the ink particles in the skin produces heat, which can cause discomfort or pain. The sensation is often described as similar to being snapped with a rubber band or having hot oil splashed onto the skin. Factors that can influence the pain level during tattoo removal include: - The size and location of the tattoo. - The colors of the ink used.- The individual's pain tolerance. Larger tattoos, tattoos on bony areas, or tattoos with a lot of ink may be more painful to remove. Modern tattoo removal techniques, including lasers, are generally more effective and less painful than older methods, such as dermabrasion or salabrasion. After the procedure, patients may experience some discomfort, swelling, or redness at the treatment site. However, these symptoms typically subside within a few days to a week.
The number of sessions needed to remove tattoos completely depends on the tattoo's age, colors, size, and location. Larger tattoos may require between eight and 10 sessions. Smaller tattoos may require between five and seven sessions. However, some tattoos can take as few as two treatments or as many as a dozen sessions. Tattoo removal is a gradual process, and patients should be prepared for multiple sessions.
Scarring from tattoo removal is very unlikely. However, it depends on many factors, especially the type of treatment used. For example, surgical excision method may leave visible scars. Moreover, if the tattoo is large or located in an area with thin or delicate skin, such as the wrist or ankle, there may be a higher risk of scarring. The patient's skin type and ability to heal can also affect the risk of scarring. Likewise, people with a history of keloids or hypertrophic scarring may also be at a higher risk of scarring after tattoo removal. Generally, treatment done by a well-trained professional operating a high-quality machine doesn't cause scarring.
Clients generally need at least three to six sessions to remove each tattoo. After every session, you must allow the area some downtime to heal for at least before receiving the next session. Following this pattern, removing a tattoo may take an average of 12 to 24 weeks.