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How are Tattoos Removed

Tattoos are a permanent form of body art that are created by injecting ink under the skin layer with a tattoo gun. This ink cannot be washed or scrubbed away and the decision to get a tattoo should not be taken lightly. In some cases people decide that they no longer want a tattoo and decide to undergo a tattoo removal procedure. If you have ever wondered how tattoos are removed, keep reading to find out.

How does tattoo removal work?
There are a number of different ways that a tattoo can be removed. Some of the options are painful and intense and most people choose the expensive laser removal because is the treatment that is most likely to give success without unwanted side effects such as scarring and ongoing pain and injury.

Dermabrasion is often used for other skin issues such as the removal of acne scars and wrinkles. Essentially it is the sanding away of the top layers of skins and this is commonly done with a version of mechanical sandpaper; CO2 or Erbium: YAG lasers. Dermabrasion will remove the layer of skin that the tattoo is trapped in. After dermabrasion the skin takes several months to regrow and heal , which means that it can be very red and sore. It is a common method of mechanical tattoo removal as it is cheaper than laser treatment with similar results.

Chemical peels
This is a body treatment technique that is used in beauty spas and by dermatologists, estheticians, plastic surgeons, or otolaryngologists to treat wrinkles and pigmentation problems. A chemical peel is applied to the skin, usually the face, which causes the dead skin to slough off and eventually peel off. Repeated treatments of high corrosive chemical peel would be needed to significantly lighten or remove a tattoo.

Surgical excision
This is a surgical procedure in which the dermatologic surgeon will remove the piece of skin holding the tattoo stitch the remaining skin closed. If the tattoo is large a skin graft may be needed to replace the skin that was taken out. The larger the tattoo the more likely there is to be visible scarring from the procedure.

Some tattoos can be removed using cryosurgery. The area of skin with the tattoo is frozen using a super-cooled liquid such as liquid nitrogen. The skin is them removed from the body and the area stitched together.

Laser removal
The most common method of tattoo removal is laser removal. The laser fires short intense burst of light at the area or tattoo. This light is absorbed by the pigmentation in the tattoo and it causes the ink to break down into smaller particles. These smaller particles are treated as a foreign body by the immune system. The easiest to remove pigments are black, blue and brown. However, yellow, red, green, orange and white are more difficult. This process can take many sessions and if the tattoo is in a deep skin layer it will take longer to respond to the laser treatment.

Did you know?

In the past tattoos were used to identify slaves and prisoners, but today they are a fashion statement.

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