In your youth did you go on a wild summer vacation, only to return home with a permanent souvenir of your trip? Did you think getting your significant other's name tattooed on your arm was a great idea, but now you can't stand him or the reminder you carry with you?

No matter what made you get a tattoo, take heart - there are ways to get rid of it. Tattoo removal is very popular today. Technology has advanced to the point where almost every detail of the tattoo can be removed.

The best and most popular method is using a laser. But Fading Away, a more cost-effective and less-painful way, works quite well. It takes several months to see the final results, though. Fading Away uses a combination of rubs and creams to break down the tattoo. Over time, the tattoo becomes lighter and less noticeable, eventually fading away.

Laser tattoo removal breaks down the ink. The ink is then swept away by your body's own system and disposed of through your body's waste products. One treatment will not remove a tattoo. For best results you must go through a series of sessions. The number of sessions and their lengths depend on the color of the tattoo and intricacy of its detail. This procedure can be done at your dermatologist's office.

Before your tattoo is removed, the dermatologist will thoroughly examine it to determine what pigments were used and the detail involved. You will also be asked where and when you got the tattoo. If there are a lot of details, and many colors are involved, lengthier sessions will be necessary to remove the tattoo.

At each session, the dermatologist will place a topical anesthetic on the tattoo to numb the skin. This is not a painless procedure - you will feel a sensation like someone is pinching you.

Following a session you must keep the treatment area as clean as possible by washing it every day in peroxide solution, applying antibiotic topical ointment and by keeping the area covered with sterile gauze bandages and tape for the first week to 10 days after the session. Once the bandage has been removed, SPF 15 or higher sunscreen must be used on the area each time you go outdoors and are exposed to the sun. For the best results, exposure to the sun should be avoided at all times while you're being treated. The area may be a bit sensitive for a few days after treatment, but the discomfort shouldn't last any longer than that.

The following problems may occur after tattoo removal: infection of the treated area, sunburn of the area, itching sensations and minor to heavy scarring around the treated area.

posted by plastic surgery blog   |   tattoo removal before and after