People have been getting tattoos for thousands of years. But, it’s only been in the past few decades that they have become more socially acceptable for men and women of all ages and backgrounds. Now people can walk around with their tattoos exposed for everyone to see, and most of the time people will compliment them and share their own designs.

This lowered level of social stigma in tattooing art has resulted in a dramatic increase of people going under the needle. The side effect of this is that some people rush into getting a tattoo that they wind up regretting later. Thankfully, tattoos are no longer permanent and you have some options. Thanks to technology it’s now possible to get treatment for tattoo removal, but there are some things that you should know.

How It Works

A qualified skin specialist or dermatologist can remove old ink using a highly focused laser that breaks down the ink particles. Once the ink has been broken down enough, it can be either absorbed into the bloodstream or excreted through the skin. A full removal often takes several treatments to erase your old tattoo, so it’s not exactly a quick fix — how many treatments you need depends on the size and nature of the tattoo.

Methods

Your treatment method is highly dependant on the type, color and placement of your tattoo. Your specialist will work with you to come up with the best treatment combination for the best results. You may end up having a combination of laser treatments, chemical peels, PDF patches and microdermabrasion to get rid of your ink.

Length Of Treatment

The length of time that it will take to completely erase your old tattoo will depend on the color, size and placement. Darker inks like black, blue and green are much tougher to dissolve than lighter colors. The age of your tattoo can also be a factor, as older ink may be easier to break down than something that is fresh. On average you will likely have to undergo 10-20 treatments to see the final results.

Does It Hurt?

Well, it’s not always comfortable to have a tattoo removed, but it’s less painful than getting one put on so you should be able to handle it. Most procedures are done using a numbing cream or gel and for larger areas you may even have a local anesthetic applied for your comfort. If your tattoo is in an area that it more sensitive, you can expect a bit more discomfort. You will likely experience a burning and soreness in the area following each treatment.

What To Expect After Treatment

The treatment area may be swollen, red and feel bruised but this should pass in a couple of days. In some cases, if you have more sensitive skin or have undergone multiple treatments you may have blistering. It is recommended that you use an over the counter burn ointment for relief.

Risks

Although the results of tattoo removal are excellent in many cases, you may have some slight scarring or discoloration in the area. Some medications can affect the results of your removal, so consult with your doctor before having the procedure done.

Cost

You can expect for your tattoo removal to cost much more than what you paid to have it put on. Removal treatments run anywhere from $250-$500 per session. Since you need up to 20 separate treatments, having your tattoo removed can come with a hefty bill.