Considering yourself unlucky for having that little Tattoo and want to start the process of Tattoo removal? relax before you rush into it, I was there before and will be your perfect guide on this new process of removing your tattoo.
Getting a tattoo could have been one of the bad or ignorant choices you made back then and now you have seen reasons that are personal to you on why you should get rid of it, but still engrossed with the fears accompanied by the whole removal process I could bet you I was there and my aims were to only innocent, just to look everyday stunner but now deeply regret it and had it erased.
Hold up before you approach the Dermatologist below, I have written 9 things you need to know about Tattoo removal including the costs and the likes of it, so sit back and enjoy the content.
1. Seek for a Doctor or a Tattoo Removal Specialist.
I had ab initio had one tattoo zapped at a spa (I was living in small-town Canada where there weren’t plastic surgery offices or dermatologists), where an aesthetician used an outdated heat laser that ended up burning and scarring my skin. This time around, I got my treatments done by John F. Adams, M.D., at the New York Dermatology Group, where everything is done under medical supervision. I suggest you find your own removal expert by asking friends, influencers, or even by stopping people that you see with removal in process—which, yes, I have done.
2. Relax and give the process TIME.
Tattoos don’t just disappear after a once-over with the laser. (I wish!) “A complete tattoo removal takes a minimum of 2 1/2 years on average,” says Bethany Cirlin, tattoo removal specialist and owner of Clean Canvas More Art. “Laser treatments should be scheduled three months apart from one another so you get the most out of each treatment.
This allows your body to break down as much of the tattoo as it can while also giving your body the opportunity to heal completely before your next session.”
As of writing this, I’ve had six sessions, and I’d wager that I need about five more, despite the fact that my initial estimate was six to eight sessions. It takes a long time to complete because each time the tattoo is lasered, particles are broken down and digested by the body’s immune system. The regeneration period is up to eight weeks, and the next time you go, the laser breaks down new particles of pigment. And so on and so forth.
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3. It’ll cost you.
If you have your procedures done by a doctor, the bill for each visit can run you hundreds of dollars. Brace yourself: The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery estimates the average cost per session at $463. But see point number one for why it’s worth it. Your tattoo removal cost can also will vary based on the size, color, and age of your tattoo.
4. The Inks can’t be totally removed.
Contrary to the old belief that light, colored ink was hard to remove, Adams assured me that all hues will now disappear—no matter your skin tone. (FYI: The previous explanation was that, similar to laser hair removal, the laser would solely be attracted toward dark colors, like black.) With PicoSure technology, he says you can even get out yellows and greens, which were previously the most stubborn.
5. Lather up on the sunscreen prior to your sessions.
“Once you know you’re unhappy with a tattoo on your body, immediately start using a zinc oxide sunscreen on it,” says Cirlin. “The most common reason people can’t get lasered is because their tattoo has had sun exposure. By using a zinc oxide anytime you’re outside, you’ll help protect your tattoo, which will allow you to get lasered regardless of the season.”
6. Make a comfortable schedule.
While some laser sessions are quick and easy, not all are. Mine have been taking about 45 minutes because we take before photos, clean the areas, inject them with lidocaine for freezing, laser them, ice them, and then bandage them. Oh, and sometimes a weird side effect happens where I taste metal when the laser hits my skin. Adams says it’s a sensation that some people experience when the lidocaine is hit by the laser and that it’s totally normal.
7. You might feel pain during the tattoo removal.
But consider this warning from Cirlin first: “Pain is completely individualized, and if you tell someone that something is going to hurt, they go into it with that expectation. That said at my proactive, we offer a topical numbing cream, which helps to take the edge off the procedure.” Just know that even with a numbing cream though, your experience may not be totally pain-free.
“We also use a piece of equipment called a chiller that uses cold air to help keep our clients comfortable,” she says. It’s definitely worth asking for a consultation with your practitioner ahead of time if you’re worried about pain.
8. Slight discomfort after your tattoo cleaning procedure too.
I would advise that you budget for discomfort for about a week. For me, the sites blister and need to be covered in a salve and bandaged for a few days; then they start to depuff, scab, peel, and regenerate. There is good news though: The more treatments you have, the less after care there is (since there’s less ink reacting to the laser).
9. Get ready tattoo after care in advance.
You’ll need things like Aquaphor, bandages, and even clothes that don’t rest on your tattoo. Yes, I actually bought shirts that didn’t have material where my neck/back tattoo is. At first, I was cutting tags out, but when tag less cotton tees still made the spot hurt and itch, I figured keyhole backs were a good investment. If you have tattoos on your ribs or feet (and like to wear bras and shoes) it might be best to plan your sessions accordingly.
Summary of Tattoo Removal
The simple truth is that the whole process at first might look too complicated and draining but after the process comes your freedom from that tattoo ink on you.