A tattoo is a wonderful form of body art allowing us to have the freedom for creative expression on ourselves. There are a lot of reasons people get tattoos – to show how much they love someone is the most common one and is also the most common cause of regret for many when they split.
Then comes the process of getting the tattoo removed. Most people are only aware or laser but there are other ways too.
My friend wants to join the defense forces and he has a tattoo he got on his wrist when we were teenagers. He has been going for laser treatment and is thinking about skin grafting and that got me thinking of the other ways of tattoo removal.
1. Laser Tattoo Removal
Laser tattoo removal is the gold standard for tattoo removal – this is the only one that most people know. It offers a low-risk method of tattoo removal that is a highly effective treatment with minimal side effects.
Laser tattoo removal uses a technique called explosive heating – the highly concentrated pulsing light is able to target pigment in the dermis. The targeted light breaks up the tattoo pigment within the skin and splits it into tiny fragments that are flushed out through the body’s lymphatic system.
Skin Grafting and Surgical Excision are the two ways of going under the knife for tattoo removal.
2. Skin Grafting
While my friend was talking about getting this done, I realized that he didn’t know what exactly went into it. For starters, it is expensive and requires a lot of care and attention after done.
Skin grafting involves taking a piece of skin from another part of the body (usually buttocks or inner thighs) and sewing it over the tattoo. The skin grows in conjunction with the natural skin as the skin heals.
In surgical excision, a surgeon will remove the epidermis and dermis layers, and then stitch the area to enable the wound to close and heal – thus removing the tattoo. It sort of works opposite of skin grafting.
Surgery can cause scarring and it is best suited for smaller tattoos because several surgeries may be required for bigger tattoos and isn’t exactly an ideal situation for most people.
REMOVING SKIN LAYER
Salabrasion is an old tattoo technique that has been around the longest. It is also the most undesirable. People still do it. It involves rubbing the tattooed area with salt and a wet gauze pad to remove layers of skin.
It should always be done by the professionals, yet some people attempt this procedure at home. It is extremely painful. There is also the risk of scarring and infection. More than one treatment is needed to get rid of the tattoo and each treatment needs at least 3 weeks to heal and then the painful process continues.
In this process, skin layers are removed using a specialized tool similar to a sander or a metal wire (depending on the device). It is done by a dermatologist or plastic surgeon in a medical setting.
The skin is numbed using ice or a local anesthetic before starting the process and then layers of skin are being scraped off. Like salabrasion, there’s the possibility of infection and scarring and it also needs to be repeated several times with healing time between each sitting.
Giving thought to the tattoo you are getting is important because it is something that can’t be gotten rid of easily. It involves investing money, time, and not to mention the additional pain. If you do want to remove your tattoos, then laser seems the best option right now, and it is also what most people go for. You can even get a tattoo coverup – it is becoming really popular lately.