Is your tattoo a source of embarrassment or shame? Maybe you’ve outgrown the design. Or maybe it carries bad memories. Or maybe you’re just sick of the sight of it. The good news is that tattoos are no longer as permanent as they used to be. Advancements in tattoo removal mean that you do have options for getting rid of that unwanted ink. So, if you’re ready to say goodbye to that unwanted tattoo, find out what you can expect when getting a tattoo removed.
It’s a Long Process
Getting a tattoo isn’t a quick process and getting rid of one takes even longer. Be prepared to have multiple treatment sessions that may be spaced out over a year or more. While removal time depends on the tattoo size and complexity and the individual skin, you should expect six to eight sessions with six to eight weeks between sessions for a normal sized tattoo.
Tattoos are expensive and getting rid of them is more so. On average, it costs about 10 times more to get a tattoo removed as it did to get the ink in the first place.
However, as this payment will be made over multiple sessions, there’s time for you to budget and save up. If your tattoo is really getting you down, spending the money to get rid of it is worth it.
It can all be Removed
Despite what you may have heard, the entire tattoo can be removed if you complete all the sessions. However, if you had any scarring from the tattoo, this will stay.
You can also opt to have fewer sessions to only partially remove or fade the tattoo. You can then get a cover-up tattoo. Just make sure you’ll like this tattoo more than the first one.
It can be Painful
Unfortunately, getting a tattoo removed isn’t a pain-free process. However, many have likened the pain to getting a tattoo in the first place. It won’t be pleasant, but it won’t be terrible either.
Although, you will need to be prepared for side effects after sessions. It’s normal for the skin to blister and become itchy; many have likened it to a bad sunburn. However, this will settle over a few days.
Your Skin won’t be the same
Unfortunately, there’s no guarantee your skin will look like it did before you got the tattoo. Getting a tattoo can leave small scars and removing the ink may reveal these. Additionally, the removal process may leave small white patches on your skin. However, these marks will be less noticeable than your tattoo was.
What to do before Tattoo Removal
We have some recommendations to ensure you get the best results from your tattoo removal.
- Choose a Good Doctor
Tattoo removal is provided by a range of professionals. However, for the safest treatment, you should speak to your doctor first. They will be able to refer you to a qualified and safe practitioner. This may improve the end result, reduce how many appointments you need and make the treatment more pleasant.
- Dress Comfortably
Your skin will be more sensitive than usual in between sessions, particularly straight after an appointment. Let it heal and avoid irritating it by choosing loose clothing that doesn’t rest on the affected area, if possible.
- Boost your Immune System
The tattoo removal process partly relies on your body’s ability to break down the tattoo ink. You can give it a boost by looking after your immune system. Eat foods like citrus, ginger and spinach that are packed with vitamins and minerals to make things easier for your body. You’ll likely feel an extra spring in your step too.
- Keep the Area Clean
As with any medical treatment, it’s important to keep the affected area clean. Wash it gently, following your doctor’s instructions, and avoid getting it dirty. You may need to cover it with a dressing for the first few days.
- Treat Side Effects
We mentioned earlier that you’ll likely have some blistering after your sessions. While this is normal, it doesn’t mean you can’t do something about it. Help your body heal by using topical ointments and cool compresses to soothe irritation and keep the skin from drying out.
- Wait between Sessions
While you might want to rush this process and get rid of your tattoo quickly, unfortunately your body needs time to recover between appointments. It’s important you wait six to eight weeks between treatments, so your body and skin are ready for the next round.
Choose a Reliable Tattoo Studio next time
Hindsight is 20/20, and it’s easy to say what you should have done after the fact, but the next time you get a tattoo, be picky about your tattoo parlour and artist. The right tattoo parlour and artist are more likely to give you a tattoo that you will love for a lifetime.
It’s okay to change your mind, but when it comes to tattoos this can be a big decision. However, if you look after yourself, you can make the experience less unpleasant and give your body a helping hand.