Tattoo removal: what you should know

Whether it’s a large-scale image motif, a motto or a name phrase, tattoos are always meant to express aspects of personality or illustrate preferences. “Every 4. German over 18 is now tattooed, among the 20 to 30-year-old even every 3., and it becomes ever more , knows the Lasertherapeutin Leoni Raab of the Tattoo distance specialist Finally without in Stuttgart. But what to do if the tattoo on the neck is no longer compatible with the job? The name on the arm is no longer from the great love, but the hated ex? The former trend motif only looks ridiculous? 

How does tattoo removal work?

Every 10. German with tattoo is dissatisfied with his art on the body. “That’s why about 1.2 million people have their tattoos removed every year,” explains Raab. The best method is the laser treatment, it achieves by far the best successes: By very short, high-energy light pulses the color pigments are destroyed in the skin. The laser is usually good at getting rid of black and red color pigments in particular, while yellow, brown and violet pigments often cannot be completely eliminated even by good lasers.

They contain more pigments, which are more finely distributed under the skin and are also so light that they are less able to absorb the laser light. “The destroyed pigment remains are broken down by the body, the side effects of the treatment are low and the pain is bearable: it feels about like snapping a rubber band across the skin,” explains the expert.

What are the dangers of tattoo removal?

However, you should not let a tattoo removal be done too lightly. There are always dematologists and studies that warn that pigment fragments remain in the body, which in turn can be toxic or carcinogenic.

What tattoo removal methods are there besides the laser?

From other methods than the laser you should rather leave the fingers against it, advises the Expertin. Both with the outdated and very painful Scraping as well as with the so-called “remover” technique the color can often not be completely removed. With the remover technique, lactic or fruit acid is burned into the skin, often leaving behind nasty scars. “The remover technique is usually also still as expensive as the laser treatment,” says Raab.

Who is dissatisfied with a failed motive, but basically still stands on tattoos, can alternatively to the laser treatment also again put under the needle and get a Cover up let miss: Professional tattoo artists then create new works of art from unloved body paint. Thereby a new tattoo is stung over the old one. “However, it is best to have the old tattoo lightened, then the old image is guaranteed not to show through and you have more freedom in choosing the new motif,” advises Raab. Lighten works exactly like the removal, only that you need fewer treatments.

These are the best tattoo motifs for men

How long does a tattoo removal take?

Tattoo removal takes time. Usually it takes 6 to 12 sessions for a professional tattoo. “Therefore, the treatment takes at least 6 months, usually we need between 0.5 and 2 years,” explains Raab. Because between sessions you always need to take a break of 4 to 8 weeks, so that the skin can regenerate and the color can be removed by the body through the lymphatic system. How long your tattoo removal takes, depends mainly on how large, detailed and colorful the tattoo is. Logically, because the larger and more complex the tattoo is, the longer it takes a professional to reach all the color pigments.

This is easier the higher the contrast of the color to the skin is. “Dark colors absorb light better and burst more quickly,” explains the specialist. If you are a darker skin type yourself, the treatment may take longer again. Generally, you can never say in advance exactly when the tattoo is really gone, because skin and metabolism can be very different in all people.

However, you yourself can help to make the removal as fast as possible. Therefore, always take good care of your skin after each session. Sport, sauna and swimming pools are taboo for one week, UV rays during the whole treatment period. Otherwise, skin infections or pigmentation disorders may occur.

Also, drink enough, this helps the skin to regenerate. After one week, sport is not only possible again, but even desirable. “The metabolism is stimulated thereby and the old color is decomposed faster”, explains Raab.

How much does tattoo removal cost?

As a rough rule of thumb, you should expect to pay 10 times what the tattoo cost when it was pierced, says the expert. Depending on how many sessions you need, that can be in the end between 400 and 4000 euros.

Let you therefore but in no case to cheap offers tempted! “It’s best to go to specialized facilities for the distance,” advises Raab. Make sure that the room for the laser treatment is separated and hygienic and that the laser therapists are experienced. Beforehand, you should definitely get a detailed consultation, during which you will not be persuaded to do anything and during which no blanket statements will be made such as “After 3 sessions, the thing will be gone”.

“Professional providers always point out that you can not predict how quickly the tattoo is removed, and therefore always give only a guideline,” explains Raab. 

Think carefully before you decide on a tattoo motif. Because removal costs time and money – and the procedure is not completely painless either. Be sure to contact a professional, then the chance that your unloved tattoo really disappears, the greatest. 

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Alicia Vargo Author
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