So, You Want to Get Rid of Your Tattoo?

Do you have a tattoo that you highly regret? Do you want to get rid of it? Today, there are three types of tattoo removal: laser removal, dermabrasion, and surgical excision. Today, we share everything you need to know about each method!

Laser Removal

Laser removal is the most common tattoo removal method. While this doesn’t completely remove the tattoo, it does fade and lighten it to make it less noticeable. During the process, a Q-switched laser sends energy through one intense pulse, which heats the ink in the skin and dissolves it. It usually takes 7-10 laser sessions to remove a tattoo, and you will need to wait 6-8 weeks between each session. A special Q-switched Nd: YAG laser may be used for darker skin, as it is less likely to change the skin’s pigment permanently.


This less-popular removal method uses a high-speed rotating abrasive device to remove the outer layers of your skin to get the ink out. The removal is usually at a cosmetic surgeon’s office and can be completed in one procedure; if you have a larger tattoo containing many colors, the procedure could take more than an hour to complete. Its effectiveness depends on the person. You should avoid dermabrasion if you have a skin condition like eczema or sensitive skin, are on blood thinners (because this can cause you to bleed or bruise), or have darker skin, because it could change your skin’s pigment. After the procedure, the area may feel raw and painful for a few days. You should recover fully in 2-3 weeks, and the discoloration or pinkness of the area should disappear after 8-12 weeks.

Surgical Removal/Excision

This method is generally done in a plastic surgery office, where the tattooed skin is cut off, and the remaining skin is stitched together again. It might sound like the scariest method, but it is the only method guaranteed to remove your tattoo completely. Surgical removal can be more affordable than laser removal, but unfortunately, it always leaves a scar. Therefore, it is mainly performed on smaller tattoos. It can take a couple of hours, depending on the size of your tattoo. The healing process may take several weeks.

Other Things to Consider

When you are thinking of removing a tattoo, there are some factors to consider:

  • Time commitment
  • Cost
  • Effectiveness
  • Scarring risk

Some tats can be harder to remove than others. The following reasons can make it more difficult to remove a tattoo:

  • If you have large tattoos that contain a lot of colors.
  • If you have darker skin.
  • If you have a skin condition like eczema.

Have you ever had a tattoo removed? Share your experience in the comments below.

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