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rec.arts.bodyart: Tattoo FAQ 7/9--General care/removal

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Archive-name: bodyart/tattoo-faq/part7
Last-modified: May 8, 2002
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The rec.arts.bodyart Tattoo FAQ is broken up into 9 parts:
 2/9--Getting a tattoo
 5/9--Artist list
 6/9--Care of new tattoos
 7/9--General care/removal <--YOU ARE READING THIS FILE
 8/9--Misc. info

Subject: WHAT THIS FILE CONTAINS This file is structured as a traditional FAQ in the form of questions and answers. Questions answered in this file: Rec.arts.bodyart FAQ Part 7/9: Old tattoos--care/removal How does weight gain/loss affect a tattoo? How does lifting weights affect a tattoo? How does pregnancy affect a tattoo near the abdomen? Can a tattoo be removed? Get it reworked--cover-up Get it reworked--touch-up Get it removed--Tissue Expansion Get it removed--Sal Abration Get it removed--Staged Excision Get it removed--medical lasers Innovative Government Incentive Program for Tattoo Removal One person's decision toward tattoo removal COPYRIGHT AND DISSEMINATION Under the Berne Convention, this document is Copyright (c) 1997 by Lani Teshima-Miller, all rights reserved. Permission is granted for it to be reproduced electronically on any system connected to the various networks which make up the Internet, Usenet, and FidoNet so long as it is reproduced in its entirety, unedited, and with this copyright notice intact. Web sites are included. Individual copies may also be printed for personal use.
Subject: HOW DOES WEIGHT GAIN/LOSS AFFECT A TATTOO? Tattoos can definitely be affected by stretch marks. Whether you will or won't get stretch marks is apparently determined genetically, so placement is a consideration if you are planning on getting pregnant. I know for a fact that stretch marks can ruin a tattoo, because I have a very small tattoo that now looks more like a blob because of a large stretch mark running through the middle of it. Luckily, this was a home-brewed job (the kind done with India ink and a pin wrapped in thread) so I was never particularly attached to the artwork. :-} If your skin stretches from weight gain and then shrinks back up without losing its elasticity (the loss of elasticity is what results in stretch marks), then I would expect that there wouldn't be much distortion of the tattoo, maybe none at all. Or, put the tattoo someplace that won't get stretched so much, like the chest area above the breasts. My upper stomach didn't stretch much, either, but the lower abdominal skin did stretch quite a lot. (I've seen stretch marks on hips, thighs and arms as well--probably related to muscle gain from weight lifting as well as general fattening/thinning.) HOW DOES LIFTING WEIGHTS AFFECT A TATTOO? For most people, the amount of muscle gain is nowhere near as quick or as dramatic as what you would see with the stretching of skin on a pregnant person. For this reason, you don't really have to worry about your tattoo changing shape when you start lifting weights. I don't know what would happen though, if you decide you want to be the next Mr. Universe and you currently weigh 90 pounds. HOW DOES PREGNANCY AFFECT A TATTOO NEAR THE ABDOMEN? If you are planning on getting pregnant, you should be very cautious about the placement of any tattoo near the abdominal area. Not only will the tattoo stretch during pregnancy--there is no guarantee that the tattoo will go back to its original shape after the birth of your baby. Be particularly wary of getting any tattoo where the shape is important, such as with symmetrical tribal pieces, or Celtic knots. Even geometric patterns such as a circle could end up looking like an oval (or worse, an irregular blob). A more "giving" image, such as that of clouds, might suit you better. There are two options you might want to consider: a) Do not get any tattoos around the abdominal area at all, but limit your ink to other parts of your torso; b) Put off getting your abdominal tattoos until after you have had your children. Obviously, this involves some level of family planning.
Subject: CAN A TATTOO BE REMOVED? There are several methods for "removing" a tattoo, listed below. However with all of these methods, you either still end up with a tattoo (albeit a better-looking one), a scar, or a skinnier wallet. In other words, it is much easier to *get* a tattoo in the first place than to get rid of one. If you are considering getting a new tattoo, think carefully before you do--or you may end up re-reading this section. *IMPORTANT* Most health insurance companies do not cover tattoo removal in their coverage. The removal of a small tattoo (2-inch square) could end up costing you over $1,000--and there are "hidden costs" to the concept of tattoo removal. The bottom line is, TATTOO REMOVAL IS VERY EXPENSIVE. This means that it is extra-important for you to consider CAREFULLY and spend a long time considering getting one in the first place. GET IT REWORKED--COVER-UP There are different ways to get cover-up work, depending on the situation. A name can be tastefully camouflaged with a small design, making the name impossible to read. If it's the entire thing you want covered, it could be covered with another design. It is easier to cover a lighter color with a darker color, although oftentimes the original work is done in a dark color. This means not just a good tattooist, but a really good artist; what they'll have to do is find a way to work the existing tattoo into a new design that will cover and disguise what's there. If you don't believe that good cover-up work can do magic, take a look at some of the before-after photos in some of the tattoo magazines. The artists know how to work with form and shape, to where the new tattoo looks nothing like the old one. An example of BAD cover-up is an artist who simply blacks out whatever was there before. I've seen big black rectangles where names used to be. This is a rather inelegant way of covering an unwanted tattoo. The main idea is to check with the individual artist. If they've done significant cover-up work, they should have before and after photos of it in their book, where you can see where the work occurred. --The people at Tattoo City can do it (see their entry under 5.1 US West Coast: California: San Francisco). GET IT REWORKED--TOUCH-UP With the advances in technology, technique and the availability of new, brighter colors in the past few years, faded or blurred tattoos can look brighter and sharper than when they were new. Some touch-up work makes the tattoo significantly better looking than it ever was, actually improving on the original tattoo. GET IT REMOVED--TISSUE EXPANSION The tissue expansion method is where a balloon is inserted and inflated under the skin to slowly stretch the flesh. The tattoo is then cut out and the newly stretched skin covers its place. This is a popular method for removing smaller tattoos and leaves only a straight-line surgical scar. GET IT REMOVED--SAL ABRASION Sal abrasion involves rubbing the image with salt and "sanding" it out. GET IT REMOVED--STAGED EXCISION The staged excision method actually cuts the image out, a small portion at a time. Both the sal abrasion and staged excision methods result in more scarring. Also, homemade tattoos can be more difficult to remove because while the concentration of ink may not be as great as in a professional tattoo, it often goes deeper into the skin (you may want to consider cover-up work in this case). Monese Christensen ( recounts a rather sad story about her sister, who, on a whim without finding a good artist, got a tattoo she regretted enough to try to get it removed. "The saline expansion took about 4 months. The insertion of the saline bag was major surgery. They put her out. And put her out again to remove the tattoo and bag. The surgery was not covered under insurance for cosmetic reasons and it came to $5,000." Note that for six months Monese's sister had a big lump of extra skin growing on her back and she looked like Quasimodo. This, I believe, for a tattoo about 2" x 2". GET IT REMOVED--MEDICAL LASERS There are a number of new laser methods for tattoo removal, although they tend to be costly and are usually not covered by medical insurance plans. Of the three forms of medical lasers currently available (the CO2 laser, the Q-stitched ruby laser and the Tatulazr), the new Tatulazr has been deemed one of the most effective ways to remove blue-black tattoos. According to Dr. Richard Fitzpatrick of Dermatology Associates of San Diego County (who is the clinical investigator for the Tatulazr), the Tatulazr delivers pulses of energy that are selectively absorbed by the pigment granules of the tattoo. He says that the Tatulazr's wavelength causes less absorption of the laser light by the normal skin, resulting in less risk of scarring. The longer wavelength allows more energy to reach the target tattoo pigment, resulting in greater removal success. In addition, the wavelength allows for deeper penetration into the skin, which means fewer treatments may be required for complete tattoo removal. For the name of a physicial in your area who uses the Tatulazr, call the Candela Laser Corp. at 1-800-733-8550 Ext. 444 (or write to them at 530 Boston Post Rd., Wayland, MA 01778).
Subject: FDA BAN/ALERT AGAINST TATEX USA'S DO-IT-YOURSELF KIT The following, brought to my attention by Mike <>, is a copy of an FDA alert dated September 1992 against the method of chemical tattoo removal being marketed by Tatex, Inc. based in Pickering, Ontario (Canada) and marketed in the US out of Las Vegas, Nevada. I have no reason to doubt Mike's intentions in forwarding this alert to me. From what Mike tells me, it's possible that Tatex is a weak acid or peroxide formula that eats away at your skin. He says he believes the FDA alert is due to their not having completed necessary tests. The following is the alert in its entirety. I'll let the readers decide for themselves whether this stuff is appropriate or not. (Reformatted for ease of readability.) I recently received an email from the makers of Tatex, asking me to remove this section. I checked, and the FDA alert is still in effect, having been updated as recently as October, 1999, so this section still stands. * * * * * FDA IA#66-11, REVISED 9/21/92 TYPE OF ALERT: Automatic Detention PRODUCT: Tattoo Removers PRODUCT CODE: 66V--99 PROBLEM: New Drug without a New Drug Application (NDA) (DRND) PAC FOR COLLECTION: 56008H COUNTRY: All MANUFACTURER/SHIPPER: All CHARGE: "The article is subject to refusal of admission pursuant to Section 801(a)(3) in that it appears to be a new drug within the meaning of Section 201(p) without an approved new drug application [Unapproved New Drug, Section 505(a)]." RECOMMENDING OFFICE: CDER/OTC Compliance Branch, HFD-312 REASON FOR ALERT: Three complaints of injury have implicated this drug as the source of acute inflammation, cellulitis and secondary infection of the skin. All of the complaints indicated that the tattoo remover was received through the mail from the Atlanta Co., Pickering, Ontario, Canada. The product was received in small plastic vials labeled in part, "Tatex Tattoo Remover*** 2 1/2 cc accompanied by labeling entitled, "Instructions for use of the Tatex Tattoo Remover." Although there has been no recent detention activity of the Tatex brand tattoo remover, the alert remains in effect because of the possibility of entry which may be attempted for similar products from other foreign manufacturers. INSTRUCTIONS: Detain products which claim to be tattoo removers. Notify CDER/OTC Labeling Branch at 301-295-8063 when detentions of these products are made. KEYWORDS: Tattoo remover, New Drug, Tatex Tattoo Remover, skin, infection PREPARED BY : Linda A. Wisniowski, DIOP, 301-443-6553
Subject: PROGRAMS FOR TATTOO REMOVAL IN JUVENILES In a news conference held in April '94, San Jose Mayor Susan Hammer announced a new program that would help young people to remove unwanted tattoos. $15,000 from the San Jose BEST anti-gang grant program will pay for the tattoo removal from about 100 people. Hammer said she will seek additional funding. "I want to send a message to every young person troubled by the presence of a tattoo," Hammer said. "This program is about you and about your dream." The service is being provided by plastic surgeon Josh Korman, who is donating his time. Another program to remove juveniles' tattoos is funded by the California Youth Authority. People under 25 can have tattoos removed in exchange for performing 30 hours of community service. In Southern California, this program is administered by the Hollywood Sunset Free Clinic. Information about this can be found at:
Subject: ONE PERSON'S DECISION TO TATTOO REMOVAL The following is a personal account by Cindy Browning <>, of her decision to have her tattoos removed professionally. --- I started getting tats at 24 with a very small shoulder piece. I dated and ended up marrying a self-professed (now professional) tattoo artist, and got more pieces, all blackwork. The marriage ended, and I was left with a lot of tat work; some good but most, painful reminders. I had heard of tat removal, but these rumors were usually prefaced by "It hurts a lot, worse than the tat, it doesn't always work, and it's incredibly expensive." I saw the results of a removal on a friend of mine--she had a racist symbol on her hand, and her mom sent her to have it removed for around $500. (being married to the artist, none of my tats had cost anything--you get what you pay for.) I decided to go with cover-up work. Got several pieces from '89-91, blackwork and color, all by recognized professionals I knew. Some of the nicest ones I got were around my ankles--Egyptian-themed pieces from historical sources, a tribal tiger head from a book catalogue. My job was extremely unconventional--a retail store manager specializing in jewelry, minerals, and the occult. Located in a very hip, trendy area of Washington D.C., celebrities walked in regularly. The store owner encouraged us to be interesting-looking, and tats fit with the fashion-forward clothes that we wore. I left my job abruptly in '91, and used my computer skills to enter the extremely rigid, conservative world of government consulting. At first it was easy to cover up with black hose, long sleeves, and blazers, but this became increasingly constrictive. I began dreaming of wearing shorts, white hose, sleeveless shirts, bathing suits, anything, without being a one-woman free tattoo show. My life changed. My rock & roll friends were bored with my stories of work, not impressed that I was earning money, driving a new car and living on my own instead of in grimy group houses. New friends made judgments about me once they found out I had tattoos. Romance was difficult--there was always the "I have......tattoos" conversation to go through. There are surprising numbers of unenlightened men out there who think you are a) sleazy b) ready for sex at ANY time c) perverted d) into "pain" e) gross f) all of the above if you have tats. I think I met all of them in the D.C. area. One approached me on the mall on July 4th when I was celebrating freedom in my own personal way by wearing a tank top. He ran his slimy finger down my tattooed upper arm and said, "Pretty" in a Hannibal Lecter voice. I ran away. I think it was then that I began my soul-searching, before searching for doctors who could effectively remove tattoos, starting with my ankle pieces. My search was futile. I met at least one dermatologist who was really nice 'til I took off my shirt, at which point I believe she thought I was a candidate for Psychotic Monthly. I did eventually meet a man who said he didn't care if I had tats, but had none of his own. But those T-shirt aphorisms you read about non-tattooed people are true. We were driving past a boutique one night, and there was a velvet sheath dress in the window, cut up to here and down to there. He looked at me sadly and said how he wished I could wear it. I said, "Huh?" as I am not overweight by any means. I then realized what he really meant, that he wished I did not look like the missing 5th member of the Cycle Sluts from Hell in the dress. Groan. I did so well that I was offered a new position and a promotion at a new office in San Antonio. I grabbed it. Upon arriving and perusing the local rock & roll paper, I saw an ad that read "Married to Mary Lou but still have Debbie on your arm?", advertising the Laser Institute of San Antonio. I called, made an appointment, and went as soon as I could. The doctor (Dr. Marc Taylor) was very friendly, if a bit surprised by my tat work, but said he could help me. I saw a short video that showed results that looked miraculous. He warned that scarring could occur, and with professional tats, several treatments were necessary, scarring one's pocketbook as well. But I didn't care. All I could see was a rainbow, with white stockings and shorts and sandals at the end. Let me tell you, not wearing shorts in Texas in the summer makes you look like un-American. And I have no wish to look like someone's dad, or the Captain of the Love Boat, with dorky ankle socks. Now, you might say that individualism is prized in Texas. But after years of having tattoos, I stopped caring about what others think, and am concerned with my own comfort level. So far I have had one treatment. It went on for about 20 minutes, and felt somewhat like getting a tattoo, but more like a rubber band snapping on my skin. The machine is about 2 feet high and has a probe on a mechanical arm coming out of it, sort of like a dental drill. There's a pen-shaped attachment on the end, and a plastic shield (to keep the laser from shooting all over the room). The doctor, the attendant nurse and I all had to wear eye protection. The pen attachment shoots out little bursts of light, accompanied by an unpleasant crackling noise. The initial consultation was $45.00, and each 15-minute treatment is $195.00 (with incremental amounts added for every additional minute. It was $240 for 19 minutes. Aftercare is exactly the same as that for a tattoo, with 6-8 weeks between treatments. The results from my first treatment; there are areas where the tats have completely disappeared, although I was advised that this might not happen on every try. --==*-< >-*==--==*-< >-*==--==*-< >-*==--==*-< >-*==--==*-< >-*==-- This ends "rec.arts.bodyart: Tattoo FAQ 7/9--General care/removal." This should be followed by "rec.arts.bodyart: Tattoo FAQ 8/9--Miscellaneous info."

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Whether or not you believe in God, this message is a "must-read"!

Throughout time, we can see how we have been carefully conditioned coming to this point where we are on the verge of a cashless society. Did you know that Jesus foretold of this event almost 2,000 years ago?

In Revelation 13:16-18, it states,

"He (the false prophet who deceives many by his miracles--Revelation 19:20) causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666."

Referring to the last generation, this could only be speaking of a cashless society. Why's that? Revelation 13:17 tells us that we cannot buy or sell unless we receive the mark of the beast. If physical money was still in use, we could buy or sell with one another without receiving the mark. This would contradict scripture that states we need the mark to buy or sell!

These verses could not be referring to something purely spiritual as scripture references two physical locations (our right hand or forehead) stating the mark will be on one "OR" the other. If this mark was purely spiritual, it would indicate both places, or one--not one OR the other!

This is where it comes together. It is shocking how accurate the Bible is concerning the implantable RFID microchip. Here are notes from a man named Carl Sanders who worked with a team of engineers to help develop this RFID chip:

"Carl Sanders sat in seventeen New World Order meetings with heads-of-state officials such as Henry Kissinger and Bob Gates of the C.I.A. to discuss plans on how to bring about this one-world system. The government commissioned Carl Sanders to design a microchip for identifying and controlling the peoples of the world—a microchip that could be inserted under the skin with a hypodermic needle (a quick, convenient method that would be gradually accepted by society).

Carl Sanders, with a team of engineers behind him, with U.S. grant monies supplied by tax dollars, took on this project and designed a microchip that is powered by a lithium battery, rechargeable through the temperature changes in our skin. Without the knowledge of the Bible (Brother Sanders was not a Christian at the time), these engineers spent one-and-a-half-million dollars doing research on the best and most convenient place to have the microchip inserted.

Guess what? These researchers found that the forehead and the back of the hand (the two places the Bible says the mark will go) are not just the most convenient places, but are also the only viable places for rapid, consistent temperature changes in the skin to recharge the lithium battery. The microchip is approximately seven millimeters in length, .75 millimeters in diameter, about the size of a grain of rice. It is capable of storing pages upon pages of information about you. All your general history, work history, criminal record, health history, and financial data can be stored on this chip.

Brother Sanders believes that this microchip, which he regretfully helped design, is the “mark” spoken about in Revelation 13:16–18. The original Greek word for “mark” is “charagma,” which means a “scratch or etching.” It is also interesting to note that the number 666 is actually a word in the original Greek. The word is “chi xi stigma,” with the last part, “stigma,” also meaning “to stick or prick.” Carl believes this is referring to a hypodermic needle when they poke into the skin to inject the microchip."

Mr. Sanders asked a doctor what would happen if the lithium contained within the RFID microchip leaked into the body. The doctor replied by saying a terrible sore would appe (...)

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