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rec.arts.bodyart: Tattoo FAQ 7/9--General care/removal
Section - CAN A TATTOO BE REMOVED?

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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 (lynx@codon.nih.gov) 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).

User Contributions:

Yusuph
Report this comment as inappropriate
Aug 16, 2012 @ 12:00 am
I real to know much the history of tattoo, from the begin. Please send for me the all details/summary or imformation of tattoo. You can find me also on facebook as Toto mbata chico. Thank u

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Top Document: rec.arts.bodyart: Tattoo FAQ 7/9--General care/removal
Previous Document: HOW DOES WEIGHT GAIN/LOSS AFFECT A TATTOO?
Next Document: FDA BAN/ALERT AGAINST TATEX USA'S DO-IT-YOURSELF KIT

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