Are you disappointed with the impression of your tattoo? Perhaps the tattoo has faded or become blurry, or you have decided that it no longer fits your current image. Do you want to consider and know about tattoo removal before and after? Well, then you are at the right place!
Tattoo removal might also be urgent if you develop an allergic reaction to the tattoo or other complications, such as an infection. Tattoo removal is a technique used to get rid of an unsightly tattoo.
Tattoo removal techniques include laser surgery, surgical removal, and dermabrasion. Tattoo removal is generally effective, but some tattoos are much more difficult to remove than others.
Tattoo ink is applied underneath the skin’s top layer. As a result, tattoo removal is more difficult than tattoo application. Older and stick-and-poke tattoos, for example, are easier to remove than newer ones. Here’s all you need to know about tattoo removal before and after.
Tattoo removal before and after: Is tattoo removal effective?
Are you thinking about getting some ink removed? There are several approaches to tattoo removal:
- laser hair removal
- surgical amputation
Tattoo removal is generally effective, but some tattoos are much more difficult to remove than others.
Some pigments are also easier to remove than others. These are some examples:
- deep blue
Larger, more colorful tattoos take longer and cost more to remove than smaller, lighter, and less colorful ones.
Because of the risk of side effects, removing tattoos may be more difficult if you have:
- Darker skin tone
- A pre-existing skin condition such as eczema
However, if any of this applies, you can still remove your tattoo. It simply means you should take a little more time to find the best removal option.
Tattoo removal before and after: Comparison of tattoo removal methods
When considering tattoo removal options, you should consider several factors, including:
- scarring danger
- commitment of time
Again, these factors will be heavily influenced by the size, complexity, and condition of your tattoo and your skin.
Here’s a quick comparison of different types of tattoo removal, followed by a more in-depth look at each.
- Following the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, laser removal costs $463 per session. With proper aftercare, tattoos will be significantly lighter but may not completely disappear after 7 to 10 sessions. The scarring risk is very low, and thus many consider it safe.
- According to anecdotal reports, surgical removal costs between $200 and $1,500. Even though larger tattoos may necessitate more time, you will completely remove the small tattoo in some sessions. However, the scarring risk remains high.
- Following the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, dermabrasion costs hundreds to thousands of dollars. The scarring risk varies according to the individual, and you would need a single session only to remove the tattoo.
Tattoo removal before and after: What to do before removal?
- Make every effort to manage expectations
Tattoo removal is generally successful. Some circumstances could change that, and you cannot completely remove a tattoo. In those cases, the image will have faded to something much less visible, but it will still be visible on your skin.
Before committing to even the most cutting-edge tattoo removal techniques, consult with your expert. Before embarking on this journey, any professional tattoo removal provider should be able to give you a transparent idea of what to expect and make you feel confident and well-informed.
You’ll need to know your likely outcome before deciding whether the procedure is right for you. You should also request to see before and after pictures of treatments.
Check that the before and after photos are from the expert you’re speaking with, not Google. You can find the best and worst outcomes online, and that wide range of outcomes will not help you make an informed decision.
- Understand that the location of tattoo ink and the size of the tattoo
The location of your tattoo on the body will impact its vascular supply and healing ability. This means tattoos not closer to your heart will be more difficult to remove. Why?
Blood flow promotes healing. Because the tattoo removal procedure involves treating your skin, some discomfort and short-term injury will need to heal. When a tattoo is placed away from your heart, the vascular supply is reduced, and the tattoo heals more slowly.
This makes it more challenging for your body’s lymphatic system to remove the broken-down ink.
Ankle tattoos, for example, are notoriously difficult to remove. They aren’t always impossible – so don’t be afraid to ask – but they are notoriously difficult.
The size of your tattoo will also have an obvious impact. Larger tattoos require more time to remove.
- Tattoos in bright colors, including blues and greens, can be completely removed
Darker ink colors, such as green, blue, and some reds, have been difficult to completely remove since the advent of laser tattoo removal. It’s mostly because earlier lasers lacked the necessary energy wavelength and speed. These colors are frequently what remain after a series of Q-Switch laser removal treatments.
This is not an issue, thanks to PICO laser technology. In fact, by beginning with a faster, more powerful laser, such as the PICO, the time required to remove these colors is significantly reduced – one-third to one-half the time.
- Professional tattoo removal is usually easier than amateur tattoo removal
Some people are surprised by this, but it is true. Amateurs’ and “scratchers'” tattoos are frequently much more difficult to treat. This is because professional tattoos are very evenly inked, making the removal treatment more predictable.
In contrast, amateur tattoos have an uneven distribution of ink beneath the skin, which can be a significant challenge. Minor scar tissue is also more common at the site of amateur tattoos.
- It will not be a one-time event in most cases
You will require several treatments. You may glimpse results after just one session, but more likely, you and your professional tattoo removal provider will devise a treatment plan that will last months, if not years. Depending on the nature of your tattoo and the difficulties it presents, you may require 5 to 10 treatments.
While laser tattoo removal requires a time commitment, consider how long it took to get your skin art applied. Divide the total time into 15-minute increments to get the same amount of time as it took to get the ink.
You will be given a lot of details during your initial consultation, including the most likely timeline for successful removal. Waiting 8 weeks or more between laser treatments is also part of the process to ensure that the skin is healed.
- It will definitely cost more than the tattoo
While professional tattoo removers try to keep tattoo removal costs as low as possible, using an expensive specialized laser or other treatment is expensive. The price will be determined by the size, location, and several treatments.
- Before your removal session, eat and drink plenty of water
Coming on an empty stomach or dehydrated will almost certainly result in dizziness or vertigo. Remember that there will be some discomfort. It will feel like multiple rubber bands snapping against your skin for several minutes.
To avoid fainting or swooning, ensure you have some calories in your system when you come in for your appointment.
- Quit smoking or at least reduce
Try to stop smoking permanently. If you can’t, try to refrain for the duration of your treatment. Cigarettes slow down your body’s healing processes and significantly increase the risk of complications that can lead to scarring or infection.
- Keep away from the sun. Allow your sunscreen to become your best friend
Laser tattoo removal takes months, so now is not the time to work on your all-over tan. If you must bask in the sun’s rays, at the very least, keep the area being treated covered with sunscreen! Even better is the clothing. Tanned skin is more prone to allergic reactions. Most removal specialists will not treat tanned skin because it raises the risk of permanent pigment changes.
- Take Tylenol instead of aspirin or ibuprofen
If you take Tylenol before your session, it may help relieve your discomfort. It’s one of several methods we recommend to make the procedure as painless as possible.
However, it’s critical not to confuse Tylenol or acetaminophen with other mild pain relievers. Both aspirin and ibuprofen will make you bruise after treatment.
- If possible, wear loose-fitting clothing that does not have to touch the affected area
You may be able to wear clothing that can be removed without scratching or grazing the skin after your treatment, depending on where your tattoo is.
Your skin will feel sunburned after each session; dressing accordingly can help you avoid discomfort later that day.
- Avoid using lotion, perfume, or other cosmetics, especially on the area to be treated
Before a laser tattoo removal session, the area to be treated should be clean, shaved, and unadorned. No need to moisturize your skin before treatment because it does not affect how the skin accepts the laser. In reality, all that is required is that the area be completely clean and clear.
Tattoo removal before and after: Professional Methods
Tattoo removal before and after – Laser removal
Most tattoo removal experts believe that laser removal is the most effective and cost-effective method. Lasers do not always completely remove tattoos. Instead, they lighten or fade it significantly to make it less noticeable.
Most tattoos are removed with a Q-switched laser, emitting energy in a single strong pulse. This burst of energy heats the ink in your skin, causing it to dissolve. You’ll need to experience a series of laser treatments over several weeks or longer to remove your tattoo. Tattoos that are older or less complex will require fewer sessions, while newer or more complex tattoos will require more.
If you have darker skin, you should consider Q-switched Nd: YAG laser treatment, which is less likely than traditional Q-switched lasers to change dark skin color.
7 to 10 laser treatment sessions are required to remove a tattoo. For best results, you should wait 6 to 8 weeks between sessions.
Following each session, you should follow any aftercare instructions given to you. This usually entails applying antibacterial ointment to your skin for several days. The lotion will aid in the healing of your skin and the prevention of infection. After applying the ointment, change the wound dressing.
For the subsequent two weeks at the very least:
- Maintain a clean and dry environment in the treated area.
- Avoid wearing anything too tight.
- Keep the treated place out of direct sunlight.
- Don’t pick any scabs or blisters that appear.
Laser tattoo removal typically has a lower risk of scarring than other removal methods; however, picking at the area as it heals can increase your risk of scarring.
Tattoo removal before and after – Surgical removal
Surgical tattoo removal, also known as excision, entails cutting off tattooed skin and sewing the remaining skin back. It is the most invasive format of tattoo removal, but it is also the only guaranteed way to remove a tattoo completely.
It is frequently less expensive than laser removal, but it always results in a scar. As a result, it is usually reserved for smaller tattoos.
Excision surgery is typically performed in a plastic surgery office. You’ll be given a local anesthetic before the surgeon removes the tattooed skin with a scalpel, a sharp, knife-like instrument. They’ll then sew the remaining skin back together. Depending on the tattoo’s size, the procedure can take several hours.
The healing process will take several weeks. You should apply the prescribed or recommended ointment for several days to help heal your skin and avoid infection. Keep the wound clean and out of the sun for at least two weeks, and follow your surgeon’s aftercare instructions.
Tattoo removal before and after – Dermabrasion
Dermabrasion removes layers of skin with a sanding device to allow ink to leach out. Its effectiveness varies greatly between individuals, making it a less popular option.
You should avoid dermabrasion if you have extremely sensitive skin or a skin condition such as eczema. If you consume blood thinners, you may be more likely to experience bleeding, bruising, and changes in skin color after the procedure. Individuals with darker skin may be additional prone to skin pigment changes.
A clinician will administer a local anesthetic during a typical dermabrasion session to alleviate pain. They’ll use a high-speed rotating abrasive device to sand away the top layers of skin, allowing tattoo ink to escape.
This is usually done in a single procedure at a cosmetic surgeon’s office. The length of the procedure is determined by the size and color of your tattoo. Larger tattoos with multiple colors may take longer to treat.
The treated area will most likely feel painful and raw for several days after the procedure. It will be two weeks to fully recover. In most cases, the pinkness or discoloration of the treated area fades within 8 to 12 weeks.
As you heal, your doctor may advise you to:
- To avoid infection, apply an ointment.
- Avoid openness to direct sunlight for 3 to 6 months following the procedure.
- Every time you go outside, apply sunscreen to the affected area.
- Wear loose clothing on the affected area until it heals.
- As the wound heals, avoid soaking it in water.
Dermabrasion treatments can cause scarring in some people. Scarring can be reduced by:
- using the recommended ointments
- putting on sunscreen
- avoiding exposure to the sun
- After the treatment site has healed completely, use anti-scarring oils and creams
Dermabrasion may result in the following side effects after treatment:
- Skin color changes, such as lightening, darkening, or blotchiness
- Swelling, bleeding, and redness or discoloration
Follow your clinician’s aftercare instructions to avoid these complications. Check that the clinician is properly licensed and has positive reviews.
Also Read: Idiopathic Guttate Hypomelanosis- Important Causes, Treatment, 8 More FAQs!
Tattoo removal before and after: DIY Methods
Tattoo removal lotions and chemical peels are the cheapest and most widely available options. There’s a reason for this: there’s no solid proof that they work.
According to anecdotal evidence, they may only slightly lighten a tattoo. At worst, they can cause severe chemical burns.
Experts do not recommend using DIY tattoo removal creams to remove your tattoo due to the high risk of skin annoyance and allergic reaction.
Tattoo removal before and after: Covering up
If you’re not trying to go tattoo-free, you should consider getting a cover-up tattoo.
A cover-up can be inexpensive and quick to conceal an existing tattoo. If you don’t enjoy the design of your tattoo but don’t mind getting another, this method is a good option.
When you hire a tattoo artist to do a cover-up, they will collaborate with you to design a tattoo that will conceal what you already have.
This could entail creating a design with thicker lines, more shading, or unusual shapes. Many tattoo artists are adept at creating new designs to conceal unwanted tattoos.
After you’ve decided on a design, your tattoo artist will apply the cover-up the same way they did your original tattoo.
Tattoo removal before and after: What to do after removal?
- Please be sure to use an over-the-counter antibiotic ointment like Neosporin
You must apply the ointment to your skin three times daily and cover your tattoo with a bandage for at least three days. You are guarding your damaged and weak skin against infection by doing so.
After three days, you MUST remove the dressing and expose your skin to fresh air. The air will aid in the healing and drying of the damaged area, as well as prepare you for the next treatment. If scabbing occurs, it is normal to last 1 to 2 weeks.
- Blisters should not be feared
8 hours after your laser tattoo removal therapy, blisters may appear. Blisters are typically held for 4-6 days as part of the healing process.
- Picking the scabs, blisters, or crusts that form after your laser tattoo removal treatment is not recommended
Picking at the skin is directly related to the possibility of scarring. Allow your skin to heal naturally and scabs and crusts to fall off when ready. Peeling off scabs that aren’t ready to be removed can lead to infection, scarring, and skin pigment discoloration.
- Use Tylenol
If you have any distress or inflammation after removing a tattoo, take Tylenol and apply an ice pack hourly for 5-10 minutes after your treatment.
- Use Sunscreen
Wear sunscreen to protect the treated area of your skin for at least three months after each session. Apply no make-up or anything else that could irritate the healing area. Scented lotions can be irritating to healing skin.
- Take a shower after two hours
You may shower two hours after having your tattoo removed. However, it is strongly advised that you do not expose the newly treated skin to high pulsating water. It is also advised not to swim, soak in a bath, or soak in a hot tub until the scabs and blisters have healed. These bodies of water are teeming with bacteria that can cause infection and scarring.
- Call the doctor
If you experience discomfort, mild bruising, or tingling sensations similar to sunburn following your tattoo removal procedure, please contact the clinic immediately or see a doctor.
Tattoo removal before and after: Importance of aftercare
Following the aftercare instructions is critical to achieving the desired tattoo removal results. The better you care for your tattoo before and after laser treatment, the better the results.
If you maintain your general health after treatment, your body’s natural healing and ink clearance processes will work more efficiently. The better the process works, the healthier you are.
Toxins such as nicotine and alcohol should be avoided or limited as much as possible throughout the process, as these substances will place additional strain on the body’s immune system.
Stay energized and drink plenty of fluids to stimulate the lymphatic and vascular systems and aid in elimination.
Tattoo removal before and after: What to expect after laser removal?
During laser therapy of your tattoo, you will notice a whitening (frosting) of the ink. This means it was shattered by the laser and is caused by the release of heat energy from the ink particles breaking down. This frosting is only temporary, usually lasting only a few minutes, and will have vanished by the time you leave the hospital.
When the frosting has tattered off, your skin will become red and may begin to emit heat. This sensation is frequently compared to sunburn and can last several hours to a few days.
Swelling is another common side effect of laser treatments, as your body reacts to the treatment by attempting to immobilize the place. Swelling is more typical in larger tattoos than in small tattoos.
Lower limbs and extremities have poor circulation and are more prone to swelling than other body parts. Swelling frequently follows the path of gravity and may travel down a limb in the days following treatment. This is completely standard and will go away with time.
Bruising is also common after laser treatment on some tattoos, particularly on the ribs and inner bicep. This is normal, may last a week or two, and is no cause for concern.
What should I do if I develop blisters due to my laser treatment?
Following your laser therapy, you may encounter some blistering. This should not concern you. This is a normal part of the healing process and frequently occurs on large tattoos or in zones with poor circulation, such as the fingers and ankles. Blisters are easily treated and, with proper aftercare, will heal perfectly while leaving the skin intact.
If blisters form, do the following:
- Do not pierce them. Apply ice packs to them for up to 48 hours after treatment. This will reduce and help prevent any associated discomfort and, in some cases, allow it to completely subside (re-absorb).
- If the blisters pop (either intentionally or unintentionally), apply an antibacterial lotion several times a day and protect them with a dressing or bandage. Maintain this treatment for at least 48 hours after the blisters have burst.
If the blisters have crusting, scabbing, or oozing:
- Picking at them or allowing the skin to be scraped may result in infection and scarring. Shave the area until it has completely recovered.
- Apply an antibacterial ointment or liquid several times daily and cover with a bandage or dressing.
- Repeat every day until there is no crusting, scabbing, or oozing.
Ice care for laser removal
When you leave our clinic, your tattoo will be covered in a soothing gel and a sterile dressing. In some cases, they simply apply gel and leave it alone.
Ice the affected place as soon as feasible after treatment and repeat several times over the next 48 hours. The more warmth you can remove from the area after treatment, the better your tattoo will feel, look, and respond in the days ahead.
Covered ice packs can be applied directly over the dressing or after removing it, alternating at 15-minute intervals. If you have a tattoo on your arm or leg, try to elevate it while you ice it. The more of this you do in the first 24 hours, the less swelling and discomfort you will have.
Tattoo removal before and after: What should I avoid following laser tattoo removal?
- Avoid excessive heat
You should avoid excessive heat on the skin (baths, saunas, spas, heated yoga, sunlight, etc.) for at least 48 hours after treatment. This also involves your workplace, where you may be exposed to hot conditions in a commercial kitchen, bakery, or other similar settings. Try to keep your therapeutic tattoo as cool as possible to reduce the possibility of blisters. It can take two days for all of the warmth from a laser treatment to dissipate from your body, especially if you have large tattoos.
- Avoid excessive exercise
Excessive exercise should be avoided in the first 48 hours after therapy to allow warmth to flee your body and decrease the possibility of blistering and swelling. Gentle exercise is acceptable as long as you ice your tattoo again afterward. This is particularly important if your tattoo is large.
- Avoid injury
Always avoid injury and abrasion to your tattoo before and after treatment. The sounder your results will be, the more you care for your skin during removal.
To end with tattoo removal before and after
Finding a qualified specialist is critical for safety and effectiveness, regardless of your chosen tattoo removal method.
To begin, consult with a licensed dermatologist, preferably one who specializes in cosmetic procedures. They can direct you to the best option for your specific situation. They can also guide you to a surgeon or other medical professional who can perform the procedure if necessary.
Tattoos are a popular yet permanent form of body decoration. There are various methods for removing tattoos for people who no longer want them.
Tattoo removal methods differ in cost, effectiveness, and recovery time. Knowing your choices can help you make the best tattoo removal decision for you and your budget.