How to Remove Tattoos

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One of the most commonly asked questions when someone is starting to become interested in the laser tattoo removal business is “How to Remove Tattoos?” Questions regarding how to remove a tattoo are pervasive, and there are many myths, misconceptions, and rumors about tattoo removal that must be understood if getting into the business of laser tattoo removal.  

Over the years, many unproven and sometimes dangerous tattoo removal methods have gained interest from those looking to either have their tattoo removed or from those looking to profit from tattoo removal. A few of the most commonly used tattoo removal processes include topical creams, excision, and tattoo removal through injection. 

How to Remove Tattoos?

Tattoo Removal Topical Creams 
Topical tattoo removal creams are FAR less reputable than excision. Truthfully, tattoo removal creams are considered less of a viable treatment option and more commonplace online scams. These creams and gels are sold primarily online, but some notable retailers like Walmart have carried similar products. A quick Google search for “tattoo removal” will likely present you with a handful of topical creams. Do not be fooled by the low price (around $50 per bottle) and flashy advertising: these products are notorious for being ineffective. 

While their labels typically list “all-natural” ingredients like aloe, eucalyptus, orange peel, rosemary, and sage, their primary active ingredients are often TCA, hydroquinone, or other acids. Marketing attempts for tattoo removal creams often state the product will break down the ink “on a cellular level,” wherein it is then pushed to more surface-level layers of the skin for easier exfoliation. (Any tattoo owner will tell you that tattoos can not be “exfoliated.”)

These creams boast complete removal despite vague promises, little instructions for use, and a lack of messaging about how the cream works. No topical cream can penetrate the dermis to break apart tattoo ink without causing noticeable scarring and damage to the skin (and discomfort to the patient). Topical tattoo removal creams are not known to leave scars – they notoriously do not work. We recommend that patients not waste their time or money on tattoo removal creams.  

Tattoo Removal through Surgical Excision

“Excision” is the process of removing unwanted ink by surgically cutting them out of the skin. The physician numbs the local area, removes the tattoo with a scalpel, and stitches the skin’s edges back together. After the procedure, practitioners commonly prescribe an antibacterial ointment to aid in the healing process. Practitioners recommend that patients keep the area bandaged for the first two to seven days following surgery and wash with soap and water. 

Although excision is an effective way to remove tattoos, the procedure is not without downsides. Because this procedure requires some form of numbing / anesthesia and a board-certified surgeon, excision is the most expensive treatment route, costing thousands. Most notably, patients receive highly noticeably surgical scars.

Many patients do not complete removal in a single session, and they have to schedule two to three follow-up surgeries to achieve their desired results. Surgical excision leaves patients with highly noticeable scars and damage to the skin, prompting them to continue to spend money trying to improve the scars’ appearance later on. Surgical tattoo removal is effective, but it may be a better option for patients with smaller tattoos and flexible budgets. 

Tattoo Removal through Injections 

Using non-laser “injections” to remove tattoos is not just less efficient; this method is also painful and potentially dangerous. Injectable tattoo removal procedures somewhat mimic tattooing. Instead of injecting ink into the skin, the practitioner typically numbs the area with lidocaine cream and injects a liquid/gel formula with a tattoo needle. This proprietary formula usually promises to “lift” the tattoo ink from the dermis layer of the skin. In the days (or weeks) following the procedure, the tattoo will scab over. Then, the patient waits for the scab to fall off, hopefully revealing a faded tattoo underneath. 

These injectable methods often claim to remove tattoos in 4 treatments or less, lasting 30 to 45 minutes per session. Each session costs approximately $100, depending on the size of the tattoo. Common ingredients in these injectable solutions include sea salt, water, aloe vera, lidocaine hydrochloride (an anesthetic), hydroxyethylcellulose (a thickening agent), and small levels of essential oils and “organic extracts.” We have also seen formulas with zinc oxide, magnesium oxide, calcium oxide, isopropanol, triethanolamine, and benzoic acid.

Because the procedure involves breaking the skin with the tattoo needle to inject the formula, this method is similar to applying salt to a wound. Like salabrasion, an outdated technique widely known to cause permanent scarring to the skin, it is excruciatingly for patients. Essentially, this “non-laser” approach is similar to abrading the skin with sandpaper, injecting acid into the skin, and hoping for the best—most patients who undergo this procedure experience thick scarring akin to the tattoos they wished to remove. 

In all the cases we have seen, patients’ skin was raised and thickened. Unfortunately, this procedure causes scar tissue formation in the dermis near the remaining ink, making it even harder to remove it in the future. 

Laser Tattoo Removal – Safe and Effective

Today, most tattoos are removed with a Q-switched laser. It sends out energy in one strong pulse. This pulse of energy heats the ink in your skin to dissolve it. You will need to receive several laser treatments over several weeks or longer to remove your tattoo.

New Look Laser College – Completely Focused on Tattoo Removal 

New Look Laser College offers a laser tattoo removal training program with a high quality of instruction and high relevance to business and patient care realities. Our 2-day training course is devoted exclusively to laser tattoo removal, and our training clients select our training program because they know they want to perform this procedure and want the most practical and realistic experience possible.

Many training programs around the United States offer courses that touch on laser tattoo removal as part of general education. Our course is well-known as the “go-to” course for medical professionals, experienced entrepreneurs, and leading tattoo artists that want the premier laser tattoo removal course.

We focus our attention on this one procedure and have many training clients that have been to the generic laser courses before and attend our course to get a complete exposure to this topic.

Take a look at the current course schedule and register today

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