Tattoo Removal Treatments


It is impossible to completely remove tattoos regardless of special treatments . 

Unwanted tattoos might be removed by tattoo removal treatments including laser surgery, surgical removal and dermabrasion.  Since tattoo ink is placed in the skin's dermis, it is more difficult and expensive to remove tattoos than to place them.  Although tattoo removal creams and other home treatments are available in some foreign countries (e.g. USA), they are unlikely to be effective and may cause skin irritation or other symptoms.


credit:  Medical Laser Device  CANDELA Corporation


Reasons for Removing Tattoos

Tattoo removal may be required if an allergic reaction to the tattoo ink or other complications, such as an infection, occur. 


Risks of Tattoo Removal

Risks of tattoo removal include scarring, infection, and discoloration.


Tattoo Removal Treatment Options

There are several tattoo removal treatments.  Consult a reputable dermatologist who can help choose a treatment option that is likely to be effective to remove tattoos.  Some tattoo inks are candidates for laser irradiation.  Small tattoo are good for surgical treatment. 


Tattoo Removal Treatments

Tattoos are often removed under local anesthesia on an outpatient basis.


Laser Treatment

Lasers are often used for a tattoo removal treatment.  Before laser treatment, local anesthetic is administered over the tattoo site.  Thereafter, laser pulses are applied to the tattoo site to heat and shatter particles of the tattoo ink.  When a multicolored tattoo is removed, various lasers having different wavelengths may be used.  Complications of the laser treatment include swelling, blistering, and bleeding.  Skin impairments may be treated with antibacterial ointment.  The laser treatment is likely repeated for several sessions.  However, even the laser treatment is used, tattoos may not be completely removed. 


Surgical Tattoo Removal

Before surgical removal, a local anesthetic is administered over the tattoo site.  To remove the tattoo, a scalpel is used.  After tattoo removal, the skin is stitched back.  After the procedure, an antibiotic is administered to prevent bacterial infection.  Although surgical tattoo removal is effective, it is accompanied by scarring.  Surgical treatment is applicable only for small tattoos. 



In dermabrasion, the tattoo site is abraded with a dedicated device to remove tattoo ink from the skin.  The affected area feels sore for around 10 days after the procedure.  Since outcomes of dermabrasion are inferior to those of laser treatment, dermabrasion is less employed today. 



Tattoos permanently stay in the skin.  In addition, it is impossible to completely remove tattoos.  Tattoo removal is likely accompanied by scarring or skin color change regardless of what tattoo removal treatment is employed.