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Do you regret having a tattoo? What are your options?

We all make decisions about our looks and body that at the time feel like the right decision only to regret them later. For instance that ‘fashionable’ hair cut that we instantly regretted and spent what felt like an eternity growing out, but unlike hair that will grow back we can be stuck with a tattoo for the rest of our lives. Maybe you had a loved one’s name tattooed onto your body and even though the relationship is over the tattoo remains as a constant reminder.

When people decide to get a tattoo, they are usually met with the advice of ‘you will regret it later in life’ and although some people continue to love them, most people come to regret them. Like everything else, tattoos follow trends and that tribal design is no longer popular and you’re left wondering why you didn’t listen.

Even if you still love your tattoo, as the pigment discolours over time and your skin stretches your tattoo may now appear to have a more greenish hue and the borders are now bleeding colour and no longer sharp and well defined.

If you still love your tattoo you can amend this by seeing your tattoo artist for a colour refresh, but if you’ve decided now is the time to say goodbye to it, what are your options?

Laser Tattoo Removal

In the past, once you made the decision to get a tattoo it would pretty much be a lifelong commitment and your only option if you grew tired of it was to cover it with another tattoo, but with the advancement of medical technology over recent years there has been an increase of laser treatments available on the market that specifically target tattoo removal. Although, due to the variables to consider such as the age, colour and skin type of the patient the results are met with variable success.

Although effective the downsides to laser tattoo removal is that they can leave scarring or not fully remove it. They can also damage your own skins pigmentation leaving a white shadow of the tattoo design behind. The lasers can also have extreme difficulty in removing certain tattoo colours, such as reds and greens. The colour that sees the most success when having laser treatment is black, but again this can also be determined by the type of ink that was injected under the skin during the tattoo process.

You might be left with a stubborn area of colour that is impenetrable or alternatively repetitive laser treatments may cause your skin to scar over the remaining tattoo making any further laser treatments ineffective.

The amount of laser sessions you will need depends on the size and colour of the tattoos, but the effectiveness of laser tattoo treatments success will be determined by many factors, in particular by the skill of the practitioner administering the treatments who should perform a comprehensive evaluation of the ink colours used and your skin type.

The amount of sessions you will require will also be affected by the above factors with some tattoos needing between 6-20 sessions and you may still be left with shadowing.

What type of laser would be most effective?

Watch Bella Vou surgeon Rohit Seth explain the differences between the Picosure and Q-Switched tattoo laser removal technology and which one he recommends.

Tattoo Removal Creams

The market for people’s quest to remove their unwanted tattoos also saw an influx of ‘tattoo removal creams’ that promised with regular application to remove the tattoo completely, but this has since been proven to be an ineffective form of treatment.

Surgical Tattoo Removal

There is no easy or pain free way to remove a tattoo once you have committed it to your body, so take this into consideration when making the decision to have a tattoo.

If you want the offending tattoo removed surgically you will need to consider the time involved in achieving the final result. Although it can most often be a quicker option than committing to laser tattoo removal treatments, you will still need to factor in the recovery time from a surgical procedure and that you will be left with a scar. If the tattoo is large in size, you may need more than one procedure and the scar removed in sections.

Click to watch Head Surgeon Amir Nakhdjevani discuss how many Surgical Tattoo Removal surgeries may be required to achieve your final outcome.

Why consider surgical tattoo removal?

You might want to consider surgical tattoo removal due to your concern about the repeated pain you may endure during the laser tattoo sessions or because you wish to have it removed immediately and not wait for months or even years to complete your laser treatments for your final results.

Who is not suitable for surgical tattoo removal?

If your tattoo has become a keloid scar, then surgical tattoo removal will not be suitable. You may also not be suitable if the tattoo is in an area of the body that would be considered dangerous to remove. If you are interested in having your tattoo removed, you can email us images of your tattoo and our surgeons will be able to assess you in advance of a consultations to deem you suitable.

Visit our Tattoo Removal procedure for more information.

Medically reviewed by

Amir Nakhdjevan Profile

Amir Nakhdjevani

Last Updated: September 22, 2017

Published On: September 22, 2017

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