One of the funny things about humanity is how fickle we are. We change our minds constantly, and we end up looking back on our lives, wishing we had done things differently. Wishing we had asked our crush to the high school dance, wishing we had paid back student loans and credit cards instead of taking out new loans and credit cards. We all make mistakes, and that’s fine. I don’t like to consider it regret, and I’ll try to avoid using that word, because regretting things is a silly waste of time. But there is big business in knowing that people are capricious, and will want to reverse some of their previous decisions, especially decisions that have been permanently injected into our skin. There are a few things you can do with a tattoo you no longer like, but for the purpose of this article, I will focus on removal.
Tattoo removal is a business that has been around for ages. At one time, tattoo removal included the injection or application of wine, lime, garlic or pigeon excrement. Luckily, technology has advanced past the stage of injecting your body with pigeon stool, and we have some fairly impressive tools at our disposal. In fact, some methods are so advanced and effective that it’s hard (and sometimes impossible) to tell that a tattoo was ever there. Tattoos are most commonly removed using lasers. There are different types of lasers; the industry standard these days is the Q Switch Laser. No matter the type of laser, laser removal works by breaking down the ink particles, and the immune system takes care of the rest, removing the ink from the body. Over many years, the laser removal practice has dramatically improved. It is much less painful because we can use topical anesthetic before the procedure, and scarring is far less common than it used to be.
Another method is called Intense Pulsed Light Therapy (IPL). This method uses high intensity light in a manner similar to lasers. This method is not painful, so topical anesthetic is not required. First, a gel is applied to the skin, and then a wand is used to emit pulses of light onto the skin area being treated. This method is a bit more expensive than traditional laser therapy, and there are tattoo removal experts who do not recommend IPL. This is because it can cause scarring, ink retention, hypopigmentation and dyspigmentation of the skin.
Possibly one of the best tattoo removal methods out there is known as Trans Epidermal Pigment Removal (TEPRSOL). This is one of the newest methods, and it boasts an all-natural, no laser approach. According to the Tatt2Away website, “TEPRSOL relies on your body’s natural healing to reject the ink from the treated area in the form of a scab. This means less healing time is required between and after treatment. When the scab falls off it is actually removing the ink from the body.” This is a methodology that is gaining popularity, and new centers specializing in this type of tattoo removal are popping up all over the place. Just a few months ago, Fades Away Center for Tattoo Removal opened in Hagerstown, Maryland. If you’re in the area, it might be worth checking out.
Tattoo removal creams have also been gaining popularity as newer ones come out that seem to be more effective. Some of them are expensive, and some of them take a long time to fully work, but it might be a good place to start if you don’t mind waiting a while for the tattoo to fade and disappear. There are options that are made with all-natural ingredients, and most claim to be painless.
As you can see, there are lots of ways to get rid of that pesky tattoo you no longer want. With the latest technology, you can erase drunken mistakes, symbols of gang membership, or the name of an ex-lover without much trouble. One of the worst feelings is that of being stuck and hopeless, but with all these tattoo removal techniques, a tattoo doesn’t have to be permanent.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the official position of PainfulPleasures.