Sabtu, 29 September 2012

Tattoo Removal and Cover-Up

Tattoo removal is a complicated and often impossible task. Contrary to common beliefs, laser removal does leave a trace and doesn't necessarily remove the tattoo completely. Depending on the size and part of the body, scars will be more or less visible. Keep in mind, however, that tattoos fade over time. If you wear a tattoo of your ex-love, you might wish to do a cover-up instead. Various tattoo removal creams circulate in the market but, save for being expensive, they usually can't help much.

Tattoo Removal Methods

Laser removal is the most common tattoo removal method. Laser affects the ink with laser light pulses, causing your immune system to clear the ink away. Rarely is one laser removal treatment sufficient for complete tattoo removal. Usually it takes up to 10 treatments, depending on the skin sensitivity and size of the tattoo. The catch is - the more treatments you undergo, the more damaged your skin gets. Laser rays penetrate the skin leaving blisters, which will eventually turn into scars. However, with the ever-advancing technology, scarring is minimal, but cannot be avoided. Laser removal treatments are quite expensive. The price varies from $250 to $850 per treatment, and none can guarantee positive results. Note that laser removal is quite painful, since it penetrates and burns your skin.

Intense Pulsed Light Therapy (IPL) is a similar method, though less common. It uses high intensity light instead of laser light, but the removal process is more or less the same. Instead of a laser, a wand emits light pulses. The only advance of IPL is that it's less painful (though it also leaves scars) and indeed much more expensive. The price is calculated based on number of pulses applied, and a single pulse may cost up to $10. IPL also takes more treatments, depending on the tattoo size and skin sensitivity.

Other methods are quite ineffective and leave much deeper and uglier scars. An example would be the so-called excision, a surgical method used to cut the tattoo away and sew the skin afterwards.


It often happens that a person gets a tattoo in a fit of emotion. Common examples are tattooed names (boyfriend, girlfriend, wife, child... ) or current idols. Some less lucky souls get tattoos from inexperienced tattoo artists, resulting in ugly images. The truth is, unless the tattoo is completely covered in black ink, a good tattoo artist may always do a nice cover-up. The term "cover-up" is used to describe two processes:
  1.     Redoing of the old faded tattoo (with or without new elements);
  2.     Replacement of the tattoo with another image.

We will hereby consider only the latter.
  •     First you need to find a really good tattoo artist. Ask your friends if they know someone, search the Web, read reviews in tattoo magazines (but keep away from paid advertisement!), research tattoo artists' portfolios... Once you've found the right person, you are ready to go. Keep in mind that you won't get a chance to get another cover-up. Choose your tattoo artist carefully and pick an image you'll wear for the rest of your days.

  •     The only predisposition is that the tattoo being covered has to be fully healed.

  •     Keep in mind that the new tattoo must be at least 50% bigger than the old one. The new design might not fit into the existing image, so give your tattoo artist some space to repair it.

  •     Depending on the size and color of the old tattoo, the cover-up process may require more than one session.

Good luck!

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