Sometimes, mistakes are made when it comes to getting tattoos. When you decided to ink your current mood, love interest or logo of your favorite band -- you never thought you would see the day when you wanted to get rid of it. However - moods change, love interests move on and bands separate.
This is when you start looking into tattoo removal. But before you book that first appointment, there are some things you need to know so you don’t make yet another mistake!
1. It’s Going to Take More Than One Treatment
Hopefully, you already know that it is going to require a series of treatments to remove that tattoo. Because there isn’t a solid way to determine exactly how many treatments it will take, be cautious of anyone who tries to give you the standard 6-to-10 treatments answer. Usually, it takes many more than that.
2. Don’t Be in a Hurry
While we understand that you want the tattoo (or tattoos!) gone yesterday, it’s going to take time. The recommended time between treatments is 4 to 6 weeks and sometimes even 8 weeks.
3. Tone Down Your Expectations
You’ve heard the term, “expect the worst, but hope for the best?” This is one of those times. No tattoo removal is guaranteed. In fact, some may only partially fade or even scar. It is up to you to decide if you want to do a cover up or be left with a ghost image.
4. There is a Difference in Professional and Amateur Tattoos
We’ve already told you there are several factors to consider in tattoo removal and who did it is one of them. Professional tattoos tend to be deeper and more uniform which can make them easier to treat, but the ink can be denser. Amateur tattoos can be challenging simply because of uneven application, but are overall easier to remove. Also, if you don't know the difference, more than likely, your artist was an amateur.
5. Location, Location, Location
Tattoos that are located on the forearm or shin, tend to fade more slowly because they are further from the heart. Ones that are in closer proximity to the heart are easier to remove because circulation is much better.
6. Know Your Lasers
Don’t be intimidated when your skin professional tells you your treatment is going to require different lasers. This is highly common as different wavelengths treat different colors.
7. Side Effects Are a Real Thing
Just be aware that as with any laser procedure, there is a chance for side effects. The most common side effect is hyperpigmentation. Using Enlighten Skin Brightener while going through treatment can help prevent this skin darkening. Hypopigmentation can also occur. This is not reversible and usually occurs in those with darker skin tones. Scarring is yet another risk as well as infection, burns and textural changes in the skin.
8. Know What to Expect After a Treatment
There are a handful of symptoms you could experience post-treatment. Blisters, swelling, raised skin, pinpoint bleeding, redness and even temporary darkening. Don’t worry - these are very common and should disappear within 1 - 2 weeks.
9. Darkening Can Happen
Some inks used in cosmetic tattoos, especially those colors that contain white ink, may oxidize immediately following treatment because of the presence of titanium dioxide. This is typically corrected in subsequent treatments.
Now that you are fully educated -- go have that tattoo of your ex-boyfriend’s name, removed!