What Methods Are Used To Remove Tattoos
These days, there are many different methods for tattoo removal. Since the late 1980s, laser treatments have become the most popular and are still the most effective way to remove tattoos without any scars.

Before laser treatments were used, one or more of the below explained removal methods had to be used for removal. These were often painful and left scars.

Dermabrasion: This is a method whereby the skin is "sanded" with a wire brush or diamond fraise (a type of sanding disc) to remove the epidermis - the surface layer of the skin - and also parts of the dermis below, where the tattoo is imbedded. This process may leave scars.

Salabrasion: A salt solution is used to remove the pigment from the skin. Salabrasion is sometimes used in conjunction with dermabrasion, but has become less common.

Cryosurgery: In this method, the area where the tattoo was placed is frozen prior to its removal.

Excision: A dermatologist removes the tattoo with a scalpel and closes the wound again with stitches. If larger tattoos are involved, a skin graft has to be taken from another part of the body to cover up the removed area. This was the most common method prior to laser surgery.

Scarification: This involves removing the tattoo with an acid solution and creating a scar in its place.

Camouflaging: New pigments are injected into the skin, either to form a new pattern or cover a tattoo with skin-toned pigments. Please note that injected pigments tend not to look natural because they lack the skin's natural translucence.

The above methods are still used today in certain cases but laser surgery has become the standard treatment for tattoo removal. Laser treatments offer a bloodless, low risk, effective alternative with minimal side effects. These treatments can take several months to complete, however, and can be rather expensive. Removal creams offer yet another option, but are believed by some to be less reliable. Some may work, some may not.

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