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If you are really worried about this matter, the best answer would be: «Do not get a tattoo». A tattoo is not only an ornament on the body: it is a permanent mark and that is its main characteristic. That is to say that if you are not very happy with the fact that a tattoo cannot be removed, you are not sure of the tattoo itself because a tattoo means it will be there forever. However the answer is «Yes, a tattoo can be removed».

It has been a long time since tattoos could only be removed by surgical means; nowadays they can be removed by laser. The main problem with this method is that the laser may not completely remove the tattoo or it can leave a scar, but it also has complications that result in hyperpigmentation or hypopigmentation, if the treated area becomes darker or lighter. Even though it is true that some tattoo shops offer this service, the best would be to consult a dermatologist specialized in tattoo removal in order to carry out this procedure.

The tattoo removal by laser consists of the application of a light beam over the tattooed area, fixing the type of laser to the type of ink and its color. Generally, this procedure takes several sessions and it needs the kind of care you take when you get a tattoo (not to scratch it or rub it, wash and lubricate the affected area). Depending on the case, you can use local anesthesia for the treatment though this depends mostly on the doctor; since it is not painful, it is similar to the pain you experience when you get the tattoo done. The laser dissolves the ink pigments that are later eliminated by our immune system. However, it may happen that certain colors, areas or pigments of the tattoo are not removed by the laser, or at least, not totally.

When we have an undesired tattoo, laser becomes a great option though a very expensive one. If you want to get rid of an undesired tattoo, there are other ways to do it, some better than others. We will start with the worst of all: salt abrasion. This method consists in rubbing salt on the tattooed area and therefore destroying all the painted skin layers. As you may have imagined, this is painful and it leaves horrible scars.

We can also name other more friendly methods: skin stretching and cutting the skin. The former consist of putting a bubble under the skin and, by stretching it enough, cutting the excess (that is the tattooed area) and uniting what is left. The latter consists of cutting little fragments of the tattoo allowing the skin to regenerate. The first option is the best one since it does not leave a scar.

Finally, we will discuss the most popular procedure: the cover-up. This technique is not about removing the tattoo but about putting another tattoo over it to hide it. This is better done if the tattoo is a small one and if the ink used is not strong. A good artist will be able to completely modify the old tattoo into one you really like. As an alternative to the above-mentioned technique, we can point out the retouching method. It consists of bringing back the colors on the tattoo and retouching its edges so that it looks neat.

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