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Tattoo jobs do go awry. You wanted a ‘fierce-looking’ lion on your bicep and you may get one that looks wimpy. So, what do you do now?

A touch-up can help. But, if even this fails, you have three options- just wimp-out and settle with your lion, choose another spot on your body, or get your tattoo removed entirely and start afresh.

If you choose option three, this article is for you. Access is now granted to you (just kidding!). 

All About Tattoo Removal

Let me be upfront. Erasing a tattoo is twice as painful as getting one, may even cost you double, and is done over multiple sittings spread over months. And still, you may be left with a ‘tattoo ghost‘ on your bicep.

It’s also a damn risky procedure. Perhaps this is why my tattoo artist, wise soul that he is, sat me down and explained the tattoo erasure process in detail before even giving me a tattoo.

But since most tattoo artists are not as knowledgeable or honest, here’s all the ‘Gyan’ packaged for you in small chewable bites.

Always make the decision to get a tattoo based on these top three points:

  1. Tattoos age with you. As you get older your skin sags and wrinkles. And your beloved tattoos also sag and wrinkle with you. Saggy tattoos really suck. A ferocious lion on a twenty-something taut bicep will not look ferocious when you are forty. So, avoid.
  2. The tattoos also start to look different as you put on fat. An angel on a thin arm will not look the same as an angel on a fat arm.
  3. Tattoos fade with time and you may have to go for a touch-up time and again. This is costly, time-consuming and more than a nuisance. Don’t you think?
  4. The object of your affection might change, so that cute tattoo on your heart with her/his name may start to smirk once the relationship goes kaput.

Still not convinced? Read on for reasons to be cautious-

How do you get your unwanted tattoo removed?

Laser surgery:

Laser surgery by a reputable dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon is the most effective way to remove unwanted tattoos. Here, a surgeon uses pulses of light at a very high concentration to break down the tattoo pigments in your skin, leading to fading of the tattoo. Black and darker colors are easier to remove, but lighter ones usually require multiple sittings.

This is a painful procedure and is done under a local anesthetic only. Since multiple sittings are involved, it can be very expensive too.

Though considered one of the most effective and safest ways to remove a tattoo, laser tattoo removal comes with a high risk of scarring, blisters or scabbing, as well as pain in the area.

Plastic surgery:

Plastic surgery is also an option for tattoo removal. Here, what a surgeon does is take a layer of skin from your body and graft it over the area where the offending tattoo is. This takes a few weeks to heal and as the grafted skin merges into the old one, the tattoo is covered completely.

Dermabrasion:

Dermabrasion is also sometimes used for tattoo removal. Here, a permanent tattoo is scrubbed off using a coarse surface. Like the previous two options, this too must be performed by experts and might require multiple sittings for the tattoo to disappear completely. Also, it’s terribly painful.

Knowing about the risks of your tattoo and benefits of getting inked before doing the job is sane advice, don’t you think. After all, fools rush in where angels fear to tread.