Our San Antonio - Stone Oak location has closed. Dr. Petr will now see all patients at U.S. Dermatology Partners San Antonio.

What Is the Safest Tattoo Removal?

October 17, 2016

About 25 percent of the U.S. population has a tattoo; and about 50 percent of those people eventually want to remove their tattoo.

If you’re looking for a safe way to remove your tattoo there are techniques that can vanquish your tattoo with few side effects. With laser removal the pigment colors are broken up.

Because tattoos are unique, the process of removal must be customized. In the past, there were many ineffective, even dangerous ways to remove a tattoo. But scars were more unsightly than the tattoos.

Patients with previously treated tattoos may also want removal therapy. Tattoos that have not been effectively removed by other treatments or through home remedies usually respond well to laser therapy.

Size and color are variables for removal of your tattoo. You may need only 2-4 visits or as many as 10. You should schedule a consultation with your dermatologist for advice on how to proceed the safest tattoo removal process.

Your age, the size and type of tattoo, be it homemade or professional, and how deep the pigment extends all affect the removal process.

Tattoos are not irreversible and dermatologic surgeons know how to safely use different techniques to successfully remove unwanted tattoos and their telltale signs.

Treatment Options

Find out more about treatment options for unwanted tattoos.

Why Remove a Tattoo?

There are lots of reasons to decide to remove a tattoo. Social, cultural and physical life changes influence a person’s decision. There are also reasons related to health.

  • Unforeseen Allergic reactions
  • Doubful it was a good decision
  • Getting a new job
  • Removing the old tattoo to get a new tattoo

Things to Know About Tattoo Removal

A professional tattoo sinks into the deeper layers of the skin at uniform levels. This uniformity allows dermatologists to use techniques that take out a broader area of inked skin at the same depth. Professional tattoos made with some of the newer inks and pastel colors are found to be more difficult to remove entirely.

Homemade tattoos are even harder to remove.

  • Deeper blue and black ink colors are very challenging.
  • Newer tattoos are more difficult than older ones.
  • Total tattoo removal is not always possible.
  • Some level of scarring may occur.
  • Tattoo removal is usually considered an outpatient process by a dermatologist.

DO

  • Select the right doctor.
  • Choose someone qualified to perform tattoo removal, such as a board-certified dermatologist.
  • Discuss with your doctor the reasons why you want your tattoo removed.
  • Be aware of costs.
  • Tattoo removal is considered an aesthetic or cosmetic procedure generally not covered by insurance.
  • Follow all pre- and post-operative treatment procedures carefully; ask your dermatologist questions.

DON’T

  • Consider tattoo removal if you have certain autoimmune system disorders, pigmentation issues, acne, warts, unstable diabetes, rosacea or undiagnosed lesions.
  • Forget to ask your dermatologist about the risks associated with the procedure.
  • Attempt to remove your own tattoo or anyone else’s. It is dangerous and can lead to infections, serious health complications and even death.
  • Have a procedure performed in unsanitary conditions.
  • Ignore an infection. Contact your dermatologist immediately if you have problems, redness or soreness.
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