What is tattoo removal?

Tattoo Removal

How well does tattoo removal work?

While lasers work well to remove tattoos, sometimes it isn't possible to remove all traces of the ink. There are several reasons tattoos are hard to remove. Tattoo inks aren't regulated for color density, and the ink is pierced into the skin at different depths.

It may take multiple sessions to remove your tattoo. Laser removal can cause blisters, scars, or a lasting change in the color of your skin where you had the tattoo. Skin color change is more likely to happen in people with darker skin.

How are tattoos removed?

There are many ways to try to remove tattoos, including:

  • Laser treatment. This is the treatment of choice. Several types of lasers are used to remove tattoos. Some lasers remove different types of ink better than others.
  • Surgery to remove the inked areas (surgical excision).
  • Dermabrasion. A handheld tool is used to scrape and smooth the top layers of the skin.

If you have a tattoo that you would like to have removed, talk with your doctor about what steps you should take. The cost of tattoo removal may not be covered by insurance.

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The content above contains general health information provided by Healthwise, Incorporated, and reviewed by its medical experts. This content should not replace the advice of your healthcare provider. Not all treatments or services described are offered as services by us. For recommended treatments, please consult your healthcare provider.