If you have a tattoo that you regret receiving or that no longer holds a special meaning to you, there's always the option of tattooing over it. If you'd rather get rid of the ink entirely, however, it's time to consider tattoo removal. This process can be completed in a number of ways, including with a laser or through the process of dermabrasion, and can help you achieve the look you desire. Although it's always important to ask as many questions as you can before sitting down for the procedure, here are three things to understand before you have a tattoo removed.
You'll Often Need A Series Of Sessions
Just as receiving a large tattoo often involves a number of repeat visits to the tattoo artist, getting a tattoo removed can require several sessions. Several particulars about your tattoo, including its size, color and age, can influence the length of time it takes to remove. When you're visiting a clinic to discuss having the work done, the technician will be able to give you an estimate of the hours and visits that will likely be necessary. Dividing the work into two or more treatments allows the affected area to heal between sessions.
It Might Not Disappear Entirely
Make no mistake -- going through the process of having a tattoo removed is going to greatly reduce the visibility of the artwork on your skin. However, certain tattoos can be more difficult to completely erase than others. If your tattoo is primarily made up of dark ink, the ink might still be slightly visible. Likewise, because tattoos fade slightly over time, a newer tattoo might not disappear to the same degree as an old one during this process. In some cases, you'll be left with a very faint outline of the tattoo -- however, it will be a far cry from what you had at the start of the process.
It's Going To Sting
There's no getting around the fact that going through the process of having a tattoo removed can be uncomfortable. Although the technician will take steps to mitigate your pain, such as applying ice to the affected area before the session begins, the reality is that you're undergoing a significant procedure that involves the use of a laser or chemicals that remove the top layers of your skin. Keep in mind that the fact you'll need multiple sessions for the work is ideal as this approach provides you with a welcome reprieve from any discomfort you're experiencing.