How is a Tattoo removed from the body?

The tattoo craze, especially among youth, has recently gained immense popularity. People ink their bodies for self-expression. It’s a way to declare one’s thoughts, beliefs and emotions. A tattoo is a decorative, symbolic and pictorial representation to mark a special occasion, person and event in your life. Additionally, it can signify a community, relic, religion or ethnic group.

Art of Tattooing

The tattoos penetrate the upper part of your skin called “the Epidermis” and imprint the coloured pigments on the middle layer of your skin called “the Dermis”. The middle layer of the body doesn’t shed skin cells as the upper layers do; hence, getting rid of unnecessary tattoos is tough.

Tattooing may be exciting and a happy decision, but sometimes, it becomes a regretting action in life later. Removing a tattoo may be complex and a bit more painful than getting the tattoo. Currently, no DIY kits are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) due to no scientific backing supporting their effectiveness. Be careful while you research ways to get rid of the tattoo.

If you are sure that you want to remove a tattoo from the body, consult your dermatologist or dermatologists surgeon to take up any of the following procedures:

There are 6 FDA approved ways to get rid of that irritating feeling and get your life back:


1. Laser Removal Process

You can remove your tattoo most conveniently and less painfully using the laser removal technique. The laser cuts through the upper layer of skin and targets the coloured pigments of your tattoo on the middle layer of skin to absorb it. The process is straightforward. Nevertheless, it requires multiple sessions to remove your tattoo to get you peace of mind.

There are two types of approaches: Passive and Active laser process. The Passive way is less painful and is usually performed by beauticians in salons or parlours. In contrast, dermatologists and surgeons in hospitals use the active laser removal process. Even though it’s a painful approach, it is more effective than the passive approach.

The latest laser techniques can be used to remove coloured tattoos too. The process can cause allergic reactions in some body types. The wound created from this process usually heals within five days, and make sure you don’t get exposed to direct sunlight.

2. Surgical Excision

The surgery removes small-size tattoos and the procedure requires the use of a local, regional or general anaesthetic. The tattoo is cut out of the skin, and the remaining skin is stitched back. The process is painful but less expensive and better for smaller tattoos. The wound leaves a permanent scar and takes months to heal back to its original form, so recommended to be performed on hidden tattoos.

The best part of this procedure is that it doesn’t cause any allergic reactions, and the scarred place heals within one week. Surgery is not practical for larger-size tattoos and the bandages after the surgery should be removed only after 48 hours of completion.

3. Dermabrasion

This anti-ageing skincare method used by celebrities can also be applied to remove tattoos. This procedure uses a sanding-like device to remove the outer layers of your skin, thus, removing the coloured pigments. It’s a cheaper and less invasive way of achieving tattoo-free skin. However, this procedure leaves redness on the skin surrounding the tattoo spot, which stays for around three months. The skin heals 10-14 days after the completion of the procedure.

This painful procedure will require you to be put under local, regional or general anaesthetic and the method can be performed only by a highly skilled practitioner.

4. Cryosurgery (Cryotherapy)

You would have heard about cryotherapy, used for skin cancer treatment. The tattoo area on your skin is exposed to an extremely cold temperature using a freezing agent like Liquid Nitrogen. This forms frostbite skin, which can be removed with the top layer of skin using the Dermabrasion method discussed above.

However, the procedure is excruciating and is not advised for coloured tattoos (tattoos having green and yellow pigments). Don’t opt for this method in case you have sensitive skin.

5. Intense Pulsed Light Method

In this method, your skin is exposed to a broad spectrum of light to break down the coloured pigments on the epidermis layer of the skin. The skin affected by this procedure heals back by the natural skin regeneration method, making it highly effective and less painful than the other procedures. The downside of this method is that it can’t be used for dark-coloured people and is a bit too expensive.

6. Chemical Peel Tattoo Removal

The person going through this procedure might feel mild pain but no need to undergo anaesthesia. Trichloroacetic acid or TCA is a mild acid, used to spread on the upper layer of the skin, which, once settled down, can be removed from the skin along with the epidermis layer skin. This, in turn, removes the tattoo with it. The wound created during this procedure takes 5-7 days to heal.

7. Replace and Reuse

Most of the time, to get rid of an ugly tattoo, you can also choose an interesting and creative way. Makeover of the tattoo will cover up your previous impression, to safeguard yourself from regret and excruciating months of pain, thus saving time as well as money.


A few common side effects are associated while undergoing the above procedures:

  1. Hyperpigmentation
  2. Infection
  3. Scarring

Despite the above side effects, removing your tattoo from a practitioner is the safest. Don’t even dare try any DIY hacks.

These procedures are completed in multiple sessions, which takes some healing time for each session. Thus, strongly prepare yourself both mentally and physically to undergo these procedures. Moreover, take care of your wounds after the course of action, by regularly cleaning them with soap and water, and apply antibiotic ointment and dressing it daily to see maximum healing.

Call your doctor and book the appointment if you possess the patience and the audacity to go through the pain.


Today’s young people need to be made more conscious of the heightened hazards associated with getting tattoos in potentially unsterile settings. Additionally, tattoo parlours need to be made aware of the dangers and the value of employing effective preventative measures. The major causes of complications after medical tattoos include colour mismatch, incorrect pigmentation selection, and inappropriate depth of application, which can result in colour fading or blue discolouration. Due to inadequate aseptic measures, infections and allergic reactions are the most common symptoms following ornamental tattoos.

In summary, a variety of factors can impact laser tattoo removal. They will all impact how long and effective the selection procedure is. The type of laser utilised will also matter. Because of this, we suggest that you have complete assistance before scheduling a session.

As a result, you and the expert will be able to talk about your requirements. The professional will be able to suggest a form of treatment that will work best for you after considering your skin complexion, the age of your tattoo, its location, and the colour of the ink.

Frequently asked questions

Q1 Can a tattoo be completely removed?

Yes, lasers can fully erase tattoos. Laser tattoo removal is the safest and most efficient method available.

Q2 What transpires to your skin after a tattoo is removed?

The colours diminish over time, disintegrating beneath your skin into ever smaller particles. Tiny ink particles are transported to your liver by white blood cells through the lymphatic system of your skin, where they are processed for expulsion from your body.

Q3 Is getting a tattoo removed painful?

Although laser tattoo removal can be painful, it probably won’t be as painful as obtaining the tattoo. The discomfort of getting a tattoo removed is similar to that of getting a horrible sunburn, and the light waves feel like elastic rubber bands striking your skin. Yes, it’s laughable but bearable.

Q4 How can I get my skin ready to get my tattoo removed?

Getting Ready for Your Laser Tattoo Removal Procedure

  1. Before entering, we ask that you have just taken a shower or a bath, that your skin is free of any lotions, oils, creams, or scents, and that you are fully clean.
  2. For four weeks before treatment, stay out of the sun and refrain from using UV tanning beds at all.

Q5 Does removing a tattoo leave a scar?

When the correct laser procedures and patient follow-up are followed, it is extremely rare for a patient to experience scarring during laser tattoo removal treatment. Expect any existing skin anomalies, such as scarring, to persist following laser tattoo removal.

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