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Tattooing is the process of staining the body with an in efface able ink that is very difficult to remove. The earliest recorded occurrence of body marking can be found in the diaries of Joseph Banks who was an ecologist in Captain James Cook’s ship HMS Endeavour. James Cook discovered the word “tattaw” meaning marking the body with odd signs. He noticed this type of markings during his visit to Tahiti and New Zealand. Tattoo has become a fashion amongst both men and women. Tattoos generally represent self-expression and identity of a person. Their meaning has a strong attachment to the wearer.Many celebrities like to wear such meaningful tattoos and display them in front of the camera. Tattooing is also becoming a big business and tattoo artists are making a lot of money. There are many clean and hygienic tattoo parlours that uses sterilized tools, and tattoos can be safely inked in these places. Many tattooists are experienced, certified and have artistic skills who can ink the body with great perfection. Even the most intricate design can be discussed with the tattooist who will just do a fine work on the body. Tattooists also have some knowledge on how to remove tattoo.

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Tattoos are not anymore considered as permanent marks on the skin. A range of mental, physical and cultural life changes can persuade the decision of removing tattoos. The most common reason for removing tattoo is regret. People have a tendency to tattoo the names of their partners on the body. What they don’t realize is thatif relationship does not stay longer, then the tattoo representing their loved one can be a concern to them. If a particular tattoo is undesirable, then there is no reason why it should be there. Moreover, there are some professional occupations which daunt people from wearing tattoos.With shifting trends and disposition, it is not surprising that a mounting number of people are getting uninterested with their tattoos and wish to remove them. Unlike in the past, safe tattoo removal methods have developed tremendously and are nowreadily available. Dermatologic surgeons use differenttattoo removal methods efficiently to remove unnecessary tattoos. Three most common and safe methods are dermabrasion, surgical excision, and laser surgery. Atattooed person should know how to remove tattoo.There are certain dos and don’ts for considerations that will be helpful when the removal process comes.

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Tattoo removal is normally considered as acosmetic or aesthetic processand generally uncovered by medical insurance.Anyone wanting to get rid of a tattoo must consider the size, location, and colours as well as other issues before starting the process. Tattoos made professionally with a newer type of ink and pastel colours may be hard to remove completely. Homemade tattoos with a shaky hand are even more difficult to remove. Tattoos tend to go through the deeper layers of the skin at consistent intensity when applied perfectly. This consistency permits dermatologic surgeons to applysurgical methods in removing large areas of the skin at the same depth.There may be minor side effects that the patient will experience after undergoing tattoo removal surgery.Tattoo removal is typically done at a medical clinic or hospital on an outpatient basis.The most important matteris to find the right doctor who knows how to remove tattoo. The doctor should be able to perform the procedure safely and should addressto patient’s care including risk associated with the procedure. People having warts, acne, pigmentation problems, andautoimmune system disorders should not consider removing a tattoo. Avoiding exposure to sun up to several weeks before the removal process is important. It is also necessary to avoid taking any medications containing aspirin or ibuprofen which acts as blood-thinning agents. Tattoo removal methods should not be performed in unhygienic conditions.

Dermabrasion

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Dermabrasion is in practice for many years even before the introduction of lasers. It involves abrading or wearing away of the upper to mid layers of the skin with effective abrasive devices like wire brushes, salt crystals, sterilized sandpaper, or a rotary mechanized device. Dermabrasion process shapes the skin by rubbing off the tattoo mechanically or physically. Using a mixture of glandular salt and water, the tattoo can be rubbed to the point of bleedinguntil the skin softens. The procedure needs to be repeated over a course of time and is not effective for tattoos in the lower skin levels. A much newer, simpler cosmetic procedure called microdermabrasion can be non-surgically performed by nurses, medical assistants, and aestheticians.

Dermabrasion is a surgical and insidious procedure that is performed at professional medical centres using local anaesthesia. Since the process rids the upper to deeper layers of the epidermis and penetrates into the reticular dermis, there is always slight bleeding. The method can be risky and often results in skin infections, skin discoloration, scarring, and cold sore reactivation. In aggressive cases, the skin can bleed heavily and the bleeding needs to be controlled with pressure. Depending upon the amount of skin removal, it can take an average of 7 to 30 days for the skin to completely heal. Dermabrasion procedure is also applicable to acne vulgaris and deep surgical scars.

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The idea of carrying out dermabrasion procedure surgically is to help in reducing the appearance of skin blemishes and deep scars. The aim is to flatten the skin and remove tattoos, scars, sun damage, age spots, fine wrinkles, and stretch marks. The time to recover following a dermabrasion procedure is usually 2 to 3 weeks. If the skin turns pink, then the pinkness will normally fade away in 12 weeks. Patients are advised on how to remove tattoo and must avoid getting out in the sun for 3 to 6 months after the procedure. Too much exposure to sunlight can result in extreme scarring and patients are recommended using sunscreen. There are a lot of trained doctors who would carry out dermabrasion at an affordable cost. Although newer laser surgeries with little or no bleeding have largely replaced dermabrasion, the post-surgery results are similar.

Surgical excision

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Surgical excision is the process of removing a tissue using a sharp knife, like a scalpel, or other cutting instrument. Surgical excision of tattoos is an extremely successful process of cutting out the whole tattoo and stitching the skin together. It is the quickest and the cheapest amongst all tattoo removal methods. The operation is moderately simple and carried out using local anaesthesia with instantaneous result.It is a painless procedure and the patient can go home immediately after the surgery without interrupting theirdaily routine. Tattoo surgical excision often applies to cases when a laser treatment fails.

Small tattoos might be fine candidates for surgical excision but not the ones that are too large. The dermatologic surgeon uses a scalpel to get rid of the tattoo and seals the wound with stitches.In most cases, the patient undergoes successive excision so that the tension on the wound afterstitching is negligible. After the area heals, one more excision is completed using the same scar, but by removing another loop of tissue. This procedure is repeated until the whole tattoo is totally removed.This method proves extremelyeffectual in removing tattoos and facilitates the surgeon to remove the ink with great care. Minor side effects may include skin infection, skin discolouration, and scarring. Sometimes linear scars remain on the body for eight months before fading away. There is also a little possibility of adverse response to anaesthetic drugs.

After the procedure the patient may feel sunburn and the skin may become tight. Exposure to sun must be avoided at all means and doctors may recommend a moisturizing lotion or cream.Applying cold packs and taking pain medications or antibiotics prescribed by the doctor will assist in post-surgery recovery.The general health of the patient and the tissue repair power significantly impact the recovery time. It always better to know how to remove tattoo before applying one.

Other tattoo removal methods

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Everyone who has a tattoo must know how to remove tattoo. There is a manual method for removing tattoo but it is not as effective as the above methods. Removing the tattoo manually requires a special gel that is mixed with normal saline and applied to the tattoo area. This allows the ink to bond with the gel and the resulting matter gets displaced from the epidermis (top layer) of the skin. However, there is a risk of scar formation along with infection, pain, discomfort, and change of skin colour.

Another method called cryosurgery or cryotherapyuses cold surgery to destroy the skin tissue. Cryotherapy is a minimallyinsidious procedure and has been practiced in tattoo removal methods. However, the results are erratic with a number ofgrave side effects, such as scar formation, skin infection and long healing time.

There are also other options for removinglarge tattoos surgically and that includestissue expansion and skin grafting. Although these methods are commonly applied, they have potentially high risk of complications both at the donor and recipient sites.

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