How to remove tattoo permanently?
  • 0
remove tattoo permanently

How to remove tattoo permanently?

Tags : 

In ancient times tattoos were a mark of identification or for showing allegiance to a cult or kingdom or a leader. Then over time, people started using tattoos to write addresses and everybody has seen the popular Indian tattoos that wives had with their husband’s name ‘xyzzy’s wife’. Today tattoos are a trend and represent many things such as a favourite character, animal, rock band or just a fashion statement. Many young people are getting inked under peer pressure too or for some, it was just a spur-of-the-moment decision which regrets later.

But what happens when the fantasy wears off? or the tattoo does not come out the way the person wanted? Or the colours of tattoos begin to age. Then the bad or wrong tattoo is just a depressing sight. Many people also seek permanent tattoo removal because of breakups also and in such cases usually, it is a request to remove their ex’s name because it just seems like a bad reminder that you cannot escape. Some seek tattoo removal because of ageing also.

While a good tattoo looks very stylish, a faded or wrong tattoo is a pain when it comes to removal. Tattoo removal is not an overnight job and home remedies like applying salt scrub or aloe vera don’t work as successfully as you would want them to. There has been evidence that tattoo removal was attempted even with Egyptian mummy’s using salt and garlic rub. Fortunately for us, today the technological advancements in the field of cosmetic surgery have made it possible to remove tattoos permanently in a risk-free and scar-free manner.

A qualified dermatologist should only do tattoo removal. Both invasive and non-invasive methods are available for permanent tattoo removal. Keep in mind that tattoo deposits pigment under the top layer of the skin and hence permanent tattoo removal is a more complicated and expensive task than tattoo application. Do not try to remove the tattoo on your own as it can cause skin irritation and damage the skin. Here are some effective ways used by dermatologists for tattoo removal that give good results and don’t damage the skin or your mind.

Lasers tattoo removal

Modern lasers are considered the safest and most effective tattoo removal options by top cosmetic surgeons. The powerful laser pulses heat the tattoo to break the tattoo pigments. This pain-free procedure requires several sessions but is very effective. The choice of laser is dependent on the colours in the tattoo, age and size and the skin condition. Q switched Nd:YAG laser is generally used for tattoo removal on dark skin. Other Q-switched lasers such as Ruby are used to target black and blue pigments while Alexandrite removes green, black and blue colours. Nd: YAG is suitable for targeting grey, black, dark blue, red, yellow and orange colours in the tattoos. Another type of laser that is popularly used is the Pico laser. This type of laser hits the tattoo pigments at a high speed which shatters them apart.

Laser treatments for permanent tattoo removal are administered after numbing the skin with a local anaesthetic. Multi-coloured tattoos need different wavelength treatments. Lasers are most effective when it comes to fading the tattoo to bare noticeable without damaging the top layer of the skin. Older tattoos need a lesser number of sessions but new tattoos with many colour pigments can take several weeks to remove. Each session has an interval of 6-8 weeks in between as it gives the skin time to heal.


Aftercare instructions post tattoo removal sessions

  • Apply the given ointment on the skin as instructed. This helps reduce the chances of infection
  • Make sure that the treated area is always dry and clean
  • Don’t wear tight clothing as it rubs on the skin
  • Avoid direct sunlight on the treated skin. ask your doctor about a suitable sunscreen that you can use
  • Don’t pick on the treated skin. if there are any scabs or blisters or redness then let them heal on their own. If you scratch or pick on them then it can cause irreversible scarring.

Intense pulsed light permanent tattoo removal

IPL or intense pulsed light is a broad spectrum wavelength light that breaks down the tattoo colour pigments into small parts. These are then absorbed by the bloodstream and removed from the body naturally. IPL targets the top layer of the skin. As the skin heals post-treatment it makes the tattoo less visible. This treatment also requires multiple treatments.  Hence IPL is not used on coloured skin as there is a risk of permanent discolouration of the skin.

IPL is less painful than the laser for tattoo removal but it is costlier than the laser. Intense pulsed light tattoo removal can easily target larger tattoos such as those on the back.

Surgical removal of tattoos

Using surgery to remove tattoos is an invasive procedure and can cause scarring. This is done under local anaesthesia. Surgical tattoo removal involves removing the skin containing the tattoo and then suturing the edges of the skin back. This type of technique is generally not used for large tattoos. Surgical permanent tattoo removal is the sure-shot way of getting rid of the tattoo without leaving a trace behind. This is a one-session procedure and healing time can take up to several weeks. The cosmetic surgeon will give you ointment to apply for days post-surgery to help with the healing. Make sure that keep the skin away from the sun for at least two weeks post the surgery.


Dermabrasion is also a popular skin rejuvenation treatment. For permanent tattoo removal, dermabrasion involves numbing the area and then sanding the skin down till the tattoo ink leaches out. The dermabrasion device is a high-speed rotary device with an abrasive brush on the other end. Dermabrasion is done in several sessions and the skin can be sore for a few days after the procedure. This process is less effective than laser and surgical excision tattoo removal. Tattoo removal on dark skin is not done using dermabrasion as it can cause changes in skin colour. This is also not suitable for people with sensitive skin or eczema.

Post-dermabrasion tattoo removal instruction

  • Keep the skin clean to prevent infection
  • Avoid direct sunlight for 3-6 months after the procedure
  • Make sure you apply sunscreen every time you step out
  • Avoid soaking the skin in water.

Dermabrasion can cause changes in skin colour, redness or swelling on the skin and even scarring if not done by experts. Therefore, make sure you follow the doctor’s instructions carefully.


Chemical peels

These are the chemical version of dermabrasion. For tattoo removal, Trichloroacetic acid (TCA) is the most commonly used chemical solution. This solution is applied to the tattooed skin and it gently removes the deep layers of the skin. As the skin starts to abrade the body heals by producing new skin and thus the tattoo slowly starts to fade or gets removed.  This procedure is less painful and does not damage the skin.

Risks associated with tattoo removal

Dermatologist tattoo removal is a safe procedure and is always done under supervision. Tattoo removal generally works for everyone. However, there is always a risk of infection and skin discolouration. The colours which can be easily removed from skincare are black, brown, dark blue and green. More colourful tattoos take more time and increase the tattoo removal cost.

Tattoos are also difficult to remove if you have

  • Darker skin
  • Eczema or other skin condition
  • A medical condition that affects the skin such as herpes or lupus.

Some important points to keep in mind

Tattoos are meant to be permanent i.e. that’s the way they are designed and therefore if you have made up your mind to have a tattoo removed then

  • Keep in mind that it is possible that the ghost image of the tattoo might remain or you might get a raised scar.
  • Tattoo removes will need multiple seatings
  • The success of the tattoo removal procedure depends on a lot of things such as the location of the tattoo, the colours used, your age, and the depth of the ink.
  • Be aware that tattoo removal can have some side effects such as hyperpigmentation or lightening of the area but it usually heals in 6-12 months with proper skin care.
  • When in doubt consult your dermatologist asap.
  • Discuss the tattoo removal cost with your doctor before you start the process and these treatments are not covered by insurance.

Leave a Reply

About Dr. Rinky Kapoor

Dr. Rinky Kapoor- Best Dermatologists in Mumbai, India

Dr. Rinky Kapoor, Co-founder of The Esthetic Clinics, is one of the best dermatologists in the world & currently practices in Mumbai, India. Dr. Rinky Kapoor is a Consultant Cosmetic Dermatologist, Cosmetologist & Trichologist at S L Raheja Fortis Hospital, Mumbai, India. Dr. Kapoor is trained at the National Skin Centre, Singapore & at Stanford University, USA. A celebrity skin doctor, Dr. Rinky Kapoor has won many honors such as “Best Dermatologist in Mumbai”, “Most Valuable & Admired Cosmetic Dermatologist in India” & “Best Dermatologist in India”, etc for her expert dermatology care, affordable & reliable skin care, hair care & nail care Read more

Expertise In

• Skin diseases
• Sexually transmitted diseases
• Hair disorders
• Nail disorders
• Cosmetic skin treatments
• Skin surgeries
• Laser skin treatments

Find Us on Facebook

Get In Touch
close slider