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I supposed this topic goes under plastic surgery?

I have a tattoo that I hate, hate, hate on my ankle. It is my ex boyfriend's name, it was done by an amateur and very deep into the skin and is very big, thick and black. It's causing me to wear jeans that hide it every day, skirts are out of the question! I'm embarrassed to go swimming as well. Not to mention my new boyfriend seeing it! I really want rid of it badly, but what I know about laser tattoo removal is that it used to be very expensive, very painful and not all that effective. 

I have come here to ask how advanced laser removal techniques really are these days? Do they have the potential to get rid of my tat completely??? 

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Oh, tattoo removal is very effective these days... so long as you keep it up! Not only is it expensive, tattoo removal with laser is also very expensive and very rarely covered by insurance. Basically, you are on your own there. It takes like 10 sessions to remove very thick tattoos with color, and though your tattoo will completely be gone if you keep it up long enough, prepare for the fact that your skin will never again look like it once did. It is still a very popular technique though despite the pain and cost and I can only say that you know whether that is worth it to you, to be rid of the tattoo.
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Yes, I would say that there are so many wrong decisions, wrong names and symbols. I told to my daughter that I will let her do some tattoo, but as long as she knows the symbolic of her tattoo and as long as she want this tattoo to remain on her skin forever. 

When it comes to removal, you should know that one treatment won't make your tattoo to go away. You will need more treatments, which also depends on the size of your tattoo and how many ink you got in one. Also, there are different type of lasers and you should educate yourself about one that you want to help you. So, be wise. Get the tattoo when you know what you want to have on your skin, don't forget about the tattoo aftercare and don't consider a tattoo like something that is modern. 

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Honestly? I got tons of ink. The early ones, I didn't always like. Yeah, there was some "drunk at a party" tats from when I was a teen, and nah, that didn't look good :D. Tattoo removal can get you pretty amazing results these days but if you like ink anyway, don't forget that cover ups can be truly awesome these days... yeah, really!!! Even light ink over dark ink... lots of stuff is possible. So if you don't want tons of pain and spending tons of dough, yeah, why don't you look into a nice cover up, especially if the tat is small anyways? On the ankle, you could do anything, like a nice phoenix that represents freedom from your ex and that tat, LOL... there's at least something to consider. 

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Honestly, for me, I got my tattoo while I was young and rebellious and did not think it through at all. It is a small piece on my shoulder with lines that have already faded to a great extent because it was poor quality to start with...

I'd like nothing better than just to have it gone. I admire people who are really inked and love it, as their way of self expression, but personally I just want my skin back... that is me. Maybe the opening poster feels differently. Of course cover ups are great options for some people and you make a good point mentioning them because I am sure they are cheaper and can be well done. But I want my skin back. I think this is possible because my tattoo is so small anyway. I can't think of anything else that I'd want instead. I just want it gone!
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Fair enough... To be fair this thread inspired me to look up some pictures of before and after tattoo laser removal and if you stick with it long enough those things can be totally gone. I don't know what the actual laser removal treatments do to the skin where the tattoo was though. Some of my ink was placed too deeply and my new artist says that skin is likely to look bad when I get old for instance. Could something similar be at play with laser removal? Wouldn't surprise me in the least if that was true is all I'm saying... What your skin looks like now and in 20 years is two very different things.
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Yes, modern tattoo removal methods are so effective that they can remove your tattoo completely. Q-switched lasers are used for this. They work by breaking up the pigment within the tattoo according to a specified wavelength. After breakup of the pigment of the tattoo, it then gets resorbed by your body. Because wavelengths differ from pigment color to pigment color, multi color tattoos will require the use of different lasers. It is a long and drawn out process yes, but you can be completely tattoo free by the end of it for sure.
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I recently read an interesting article about this, and that article led me to conclude that though your tattoos may fade a lot, traces of them are very likely to remain no matter how many tattoo removal laser sessions you attend. Some inks just go too far in and are too strong for them ever to fade completely. I am not sure how I feel about this, being non-tattooed, but a bad tattoo, as long as it isn't offensive or terrible to you (which yours sounds like it is) sounds better than traces of a faded tattoo, which look terrible as well. 

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Some things you may want to know about tattoo removal before you proceed:

  • Some tattoos can indeed be completely removed using modern tattoo removal techniques. Will that apply to yours? You will never know in advance. Be aware of that.
  • Tattoo removal can cause hypopigmentation of the treated areas, meaning skin lightening, in the long term. This is especially true for people with dark skin. 
  • You may need many sessions of tattoo removal, something like 10, before you are satisfied. A half removed tattoo can look worse than a normal tattoo, depending on what is depicted. 
  • It will hurt, both during and after.
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Hi,

I just wanted to jump in and share my own experience. Everyone seems to be terrified of tattoo removal and if you look at programmes on TV, like what's that one called? Never mind, there are a few programmes on which you can see people getting tattoos removed anyway, and everyone always seems to be in excruciating pain. People you talk to who have had tattoo removal like 10 years ago will all tell you the process hurts a lot as well.

Anyway, I recently had my first session. I had a teensy tiny butterfly on my lower leg, mainly with pastel colours and a black outline. I was scared as anything before going for removal but it wasn't anywhere near as bad as I had anticipated and no more painful than getting the tattoo. I have another session due in four weeks now but I can already see that the tattoo has faded a lot and I don't see myself needing 30 sessions or anything. Mind you we are talking about a really small tattoo here.

I'll be so happy when it is gone. I wasn't thinking at all at the time! I don't want a permanent reminder of that on my body.

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Oh, thank you for sharing that! You're right, I commented without really knowing anyone who underwent tattoo removal in practice recently. I'm glad to hear that your tattoo removal was largely painless for you and that just one laser treatment session managed to fade your tattoo that much! I am sure that your story can offer a lot of hope to other people who would really like to get tattoos they hate removed. Not everyone will have the same experience though so you should always be prepared to experience lots of pain if you do go for a tattoo removal. I genuinely hope that your tattoo removal sessions manage to completely get rid of all traces of your tattoo!
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I am thinking about having it done and have looked at a lot of before and after pictures. Not all tattoos will go away completely, but very many will. Don't underestimate what modern medical technology can do! My tattoo is very large, covering nearly my whole back, and it is all black and grey. I know it will take many sessions to get rid of it completely and of course I am scared of the pain, but I think it will all be worth it when that thing is finally gone. Think of it like going to the dentist. Not nice either, but you are pleased when it is done!
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Different tattoo removal methods are everyplace these days; some can even be bought on online websites example - Amazon. If you are thinking about whatever form of do-it-yourself tattoo removal or thinking about, has got a tattoo removed with methods other than the most advanced laser tattoo removal technology.

Many Ways to Remove Tattoo

  • Acid Removal
  • Latic Acid
  • Trichloroacetic Acid
  • Cryotherapy
  • Excision
  • Rejuvi
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