How to remove a tattoo and how much does it cost?
More and more people decide to remove a tattoo and go back to showing off unmarked skin. What happens if the results are not as expected?
One in three Spaniards between the ages of 18 and 35 has a tattoo, according to data from the Spanish Academy of Dermatology and Venereology (AEDV). But, along with these figures, the number of those who, for work or personal reasons, want to erase them to show off immaculate skin again or to get a different one, also increases. Responding to this demand, the number of professionals dedicated to removing tattoos, mainly with lasers, is gradually growing for an average price of around 60 euros per session. Although there are usually no problems, if something unforeseen arises or the result does not conform to what had been agreed, you can claim. We tell you everything you need to know if you want to get rid of a tattoo.
Why remove a tattoo?
Large or very small, discreet or highly visible, in black or in full color… A tattoo can be very attractive at a certain moment, but there are also those who regret that tattoo “made at 18” and want to remove it. It is a situation that professionals see “increasingly, perhaps in part because before this technique was not so well known,” explains Tamara Choclán, tattoo removal technician and head of Tatualia Chueca.
One of the most common reasons is that “over time, just like clothing, people get tired of their tattoo and decide to delete it to get another one,” says Ekaterina Elez, manager of Tattoo Cleaners. While before they had to hide it by doing a cover, today they can “erase a tattoo and get a new one more in line with their new way of thinking or life or partner, for example.”
In addition to other personal reasons (such as removing a name from a person who is no longer important in our lives), it is very important “the fact that there are professions (many opponents come) in which having a tattoo is not well seen “, acknowledges Choclan. Which? Among others, those related to State Security, banks, health professions, aviation, positions facing the public…
How is the procedure to remove a tattoo
The neck and hands, “given their visibility”, are the areas where tattoo removal is most requested. How are they deleted? Do you feel a lot of pain?
To do so, laser technology is used that, passing through the upper layers of the skin, absorbs the pigments of the tattoo. Our body reabsorbs them and then eliminates them through the lymphatic system through urine and sweat.
Can tattoos of all kinds be removed?
The answer is “yes, but…”. In principle, “only those made with black ink are completely removed,” answers Choclan. Those that are tattooed in color are more complicated “and do not always disappear 100%.”
And how many sessions will be necessary?
It cannot be done at once so that the skin recovers well. On average, there will be between 2 and 12 sessions, depending on the tattoo and other personal circumstances.
Will it be easily erased?
Each client is unique, and the way the ink is eliminated through your lymphatic system (urine and sweat) depends on many factors, the expert’s detail:
Older tattoos are usually better removed than recent ones.
Superficial tattoos are more easily removed than deep tattoos. It is deep, for example, when it presents relief.
Metabolism of each person
As in everything, each person is unique, and their metabolism also influences this field: the faster the metabolic response, the faster the ink disappears.
If the person is a smoker, it may take 50-70% more sessions to remove a tattoo. On the other hand, if a person is an athlete and does a lot of exercises, especially aerobics, the ink is usually removed more easily.
How much does it cost to remove a tattoo?
How much can you pay to take away your ex’s name or the drawing that you liked so much and now you can’t stand it? The price, as in any service, depends on the size of each tattoo. On average, according to experts, “the most common thing is to spend between 40 and 60 euros for each session .” And removing a tattoo completely is around 200 or 300 euros.
It must be taken into account that the cost can vary greatly between establishments and that it can skyrocket if you want to eliminate very large areas.
Removing tattoos safely: sanitary requirements
What health requirements should you ask for when going to a tattoo removal center?
The most important thing is to go to a specialized center or one that has experience in carrying out the treatment, in which they inform and resolve doubts.
In addition, the client must always fill out the informed consent sheet.
Regarding hygiene, the centers and clinics dedicated to this service are used to taking extreme care of hygiene . Thus, “all the material used must be disinfected (from the stretcher to the protective glasses) and the premises must maintain complete hygiene,” says Tamara Choclán.
The team in charge of removing tattoos must wear a gown, mask, laser glasses and gloves.
Since the pandemic began, in addition to professionals, clients can be asked to follow certain rules, as the expert assures:
- Request an appointment by phone or online .
- It is better to go to an appointment without companions.
- Wear a mask.
How to take care of yourself after removing a tattoo
Report illnesses or medication
In order for the removal to be perfect and there are no risks, care must be taken and “inform if you are taking any type of medication, or if you have any disease, or a tendency to heal in a keloid form, for example,” the specialists explain.
The risk, in general, is minimal, “like that of any laser treatment, such as hair removal.”
Follow the recommendations
Success also depends on the patient following the recommendations offered, as indicated by Choclan.
Before the sessions “ the area cannot be exposed to the sun for about 10 days beforehand ”, as it could cause an adverse skin reaction, such as burns.
Among the guidelines that must be followed after the sessions are:
After each session, if indicated, cold should be applied to the treated area.
Wash the area
Hygiene is essential and the area must be washed with soap and water.
In addition, several times a day you will have to apply a specific tattoo removal cream. The skin must be kept well hydrated at all times.
Protect yourself from the sun
After the sessions, it is forbidden to sunbathe for a minimum of 15 days. Nor should you go to swimming pools, beaches or saunas.
Do not scratch
Even if it itches, you shouldn’t scratch the area and, if a blister appears, you shouldn’t blow it up.
Bring the area to the air
It is convenient to take the treated area to the air and only covers it —with gauze, so that it can breathe— if there is a risk that it could get dirty.
Avoid contact with animals
It is important to prevent a possible wound from becoming infected or dirty.