Tattoo: Think Before You Ink!

<br>Shradha Gyawali

May 7, 2012, 5:45 p.m. Published in Magazine Issue: Vol.: 05 No.-20 May 04 -2012 (Baisakh 22,2068)<br>

Tattoos are back as the latest fad of our generation. It has become a norm to see someone different sporting fresh new ink every week.

But what is the real motive behind every spot of the ink? Is it to tell a story? Or to fit in and conform to the trend? Whatever the reasons, are people really thinking it all the way through?

One of my friends, Emma Johnson, 22, said, “In college, we all were up one night talking about how cute it would look to go get one on our wrists that looked like a bracelet. Three hours later we were all there.”

“I love the tattoo and the memory behind it. I just wish I would have thought about it more,” said Johnson. “Now for every job or professional experience, I need to make sure I have a watch on or a bracelet that covers it, or a long sleeve shirt.”

So what do you do if you have to hide your tattoo all the time? The following are some different tattoo removal options that vary in price range.

Laser Removal

Laser removal is the most common form of tattoo removal. You are charged per square inch per two minutes. The procedure is painful, and you will be sore for up to two weeks.

The removal needs, on average, around 6-8 sessions. This can run your bill up to $800 for a small tattoo and double for a large one.  Every removal quote is based on size, color and how long have you had the tattoo.


Another option is Dermabrasion- a surgery performed by a plastic surgeon where a rotating abrasion brush sands away the tattoo, eventually peeling the tattoo off. The surgery has high risks for scarring. In most cases of Dermabrasion, you need to have a skin graft to cover where the skin is removed.

The procedure normally takes fifteen minutes but can go for hours depending on the size of the tattoo and how deep the ink is. Your skin will be tight and sore for a month or two but the tattoo will be removed in one sitting.

It can cost $100 for a small tattoo but the procedure can run up to $4,000 for large tattoos.

Excision Removal

Another way to remove tattoos is excision removal. This procedure is done by a plastic surgeon as well. They cut the tattoo out of your skin and sew the skin back together, removing the tattoo in one piece. It can take up to multiple sessions depending on how big the tattoo is and how deep it is. When considering excision, be aware of the scar that it will leave.

This procedure is not a cheap one. It starts off at around $700 for 2 inch by 4 inch area, and every removal after that is $150.

Cream Removal

The last way is the removal that is done by using a cream. The most popular cream is Wrecking Balm. This is a fade system that can take months, but it is a quick and an easy way to do it on your own.

The cream is about $150 depending on where you buy it from, but be careful with the cream-- it can discolor your skin because of the ingredients that are put into it.

Other Options

If you are thinking of getting one removed, your best option is to do a research and get many different opinions from different places and surgeons.

Explore what is best for you.

If getting it removed is not in the budget, and you don’t really want it removed, there are always ways to cover it although sometimes it can be hard. They make tattoo cover-up makeup and silicone sleeves to hide tattoos, but the summer or a hot room can be a problem. Sweating can smudge the makeup, and the sleeves can be too hot to bear.

On the other hand if you are thinking of getting a tattoo, think before you ink. Is it going to affect you in the long run? Or is it really what you want? A tattoo removal can be a $1000 fix for a $100 mistake. 

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