Remove, Renewal Or Using Temporary Tattoo?

So youve made a decision that you no longer want your tattoo, for whatever reasons. Now what? There are several alternatives, dermabrasion, cryosurgery, excision and tattoo laser removal.

Laser Tattoo Removal Think Before you Ink

People thinking about tattoo removal should be aware that the outcome is not guaranteed. There can be some scarring and the skin texture may appear different where the tattoo was removed. For many people, the removal procedure hurts as much as when you first got your tattoo. For others, its much more painful. Creams are used to numb the region before beginning treatment.

Laser tattoo removal is also not cheap. Prices vary from several hundred to several thousand dollars, depending on the size of the tattoo. Health insurance usually wont cover the cost either, since its considered cosmetic surgery.

Today, well talk about tattoo laser removal. Its one of the best ways to have a tattoo removed. Laser removal works by a brief pulse of highly concentrated light that breaks up the tattoo pigment in your skin. The smaller particles of pigment are then taken away via your immune system. The wavelength of the laser is finely tuned to target a specific color particle.

How much of the tattoo gets removed depends on several factors: size, location, how the tattoo was applied, how many different colors used and how deeply ink was poked into the skin. Needless to say, a big, multi-colored piece will be much more difficult to remove than a small, dark piece. Laser tattoo removal success is color dependent.

Blue and black ink are the easiest to remove. Red, yellow and green are harder to remove and may take more treatments. Laser removal requires an initial consultation by a dermatologist who is also a skilled laser surgeon. The physician will try to determine how effective removal of your tattoo will be and estimate the number of sessions it will take.

There are several different types of laser machines, each specializing in certain treatments, and new ones are being presented all the time. Ask your physician which laser she utilizes and what colors its most effective on.

Most tattoos require anywhere from 2 to 8 sessions spaced a minimum of 3- week intervals between sessions. This permits the area to heal and to give the immune system time to flush the pigment particles out.

Each procedure last only a few minutes and antibacterial cream and bandage is applied to the affected area. During the healing process you might be susceptible to infection. Keep the area clean and do not disturb the scab.

Laser tattoo removal is most effective on light-skinned people; the darker you are, the more likely youll experience a permanent alteration of skin color. Examples of the changes include, hyperpigmentation and hypopigmentation.

Deciding on a dermatologist for your tattoo removal is just as important as deciding on a tattooist. The best referral is someone you know who experienced a successful removal ( remember that no one will guarantee that it can be completely removed or their will be no scarring).

You can also check the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery or the American Society of Dermatologic Surgery for advice. Look for someone who specializes in laser surgery with thousands of removals under their belt.

NOTE: A new treatment for tattoo removal, approved by the FDA, called PicoSure Laser Treatment, reduces blistering and treatments. It is so new, that there are only 15 in the world. It usually takes about 4 treatments in comparison to the usual 10 15 treatments. It is not covered by insurance, and can cost $1500. $2000 for all 4 treatments.

Tattoo Cover Up Tips

If you have a tattoo that you cant endure looking at any longer or have had a hypersensitive reaction to the ink, the options are either touching up, covering up, or tattoo removal. If youre basically happy with your tattoo, but think it needs a little work, you could have the tattoo touched up.

A common reason for a touch-up, is the lines are poor or blotchy, the ink was set in uneven or the tattoo has faded. Lets look at different options to changing old and unwanted tattoos.

The Cover Up
Having an old tattoo covered up with a new one is becoming more and more popular. Every tattooist has to learn to do cover ups. Doing a good cover up is not easy. On several cover ups you can still see a small hint of the old tattoo behind the new one.

Successful tattoo cover up give few clues that there was ever another design below them. On the best cover-ups, youd really have to know what was previously there. Cover up tattoos can be very expensive due to the amount of work and focus required to have them done and done well.

Here are some important things to know if you want to get a good tattoo cover up so the new tattoo looks like a good tattoo and not like a cover up:
  1. The new tattoo design should be at least 3 to 4 times larger than your old tattoo.
  2. The new tattoo will use plenty of black shading, particularly if the old tattoo is very dark.
  3. The new tattoo design must be a solid design with plenty of coverage. You wont be able to have negative space in the tattoo. So, a typical tribal design will not work. Successful tattoo cover up give few clues that there was ever another design below them. On the best cover-ups, youd really have to know what was previously there. With that said, plenty of poor tattoos get covered up in Tribal designs because Tribal is most often done with black in; since its abstract, it can be shaped to hide practically any design.
  4. Flash designs usually doesnt work well for larger cover-ups. Usually a custom-drawn design is used to make sure old tattoo is covered up completely.
  5. Warm colors like red, yellow and orange doesnt work well for covering up tattoos, but cool colors like green, blue and purple works best.
  6. It might take a second or third layer of tattooing to completely cover your old tattoo especially if its dark.
Picking an idea for your tattoo cover up can be difficult. Not all ideas will work, due to all the limitations of getting a cover-up. Frequently a cover-up will merely camouflage the old tattoo.
It is easier to do using tattoos that has plenty of detail. Any animal or mythological beast that has scales or feathers is a great option for a cover-up.

Asian style dragons, koi fish or any kind of fish which could be darkly shaded works well. Birds like ravens or eagles can make a good cover-up. Biomechanical tattoos with plenty of detail also are well suited for cover-ups.

When getting a tattoo cover up, you will need a consultation.The tattooist will usually make a tracing of the area and the old tattoo. The tattooist does this so that hell know what it looks like while he draws the new design to cover the old one.

Many tattooists will sketch on you to get a feel for what needs to be done, and then take a digital picture of it for later reference.

Some cover-ups need to be drawn on completely without the use of a stencil. This works well because the design will fit the body well and you will be able to see how its done. Older tattoos faded from years in the sun or tattoos under a laser machine are easier to cover. Still it is important to research who does your cover-up.

Temporary Henna Tattoos

Henna tattoos are a fashion option to permanent tattooing. For hundreds of years, the women of Asia and Africa have been practicing the ancient art of henna painting or mehndi.

Mehndi is a ceremonial form of art which originated from ancient India. It has a ritualistic and symbolic significance, which is typically passed down from one generation to another. Each design has a meaning, as does the act of painting the design on the skin.  Mehndi designs became popular in the West in the late 1990s, where they are called henna tattoos. While tattoos are permanent because the ink is shot deep into the skin, henna tattoos simply dyes the top layers of the skin.

Like a tattoo, henna are applied to any part of the body, although it is usually on the hands, feet, and sometimes the face in elaborate designs. Traditionally it was done to celebrate a wedding, but can be applied for other special occasions.

The leaves of the henna plant are crushed and made into a paste. It is then blended with liquids like eucalyptus oil and painted on the skin. It is applied using plastic cones or a paint brush, but sometimes a small metal-tipped jacquard bottle used for silk painting. Once the henna paste dries and treated with lemon sugar (mixture of lemon and sugar), it is kept on the skin for a while. The paste is removed and the design darkens through oxidation, over the course of 24 to 72 hours.

Intricate patterns and symbolic designs are applied to various parts of the body. It last anywhere from a week to a month. The color varies from deep brown to reddish brown to orange, depending on the quality, skin tone, where on the body its painted, and the amount of time the paste stayed on the skin.
To extend the life of the henna stain, moisturize with natural oils, such as sesame seeds, olive or coconut oils.

NOTE: Real henna is never black. It just appears black before it has been scraped from the skin. Because henna has grown trendy, many people have begun adding the synthetic dye p-Phenylenediamine (PPD) to henna to give it a black color. PPD is extremely harmful to the skin and can cause severe allergic reactions, causing permanent injury and death. Click here for more information.
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