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Tattoo removal methods

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11th-Feb-2017       
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(From previous issue) :
The Greek word 'cryo' means ice cold, and 'surgery' means hand work. In this method, cold liquid at around -196 °C (-321 °F) is sprayed or rubbed on the skin area to cause the skin to tear apart. In some procedures, cryoneedles are also used.
This process requires spraying of a numbing solution and then sanding away the top layers of skin to reveal the unblemished skin layers underneath the tattoo. A rotating abrasion brush is used to sand away the skin. It requires local anesthesia and may lead to bruises, bleeding. The tattoo may lighten but cannot be completely removed. Freezing solution like liquid nitrogen or CO2 is applied to the skin where the tattoo is designed, before starting the process. After the process, vasoconstrictors like epinephrine are applied to minimize bleeding.
Chemicals like TriChloroacetic Acid (TCA), glycolic acid peel and acid injections are also used as methods to remove tattoo. These painful methods burn the skin and cause de-pigmentation and hypertrophic scars without removing the tattoo design significantly.
This method uses loads of salt to be rubbed over the skin for 30 to 40 minutes with an abrasive like scrub. It causes bruises and at times local anesthesia is required. It will require several sessions and application of antibiotic ointment and a sterile gauze dressing. After a few days, the salabrasion affected region of the dead skin will scrape off, pulling the tattoo pigment away with it. It is a traditional method. It is highly painful and has high risk of infection and pigmentation of the skin. The salt paste and scrub might not penetrate to the dermis where the ink lies.
Several natural remedies have been mentioned, however, their efficacy is not verified. They too may cause infection, pigmentation and might not penetrate to the dermis level. The natural mixture is rubbed on the skin where the tattoo is designed, for 30 - 40 minutes for over a week or month till the tattoo fades away. Some popular natural combinations for tattoo removal at home are
Vitamin E oil, natural aloe vera gel And paederia tomentosa
Vitamin E oil, natural aloe vera gel, and apricot scrub
Lemon juice and salt
Honey, salt And aloe vera
Lavender oil massage
Lavendar oil is effective for scarring outgrowths, such as keloids. Use of salt may increase tattoo complications like severe bruising, pigmentation and non-healing wounds.
Cost Estimation Of Various Tattoo Removal Methods - Laser And Non-Laser
Laser tattoo removal costs in the US range between $60 and $500 per session, depending on the city and tattoo size. Around 5 to 10 sessions may be required or it may even extend to 20 sessions.
Single R20 treatment, containing 4 laser passes may cost 400$ per session.
An average cost of intense pulsed light is $10 per pulse.
Picosure tattoo removal may cost up to $50 per square feet of tattoo treatment.
In India, minimum cost per session could be 500 rupees while it may spike to 20000 rupees on the higher side. On an average, one tattoo removal session may cost Rs. 1000 to Rs. 7000.
Dermabrasion cost may range from $1,500 and $4,000 depending on tattoo location on the body.
Tattoo removal costs might not be covered under medical insurance. There could be additional costs involved.
The costs of tattoo removal (laser and non-laser) are quite varied depending on various factors like city, location and size of tattoo, number of sessions required and anesthesia or chemical used. It is advised to do a thorough study of tattoo removal methods that best suits you, and compare their costs. Getting a tattoo inked, is a painful procedure in itself and should be avoided, if possible. Tattoo removal is also a complicated process.
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