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Erasing embarrassing tattoos
July 9, 2017, 1:16 pm

Perhaps you are going to get married in a week’s time and suddenly realize that the neon tattoo on your chest with the name of your former high school girlfriend was not the brightest move you ever made.

If you have been in such a predicament, one possible consolation is that you are not alone.

According to a recent Harris Interactive survey, one in eight tattooed Americans regret getting what is supposed to be a permanent form of creative expression of their love. The American Society for Dermatologic Surgery reports that doctors perform over 100,000 tattoo removals each year and the number continues to rise.

Before you decide on embarking on a cleansing operation for your love tattoo, here are some of the other options that you could consider.

One way to go is professionally supervised laser removal. The process exposes a tattoo to pulses of high-intensity laser energy that breaks down the tattoo pigment and allows it to be naturally metabolized by the body or safely excreted.

But remember, some colors respond better to laser removal than others. Green, red and yellow are more stubborn than black and blue. And it will likely take six to 10 procedures to get the ink-free outcome you want.

Dermabrasion is another option, in which the top layer of skin is literally sanded away. Or you can even have the tattooed skin cut away and surrounding skin stitched together. Also, be aware that as of now there are no dermatologically approved creams for tattoo removal and there is no clinical evidence of their effectiveness. Using such creams is entirely at your own risk and could cause unexpected reactions, including rashes, burning, scarring or changes in skin pigmentation.

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