Do you remember when Johnny Depp was dating Winona Ryder? It was way back in the early 1990s and they were so in love. So much so, that Johnny had “Winona Forever” tattooed on his arm. Their love was indelibly marked on his skin.
Fast forward a few years, and the cute couple sadly split. Johnny quickly had the tattoo changed to “Wino Forever”. I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t really want that inked on me…
Had he had access to the more sophisticated tattoo removal techniques available today, I’m guessing he might have just wiped the stamp clear. Perhaps he has by now?
When I was at a recent conference held by the Australasian College of Cosmetic Surgery, I was fascinated by a lecture given by Dr. Eddie Roos from the Cosmetic Elegance Clinic in Toowoomba, QLD, on tattoo removal.
New laser techniques that treat a number of skin issues, such as pigmentation, sun damaged skin, acne and acne scarring, can also remove tattoos. In up to eighty five per cent of cases, they can remove the ink completely, but you do need a few treatments (between five to 15, at six to eight weekly intervals).
The final result depends on skin colour, the location of the tattoo (it might be trickier to remove in areas where they is less flesh, such as the ankles or wrists), if you have previous scarring, if you have had the tattoo refreshed and layered, and whether the tattoo was amateur or professional. The actual ink colour can influence the result, too – colours including yellow, orange, white, light blues and some pinks can present a problem.
All in all, the treatments have been producing great results, and apparently it is apparently not very painful. For people who are sensitive, there are several ways of numbing the area, which vary from numbing it with ice, to administering a local anaesthetic.
There are some contraindications, though. People who have light sensitivity, immune-compromised medical conditions, who are on photosensitizing medications, who are pregnant or have a history of keloid scars are not advised to undergo removal.
The average cost is between $100 and $300, depending on your practitioner and the tattoo being treated.