Tattoo Removal: What Are the Best Options?

Tattoo Removal Options
Photo by: Laryssa Suaid

Tattoos are meant to last forever. That’s one of the reasons they are so badass. It’s like getting married to your favorite work of art. But sometimes marriages end in divorce, and sometimes unforeseen situations arise, and you need to part ways with your ink. There’s no shame in that! Everyone changes their mind sometimes, and if you want your tattoo to disappear, there are a ton of ways to get that done. So, let’s talk about which tattoo removal methods are the most effective and which to avoid.

Laser Tattoo Removal


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You can use laser surgery to remove your tattoos if you’d like. Laser tattoo removal is a form of surgery, so first, you will be anesthetized. The laser heats up the colored particles of the tattoo and breaks them into smaller bits, so your immune system can remove them.


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Depending on the size of your tattoo, you might need up to ten sessions before the tattoo isn’t visible, and each session could cost up to $500.

Tattoos with color are a bit more complicated to remove, so those may take more sessions to complete as well. Plan on waiting up to a year before you’re finished.

Laser tattoo removal does cause a bit of pain, but you’ll be fine. Think of how many times you have made it through the pain of sitting in the tattoo chair! And, as far as tattoo removal options go, laser tattoo removal is probably the most effective.

Tattoo Removal Cream


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Tattoo removal creams are a popular choice because they aren’t as expensive as laser tattoo removal. Unfortunately, most dermatologists say that tattoo removal creams aren’t particularly safe or effective. If you have tried any tattoo removal creams that have worked for you, we would love to hear from you.

They may fade your tattoo, which might be enough if your tattoo is already pretty faded. However, tattoo removal creams can have bleaching effects which could be permanent and will be especially noticeable on dark skin tones.

Skin Excision

Perhaps the most heavy metal option on this list, skin excision is precisely what it sounds like. When you have your skin excised, you are having your tattooed skin cut off. This process will be highly effective on any kind of tattoo, but you will also be replacing your tattoo with a permanent scar. Further, this isn’t a good option for big tattoos, as you would need a skin graft.

Cover-Up Tattoos

Okay, so it’s not technically a removal. But if you’re sick of looking at an old tattoo, getting it covered up is super effective. You could get something similar to (but better than) the first design, or you could completely change everything.


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It’s always a good idea to consider the factors that contributed to why you no longer like your tattoo. Maybe it was a painful breakup, or maybe you’re a different person now. Or perhaps you want to find a different artist if the first tattoo didn’t look exactly how you wanted it to.


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A new tattoo can celebrate your growth and put the past behind you. As long as you are still a die-hard tattoo lover, a cover-up tattoo might be the way to go.

Want some inspiration for your cover-up tattoo? Check out the Tattooed Women gallery!