Tattooing has now become commonplace and often used as permanent makeup. It is not just a body art, but a real opportunity to improve the appearance. However, sometimes there is a feeling of dissatisfaction due to poor quality of the artist’s work, or the tattoo picture can simply become boring. Tattoo removal is a serious problem, but it is possible to solve it. There are different methods for removing tattoos.
Physical methods include cryosurgery, with the use of Freon sprays, carbon dioxide and liquid nitrogen; heat, with the use of electrocautery with or without curettage and ultraviolet light; and laser therapy, with the use of carbon dioxide or argon lasers. Complications related to all previously mentioned techniques include: hyperpigmentation, hypopigmentation, atrophy, keloids, hypertrophic scars, local hyperesthesia, and failure to remove the pigment itself.
Salt Abrasion involves the use of mechanically applied salts. Chemical Methods are still being used today; normally they include phenol, nitric acid, tannic acid, sulfuric acid, silver nitrate, and salicylic acid in the combination of dermabrasion with tannic acid of silver nitrate. Today there are new chemical treatments using Tretinoin/Retin-A, Eliminink ™ and FADE™.
Simple excision with primary closure is appropriate for small tattoos; for larger tattoos, the following can be used:
– Punch-removal with or without sutures for small dark tattoos;
– Dermatome removal – with or without grafting;
– Dermabrasion – using a wire brush or diamond fraise with or without grafting.